One Box Wonder

Famous One Bowl Brownies with a Little Something Extra
I've always had a penchant for reading boxes and cans. While most people go through the supermarket mindlessly tossing packages into their carts, I like to linger at the shelf. It's not that I haven't better things to do or extra time on my hands, it's just that I have a deep appreciation for all the words and phrases that live on labels.

I'm fairly positive that much of the writing on various packages is generated from kindered spirits--creative writers who've left behind careers of uncertainty for a regular paycheck and while I certainly can't fault their choices (who doesn't appreciate electricity and food on the table?) the least I can do is stop long enough to read what they've written. Besides, labels are a veritable gold mine for great verbs, like slather, dollop, sprinkle, and smother.

And sometimes, on the back of the box, you can find a really good recipe. The sort that you hang onto for years and make over and over again. The sort of recipe that becomes such a go to that you no longer even need the box as a reference point. Not only have you memorized the exact measurements, but you've also developed a few variances that make the recipe all yours.

For me, that recipe is the one on the back of the box of Baker's chocolate for their famous one bowl brownies. While there are literally thousands of good--and complicated--brownie recipes around, this is the one that I rely on when the need for a good brownie strikes out of the blue, usually late at night when I'm deeply engrossed in a movie I'd never even intended on watching.

This recipe is quick to whip up and get into the oven during a commercial break and while the brownies are delicious warm from the pan chased down with a big glass of cold milk, they're even better the next morning with a cup of coffee.

I've stayed true to the original recipe, except for a few changes, like adding bourbon instead of vanilla and tossing in a few hefty handfuls of milk chocolate and toasted pecans.

One-Bowl Brownies Mel Style
4 squares of Baker's unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup of unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup of flour
2 tablespoons of bourbon
1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
2 pinches of salt

1. Butter a 10 x 10 baking pan and set aside.
2. In a microwave safe glass bowl, melt chocolate, butter and sugar together in 30 second intervals, stirring after each cycle.
3. Stir in eggs, one at a time.
4. Add flour and salt and stir to combine.
5. Stir in bourbon; add chocolate chips and pecans.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out.
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 23-27 minutes, until top is firm to the touch.
8. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

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