Earlier this month, we had a day where as soon as we arrived at work, notices started to arrive sharing that the local schools were closing after lunch. We were about to get snowed in. I walked to work and the walk home was full of snow falling and greeting my neighbors out clearing their driveways, as interstates and accidents were announced throughout Iowa. And the only thing I could think about was making brownies. I’m not sure what about brownies was appealing (it could be that I had all of the ingredients on-hand at home), but I was ready to throw some together. So, after taking Meg for a quick walk, I threw together the brownies, and while they were baking, went out and cleaned off my driveway as well. This recipe from Sara Mouton’s Everyday Family Dinners was one I had not previously made, but it was perfection. I substituted some sea salt caramel chips for the walnuts the recipe calls for and added a layer of depth to the recipe that I could not have otherwise anticipated.
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
2/3 c natural (not Dutch process) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat; let cool slightly. Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla and stir with a fork until a lumpy batter forms. Stir in the chocolate chips and the walnuts, if using. Transfer to the baking pan and bake until the center appears set, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool; let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into 16 squares and serve warm.