Friday, March 13, 2015

Classic Fudgy Brownies

This post was going in a whole other direction until yesterday. 

Allow me to elaborate. 


And by drivers, I'm talking about the HOW-in-the-world-did-you-seriously-get-your-driver's-license drivers. 

These are the same drivers that refrain me from doing any casual shopping on the weekends. By the time I get to my destination, I'm so stressed out that I just want to go home, slap a cold cloth on my forehead, and crawl into bed. Have you ever been to a Costco parking lot on a Sunday afternoon? If bumping cars was acceptable, that place could sell tickets for one heck of a show.

A few years ago, I suggested a Garage Sale for Dummies book. This week, I'm suggesting a Driving for Dummies handbook. I'm not saying I'm the world's best driver, but I'm calling a spade a spade - I know I am a good driver. My parents were both fantastic drivers and I learned from the best. 

Let's flip through this fictional handbook, shall we?

As one enters one's vehicle, please know one is not the only one about to hit the road. Leave one's sense of entitlement outside the car door. Better yet, leave it on one's doorstep. Feel free to pick it up when one arrives back home. 

Turn signals are a standard feature on every vehicle made and serve a wonderful purpose. As a responsible driver, one has an obligation to USE THEM as often as needed. Please note that applying or tapping one's brakes does not constitute as an indication one would like to turn. If one already knows one would like to turn right onto Main Street, understand that I do not. So unless one wants my car in the backseat of one's car, be a sweetheart and flick the signal.

There are two lanes. The outside lane and the inside lane. The outside lane is also called the passing lane. This is the lane one should use when one wants to pass someone that is going under or driving the speed limit. The inside lane is where one can drive the speed limit all one likes. Never drive in the outside lane if one intends to go the speed limit or pass someone. If one does choose to drive the speed limit in the passing lane, prepare for backlash including, but not limited to, honking of the horn, flashing lights, and middle finger flipping. 

When one is sitting at a stop sign waiting to turn right or left onto another street or road, please don't peel out in front of another car, cutting them off, then go 30 MPH for the next ten miles. Doing so can and will definitely cause backlash. See above.

When stopped at a stop sign or traffic light, please do not block the crosswalk, especially on a heavily traveled crosswalk, then get upset if pedestrians slap one's car or have a go at you as they walk by. One deserves it.

When waiting for a car to reverse out of a parking spot, drive off to one side and apply turn signal to indicate one would like to enter as soon as they have exited. Wait patiently. Do not sit in the middle of the road and expect cars to go around you. Also, please don't park so close that the car cannot reverse out of the spot. One would think this is common sense, but apparently, it isn't.  

When driving on a highway or Interstate and one sees a car that is about to merge into oncoming traffic and the outside lane is clear, MOVE OVER to allow them to safely blend into traffic. If one cannot move over, gently apply the brakes to slow down to allow for merging. DO NOT slam your brakes and allow for a 20 car pile-up behind you. Also, please don't speed up, preventing them from entering either. Once they have joined the flow, carefully move back over to the inside lane. Don't ride the passing lane if one are not planning on keeping up with traffic speed.

Once on the highway, please don't weave in and out of traffic. One may think one looks cool as one drives like a maniac, but trust me when I say this. One doesn't and one isn't. One may actually cause anxiety in other drivers, causing them to make dangerous mistakes. No one wants to get into an accident and have their insurance go up by $500 a year because one is a complete idiot and have this need to arrive at the next traffic light or block of traffic five seconds before someone else. 

Tailgating. If one can see the radio station I'm listening to or that I have split ends, one is too close and need to step off my bumper. This is not the Indy 500. Don't be a jerk. 

While on the road, there is nothing more infuriating than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 45 minutes only to find rubberneckers were the issue. Keep traffic moving please. A car waiting to be towed on the side of the road should not be more exciting than getting home to see one's family. Safely.

I should not have to even bring up the fact that one should never text or talk on the phone using a hand held device while driving. If it's that important, one should pull over. Period. 

Most importantly, keep calm and have a brownie. 

I did and felt so much better.


1 cup Stirling Creamery unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
⅔ cups quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
2½ cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1½ all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 13 x 9" baking pan by lightly spraying with a non-stick cooking spray and lining with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and chopped chocolate, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Once melted, remove saucepan from heat and stir in cocoa powder, sugar, salt, vanilla, and espresso powder (if using) with a wooden spoon. Slowly pour in eggs, but stir quickly to avoid scrambling them. Fold in flour only until incorporated. Batter will be thick. 

Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth over using an offset spatula.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.

Once completely cooled and cut, store in an airtight container. 


  1. Ugh, girl, I feel you on the driving thing. Just this morning, I'm pulling out of a space VERY slowly as another car waits to take my spot. Then some random SUV decides to start backing out of his space really fast and has the audacity to honk me!!! For like a solid two minutes of honking. I was like, jeez dude, calm down. Driving incidents like those seriously make me want to devour a pan of brownies. Yours look great! Pinning :)

  2. Girl--I hear ya. Write the book! lol

    these brownies look so fudgy and dense and oh so chocolatey. I love their crackly tops!


  4. Thanks you for this recipe!! I made these brownies for an office party and everyone raved and moaned over them! Perfect balance of fudginess, denseness, and chocolate!! Will make these AGAIN FOR SURE!! :)

  5. THESE BROWNIES ARE INSANELY DELICIOUS! I made them for my book club and everyone went nuts for them! Thank you for such an awesome recipe, Jenny!!