Sunday, January 22, 2012

Brownies To The Rescue

Well, I've been out of it for the past few days. Sidelined with a migraine that just didn't want to let go.

So last night, I'm laying on the couch (or is it lying on the couch?) Well, whatever the correct grammar is, I was totally craving chocolate. My brain was telling me that this would be a bad idea. I mean the last thing you need when you've got a headache is a sugar rush and a bunch of empty calories, right?

But my body just kept screaming "Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!"

Then I remembered my hungry headache theory, and figured, hey... it's been 48 hours of pain, and nothing else has helped... what do I have to lose?

So, I dragged my sorry ass off the couch and made a batch of utterly delicious gooey, chocolaty brownies, gobbled down WAY too many of them, and viola! Headache gone!

Hmmmm.... I'm not quite ready to start marketing it as a home remedy, but it does make you wonder...

Anyhow, if you've got a headache, or if you just feel like blowing your diet/healthy eating plan, here's the recipe:

Gooey-licious Brownies

1 1/4 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 scant cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour

note: if you use unsalted butter add 1/4 teaspoon salt, otherwise, no salt is necessary

Melt butter, sugar and cocoa powder in microwave safe bowl, stirring often until smooth. The mixture should be pretty hot, but be careful not to scorch it. Once it's all melted together and smooth, put it in the refrigerator to cool (you don't want to put the eggs into a really hot mixture or you'll end up with little bits of cooked eggs in your brownies - and yes, I know this from personal experience.)

While the batter is cooling, line an 8x8 square baking dish with either foil or parchment paper. Trust me on this one... you'll never get them out if you don't line the pan. Pre-heat the oven to about 330 degrees.

When the batter is cool enough to touch, add the eggs and vanilla (and salt if you're using any) stir vigorously until the batter is smooth. Add the flour and mix until smooth and spread evenly in your baking dish. Lick spatula and worry about salmonella from the raw eggs (optional).

Bake at 330 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. You may need to futz with the time and temperature a bit. The original recipe said to bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, but when I tried it that way the middle was still raw. Of course, I am at about 6500 feet of altitude, so everything always takes longer to bake than advertised. Anyhow, adjust that part as you see fit.

Lift them out of the pan by the liner, let them cool before cutting them (if you can resist... I couldn't!)



  1. I thought this would have something to do with me or brownies like me.

    Guess I'm just narcissistic.

    Regarding your cravings - I've been there and can totally relate.

    1. Ha! You remind me of something my Ex's daughter said when she was about 2 or 3 years old. Somehow, the topic of race was being discussed, and her father mentioned that she was white. She looked at him with complete and utter indignation and replied, "I'm not white! I'm pink!" Then she promptly turned and stomped out of the room.

  2. Yay for chocolate brownies!

    I find the concept "empty calories" bemusing. I know where people are coming from with this, but the calorie is a measure of how much energy food can supply to the body, and our bodies need energy, right? For goodness sake, brains run on glucose!

    1. This is exactly what I needed! A scientific justification for my junk food binge. I think this might just call for a celebratory brownie!

  3. I had no idea brownies from scratch could be so easy. I always use a mix. [palm to forehead.]

    1. I know, right? I actually think the whole mix thing is a total scam. Seriously, is it really any more difficult to mix together 5-6 ingredients as opposed to 2-3? But somehow, Betty Crocker and the like have succeeded in convincing us all that baking is "really hard" so we have to spend 5 times as much, and waste a bunch of packaging to buy their stupid mixes... which never taste as good anyhow. Join the protest! Bake brownies today!!! :~)

  4. Isn't there caffeine in chocolate? Think I remember hearing that somewhere. The first prescription migraine pills I got was cafergot - caffeine pills. I think caffeine dilates the blood vessels in the brain, which relieves the pain/pressure. But, seriously, chocolate cures pretty much anything.

    1. Hmmm... perhaps that explains it, if I catch it early, I can generally wipe out a migraine with caffeine and Tylenol. But that approach hadn't worked with this headache so far, so I don't know. Maybe it's just the old I'm gonna allow myself to have a treat cure!

  5. That's one decadent looking brownie recipe! Chocolate contains a chemical like caffeine (theobromine, I think), and I have friends who swear by its healing qualities. I don't generally crave chocolate. The one time was when I was traveling up the Yangtze River, which was a rich, frothy, milk chocolate brown -- and couldn't get chocolate in China for love or money.

    1. I'm not generally a big chocolate person myself, but perhaps the theobromine is the key. I dunno, but I'm just glad that it worked!

      Speaking of China, I would LOVE to hear more about your travels there! I used to read a blog by an American who was living in Beijing. She had a number of posts entitled "Chinglish" where she took photos of hilarious "translations" on signs and posters. I think my favorite was the package of peanuts that said "Little Bastards". Anyhow, if you're up for a chuckle, do a Google image search on Funny Chinese Translations.


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