Hello, Monday. We meet again. I’ve never been someone who loathes and detests and abhors a Monday. They’re fresh, Mondays are, and new … a chance to begin again. There’s something really nice about them to me, so when I see people bemoan the dawning of a new week, trash-talking poor Monday up one side and down the other, I can’t help but kind of want to just pat them on the back and tell them it will all be okay. Guys, you knew this was coming … and you’re going to be facing another one next week, and the week after … and so on, and so forth.
As my Mom always says, “attitude is everything.” My favorite little nugget of wisdom ever, these three words are remarkably, undeniably true and their application is endless. It is a truly universal philosophy and a deeply profound one, once you really start thinking about it. Your attitude is one of the very few and precious things that is actually within your control, every second of every day. And this, incidentally, applies even to Mondays. So if you’re not the biggest fan of this particular day, I suggest giving your whole perspective a swift kick in the pants – a sold shift toward a more positive outlook. Try taking Mondays as a chance to insert something new and maybe a little exciting into your weeks. I’m not trying to be overly Pollyanna here – it doesn’t have to be some huge, monumental thing. Maybe just try taking a new route to work to break up a monotonous routine. Or schedule something fun after work, maybe with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Try planning a new activity on Mondays, or a hobby that you’ve been meaning to start for the longest time. Lean into it. Give into it. Dive into it, even. Because they’re not going anywhere, Mondays aren’t. So, if this message speaks to you in any way, maybe try donning a positive Monday Mantra and see if it sets your week off on a brighter, lighter path. Can’t hurt to try? It definitely worked for me.
After all, attitude really is everything. And if that doesn’t do the trick, then I can absolutely promise you that these “perfect” brownies will.
I teased these on Instagram last week and I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people ask for a recipe or save the post. It was great – I love that you love brownies. As someone who was born with a nasty allergy to chocolate and has since grown clean out of it, I’m always happy to celebrate the stuff. I honestly can’t think of a much more delicious way to do it than with these brownies. There aren’t any add-ins here – no tahini or nougat or milky caramel swirls. No nuts or nut butters or chopped up candy bits. Nada. Zilch. It’s just the most incredibly, deeply fudge brownie recipe you’ll ever try and the BEST way to inject a little extra awesome into your Mondays. We’re doubling down on the chocolate factor with these babies, using both cocoa powder and chocolate chips, and what’s more, this recipe basically calls for the absolute lowest amount of flour that you can get away with before these things would actually be considered fudge. There’s browned butter, a healthy splash of sweet vanilla, and lots of eggs. This recipe is an example of how maximizing simple ingredients and coaxing them into being the best versions of themselves is really the trick to great cooking – to great baking. It’s not always about all of the fancy schmancy add-ins. Sometimes it’s about making the most of a recipe’s bones and looking at them in a new, fresh way; Strengthening its building blocks. brown that butter! double that chocolate! sneak in a little extra coffee! be all that you can be.
You know, kind of like a Monday. Happy baking, y’all.
Glossy Fudge Brownies
I slightly adapted this brownie recipe from BraveTart, by Stella Parks. One of my favorite baking books ever, I highly recommend you check it out. Stella is a baking genius (truly) and her recipes are always a joy to try. These brownies are the best of the best. They’re as fudgy as it gets, so if you prefer cake-like brownies, then maybe try baking a sheet cake? Just a thought …
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups Dutch process cocoa powder
- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 ¼ cups white sugar
- ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar (you can sub light)
- 1 ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
- Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat it to 350°F. Line a 9 by13-inch baking pan with two-crisscrossed sheets of foil so that the bottom and long sides are covered, leaving an overhang on the long sides, and lightly grease.
- Sift the flour and cocoa together in a medium bowl. In a 2-qt stainless steel saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Increase to medium and simmer, stirring with a heat-resistant spatula “while the butter hisses and pops.” Continue cooking and stirring, scraping up any brown bits that form in the bottom of the pan, until the butter is golden yellow and silent. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate; the mixture will seem very thin.
- To make the brownies, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, and instant espresso powder (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer) fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Reduce to low and pour in the warm chocolate butter. Once incorporated, add the flour/cocoa and continue until well combined. Fold with a spatula to ensure the batter is well mixed from the bottom up
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the brownies are glossy and just barely firm (like the soft part of your forearm), about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Tug the foil loose and lift the brownies from the pan. Cut into twenty-four, 2 ½-inch squares. Store in an airtight container with a sheet of wax paper between each layer for up to one week at room temperature.