Brownies: Part One

Maia wasn't a cake eater until she turned 3. So I made birthday brownies for her 2nd birthday.

I’ve been having fun lately reconnecting with old friends through the magic of Facebook. Although I lived in the same town from 3rd grade through high school graduation, I haven’t done a good job of staying in touch with the people I grew up with. What’s especially interesting is what these old and far flung friends remember about me. Most of it centers around food. Specifically, me making it. I guess I was bound to circle back to food, because it was a large component of who I was growing up.

These revelations from old friends have go me to remembering what I did do growing up. Like sleepovers. I loved sleepovers. I can not wait until my daughters have them. There is nothing like staying up all night with your girlfriends doing nothing but chatting and laughing at mindless TV and just being while the rest of the known universe slumbers. All that and baking brownies, too.

My go to sleepover activity was baking a pan of brownies at midnight and eating them for the rest of the night. Nothing can compare to a fresh-baked brownie in the evening for comfort food. There is something about the butter, sugar & chocolate squares that send me right back to the happy giggle land of my early teen years.

My first brownies came right out of Betty Crocker’s Everything You Need to Know to Cook. Butter, cocoa powder, eggs, a touch of flour. Super simple (especially for a gaggle of 12-year-olds) but lovely when done. They have the classic crackling top, nice chocolate flavor and a good dense cakey texture.

Of course, I’ve baked all sorts of brownies since then. From insanely rich melted chocolate and heavy cream based ones, to lovely fudgey combinations of melted chocolate and cocoa powder. I’ve made them for countless catering activities, lunches, play-dates, classes and just because reasons. But I still reach for the quick cocoa powder version I first began with when a brownies craving hits. The ease of execution and almost immediate gratification aside, cocoa powder brownies make me feel like a kid again.

Instead of offering up a recipe today, I encourage you to go dust off an old-school cookbook and go make a batch of brownies. My guess is, you’ll be transported right back to your very first brownie in no time flat.


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