Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars

Pecan Turtle Shortbread Bars

Ingredients

Chocolate Shortbread Base
2 cups (260g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (100g) brown sugar (light or dark)
½ cup (50g) powdered sugar
½ tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
¾ cup (170g or 12 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, diced
Turtle Filling
¾ cup (150g) brown sugar (dark or light)
¾ cup (170g or 12 tbsp) unsalted butter
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream
1 ½ cups toasted pecans, finely chopped
Finishing Touches
8 oz (225g) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
¼ cup (60g) heavy cream
½ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
Flaky sea salt (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some paper to hang over the sides to use as a handle for lifting the bars out of the pan later. (Always thinkin’ ahead!)

In a food processor (or with an electric mixer) mix together flour, cocoa powder, butter, sugar, and salt until fully combined and crumbly. Press evenly and firmly into the bottom of the pan and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring brown sugar, butter, salt, and cream to a boil, stirring continuously until sugar dissolves. Boil for two minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans.

Pour the caramel and pecans over the baked shortbread. Bake at 350° until caramel bubbles and darkens in color, about 18-20 minutes.

While the bars are baking, place chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl with the heavy cream. Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted and everything is combined and smooth. You made ganache!

Spread the ganache evenly over the caramel and pecan layer and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans. Finish with flaky sea salt if desired. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Cut into slices using a warm dry knife, wiping between slices. I do this by dipping the knife in a tall glass filled with hot water and drying it on a towel then slicing. Slice, dip, dry, repeat, EAT!

Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

Black Pepper Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 cup store bought caramel sauce (I made my own, but store bought adds to the ease of this recipe, and it can be just as delicious. Buy a good one!)
¼ tsp fine grain sea or kosher salt
½ tsp coarse ground freshly cracked black pepper
14 oz can cold 🥶 sweetened condensed milk (store it in the fridge the night before you make this)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I prefer the paste over vanilla extract because you get the tiny vanilla specks and it also has a much more intense vanilla flavor)
¼ tsp fine grain sea or kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
3 or 4 broken up sugar cones. You know, the wafer-style pointy ones.

Directions

Measure your caramel out in a small measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it up just a bit. Add the salt and black pepper and stir in. Allow the caramel to cool while you mix everything else together.

(Proof of my insanity: I started out fancy and made my own black pepper salted caramel, but realized not everyone is a crazy overachiever like me and might want a quick and easy recipe. But if you have extra time and want to go for it, there are plenty of great caramel recipes out there. Store bought or homemade, just remember to add the salt and pepper afterwards. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.)

In a small bowl whisk together your cold sweetened condensed milk, vanilla paste, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream to stiff peaks, being careful not to overwhip. You’ll know it’s done when the cream stands straight up when you pull out the whisk. You can also try the putting the bowl upside down over your head test but that didn’t work out so well for me once 😕

Fold about one cup of the the whipped cream into the condensed milk mix, essentially loosening it up. Gently fold this mixture into the rest of your whipped cream, slowly mixing the two together to keep it light and fluffy.

Place half of the ice cream mixture into a glass or metal pan (metal helps it freeze faster and stay frozen longer). Drizzle half of the caramel sauce over the top and crack on a little more black pepper. Using a butter knife, swirl the caramel into the ice cream. Add some broken up sugar cones on top.

Add the rest of the ice cream, the rest of the caramel (drizzle!), more cracked black pepper and swirl again. Top with more broken cone. Beautiful! 😘

Cover with plastic wrap and lightly press directly onto the ice cream (to prevent ice crystals from forming) and store in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

It’s been (at least) 6 hours and now your patience shall be rewarded! Take the ice cream out of the freezer and allow to sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes. It just needs a few moments to defrost to scoopableness (new vocab).

Enjoy it in a cone or in a bowl. On a train or in the rain. You will eat it here or there. You will eat it EVERYWHERE!

