After five minutes of my friend staring at my yellow gift bag filled with brownies, I finally acknowledged her and the hungry look in her eyes.
“Yes, I made brownies.”
I reassured I would never give my bag of brownies to anyone else except my best friends. Well, except for that day the priorities were the teachers who had written college recommendations for me, but that was a one-time exception. I passed them out, warning everybody that these were super fudgy.
“Ah my gawd.”
*silence from my friend M who was too busy devouring every last crumb*
“SACRILEGE!” – S screamed as a crumb fell to the floor.
I sat and watched my friends responses, a deep satisfaction rising inside of me that manifested itself in a brighter and larger-than-normal smile. All was as it should be – perfect. S was descending upon her brownie as if she were going in for a first kiss. L and M were taunting each other as usual with their drastically different paces of eating – L eats slower than a sloth savoring its greens while M eats as ravenously as a hyena who’s prey it would seem, might disappear at any moment. As M devoured her brownie in less than a minute, L watched, disgusted. And while L nibbled at her brownie, eating one crumb at a time, M had to shield her eyes and turn away. All the while S seemed to be having a moment with her brownie. Despite the bickering and the intimate moments my friends had with the brownies, our lunch was filled with our usual laughter. Like I said – perfect.
It’s times like these, as simple as a lunch at school with my best friends and a few super-fudgy brownies for dessert, that make me unexplainably happy. The fact that a simple batch of chocolaty, delicious brownies could bring such joy and laughter to a school lunch fills me up with satisfaction that even a brownie cannot achieve (okay, maybe these brownies can). It just goes to show how food is not just food. Food is society. Food is culture. Food is laughter and friendship. Food is childhood memories. Food is more than just something to fill up your empty stomach. Food is what fills your soul, your heart, and your nostalgia. In a few years, I know I will make these brownies again and as I sink my teeth into their fudgy yet ethereally light interior – all these memories will come rushing back, and I can’t wait. But until that day, all I can do is bake more brownies, feed my friends, laugh until my face aches, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Make these brownies, and you will never forget the joy they will bring to you, and your friends and family. Or in the words of my friend S, “SACRILEGE!” if you do not make these brownies.
Super Fudgy Brownies from Martha Stewart
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups sugar – I used one cup.
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup chocolate chips – I added these in because I like variation in “texture”. I also like extra chocolate in my brownies. Seriously, you can never have enough chocolate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan.
- Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix).
- Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days. Give to friends, make memories and laughter, and enjoy.