No pan of brownies is safe. No 9×13-inch cake can escape. No baked good with a side will survive this fiend’s preference for dessert from the center of the pan. She rips the heart out of them all without remorse, because she doesn’t like crispy edges.
This menace has a name, but I call her First born here, because I’m her mother.
See? She struck in August.
I noticed this penchant back in her Happy Meal era. First born always left a pile of french fry ends after eating at McDonald’s. Her practice was to chomp the middles and discard the rest, leaving stacks of what looked like little spent matchsticks on her wrapper. That developed into a preference for raw cookie dough, soft tacos, and cake centers. It’s almost her calling card now.
There’s a whole niche in the baking industry catering to people who prefer their brownies with edges. An S-shaped pan ensures that every brownie has two edges. Another pan divides brownie batter with an insert like an old-fashioned aluminum ice cube tray and promises four crispy edges on every piece. First born would consider such innovations as abominations.
She struck again last Friday.
I don’t fight it anymore. As I see it, the world needs both brownie edge eaters and brownie center eaters, unless the hacking happens to an item I’m saving for company.
Best not to test the cook in such a circumstance.
These brownies are what I make when I need good chocolate flavor in a hurry. (Also sublime, this recipe.) The ingredients are items I always have on hand. The original recipe was clipped from a box of Hershey’s Baking Chocolate so long ago that the contact information specifies only a toll-free number. A quick search of the Hershey’s website shows plenty of brownie recipes, but not this one, and that’s a grave omission that should be rectified.
Here, let me do it.
Fudgy Brownies, adapted from a recipe from The Hershey Company of Hershey, Pennsylvania.
4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate, broken into chunks
3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick spray.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, place the chocolate and butter. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth when stirred. (Careful; don’t overheat.) Stir in the sugar until well-combined.
Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir vigorously. Add the flour to the mixture, and sprinkle the salt over the top. Stir until blended. Add the chopped nuts, if desired. (Nuts can be saved for sprinkling over the top of the batter, if preferred. It’s easier to make a nut-free zone that way.) Spread into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until brownies test done. (A wooden pick inserted in the center will come out almost clean.) Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.