Friday, after Son and I finished lunch, I suddenly got a wild idea. I felt like eating a brownie, and since I don’t buy those kinds of things — to keep myself from eating them — I knew we would have to make them. That’s when I realized I had never made brownies without a box, and the last time I even did that, I was in high school! It’s a good thing Al Gore invented that internet.
I quickly found a recipe for homemade brownies here. The only problem? It made 12-16 servings, and anyone that keeps sweets in the house knows that no matter how many you make, they will still be gone before the end of the day. When there are only three of us in the house, it’s best for me to make small batches of all indulgences. So I did what makes sense. I halved the recipe.
Now I know that when you halve a baking recipe, it might not work. Luckily, this turned out to be just what I needed.
I began with 1/4 cup of butter (that’s half a stick), 1 egg, 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla, 1/4 cup of flour, 8 Teaspoons of cocoa powder (that’s 2 Tablespoons +2 Teaspoons), 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1/8 Teaspoon salt, and 1/8 Teaspoon baking powder.
I melted the butter in a saucepan on the stove, and then removed it from the heat. I stirred in the vanilla and sugar, and then whisked in the egg. Once the mixture was smooth, I added the remaining ingredients, and stirred until fully combined.
When it came time to add my batter to my pan, I had a bit more math to do. You see, most brownie recipes call for a 9″x9″ pan, and since I cut the recipe in half, that just wasn’t going to work. Besides, I don’t think I even own a 9×9 pan. I told you I never make brownies….
So I did the math. 9 times 9 is 81, and 81 divided in half is 40.5. With that in mind, I figured I needed a pan that had an area of 40.5 inches squared. I looked in my cabinet and found these…
Of course, Son immediately voted for the bigger pan, assuming it would make more brownies, but I wanted to do the math. The larger dish was 8×6, giving it an area of 48″, while the smaller was 5×7, making a slight 35″ squared. Since I had never made brownies before, and wasn’t sure of their rise factor, I erred on the side of caution, and went with the larger dish, to Son’s delight.
Once buttered, I poured in my batter…
gave Son the whisk…
and popped the dish into a 350 degree oven.
Now I won’t lie, I was a bit concerned about the cooking time. Would it stay the same? Would it be less? So instead of watching the clock, I went with my nose and the age-old toothpick method. Still, they cooked for nearly the 28 minutes the original recipe called for.
So how did they turn out? They were fantastic. I say were, because as I predicted, they didn’t last the day. But they were soft, a bit gooey, and really hit the spot. And for all you chewy-brownie lovers out there, they did firm up a bit after they cooled.
In the future, since the brownies don’t rise at all, I may opt for the smaller dish, and get thicker brownies. Just the same, I would say, as someone who doesn’t make sweets all the time, that these were simple, and used few enough dishes, to be something I could make everyday. Certainly weekly, since we don’t want to be indulgent…. After all, the recipe only makes six!
Half-Batched Brownies – makes 6-8
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Flour
8 Teaspoons of Cocoa Powder (that’s 2 Tablespoons +2 Teaspoons)
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt butter in a small pot on the stove.
Once butter is melted,remove from heat, and add vanilla, sugar, and egg. Whisk constantly until smooth.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and whisk until fully combined.
Pour batter into a buttered 41″ square pan, or in my case, an 8×6 pan. Just get something close.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool before cutting, or eat them gooey right out of the pan. Just remember they’re HOT!