Sooo… Enjoy your ice cream 😋

Birthday Cake Cookies

Birthday Cake Cookies

Ingredients

Cookies
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine grain salt
cup colorful sprinkles. I used those crunchy teensy balls (nonpareils) but any that bring you joy will do!
Vanilla Drizzle
1 cup powdered sugar
3 – 4 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
A teensy pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer to cream them together in a large bowl.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the vanilla. Then add in the egg and the egg yolk, one at a time, mixing until fluffy once again.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients, one big spoonful at a time, mixing until just combined. Add in the sprinkles 🎉 and mix on low JUST until they are mixed in.

Using a small cookie scoop (my small one holds about one tablespoon), scoop the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan, about 2 inches apart. I usually do three rows of four. Or four rows of three. (My larger scoop holds two tablespoons, and I place 6-8 cookies on the sheet pan at a time.)

Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes (closer to 11 minutes for small cookies, 13 for large ones), or until the edges are just BARELY starting to turn a light golden color and the tops are starting to crack. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan until set, around 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a cooling rack. They will be puffy, but they will relax. Repeat until all the cookies are done. You can taste one, but the rest have to wait for the icing. Nope. Just one.

While the cookies are cooling, and you are definitely not scarfing them all down, let’s make the icing. Takes a few seconds max.

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and milk until smooth and shiny. If the icing seems too thick to drizzle, add a bit more milk. If it seems too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.

There are three approaches to drizzling the icing: with a spoon, with the tines of a fork, or from a plastic baggie with a teensy corner snipped out. The first two are more rustic (which is great) and the third is more uniform. Go crazy. Be artistic. Then eat cookies. Happy Birthday (someone)!

Peanut Butter Blondies

Peanut Butter Blondies

Ingredients

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup chocolate chips (whatever you like most. I used milk chocolate this time)
½ peanut butter chips (optional, but delicious. If you can’t find them just add another ½ cup of chocolate chips)
8 – 10 peanut butter cup candies

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8×8” baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some paper to hang over the sides to use as a handle for lifting out the blondies later. Spray the parchment with non-stick spray as well. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set this aside too.

In a medium saucepan (big enough to add your dry ingredients to later), melt the unsalted butter. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then stir in the peanut butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk together until fully combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk until they are completely incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Just barely fold everything together until there are no more streaks of flour. Fold in the chips. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the chopped peanut butter cups over the top and lightly press into the batter.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the top is a lightly golden brown. A toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle should come out with just a few crumbs.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Go do a puzzle or watch an episode of that show. Remove from the pan (using your handy dandy parchment handles 😊) and either allow to cool completely or go absolutely mad and just start munching.

Confetti Snack Cake

Confetti Snack Cake

Ingredients

Cake Cake Cake
4 egg whites, room temperature
¼ cup room temperature unsalted butter
¼ cup neutral oil, such as canola or safflower oil
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grain sea salt
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
½ tsp almond extract
cup rainbow sprinkles (I found a nice big container in the aisle with ice cream toppings at my local Mega Market)
Cream Cheese Frosting (bookmark this for when you need an emergency small batch of frosting. You never know 😉)
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature (this is ¼ of a block of cream cheese, or 2 oz)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk or cream

Directions

Cake (Cake Cake)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 8×8” square pan with baking spray. If you plan to remove the whole cake from the pan to serve, line the pan with parchment paper, leaving some to overhang the edges to easily remove the cake. Or you can skip lining entirely and just leave the cake in the pan for frosting and serving. And eating in one go with a fork.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large-ish bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) combine the butter and oil with these dry ingredients until it has the texture of wet sand. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Mix the almond extract with your buttermilk and add them both to the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until it is all combined. You’re not going to get rid of all the lumps and that’s okay. Those lumps are just some larger butter bits. Trust me, those butter bits will incorporate into the cake during baking and all will be well.

Gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until you don’t see any streaks of white. Fold in the sprinkles (also gently), just until evenly dispersed. You don’t want to over-stir the sprinkles because they will start to melt and smear into less attractive color streaks 😖

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bang the pan on the counter a few times (startling your pets and family members) to remove any big air bubbles.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan (if you want) and allow to fully cool before frosting.

Using your hand mixer again (you did wash the beaters, right?), beat together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add the milk or cream and mix in. Beat all together on high speed until fluffy and light.

Slather the frosting all over the top of your cake, making nice swirlies if you are so inclined. Sprankle with more sprinkles if desired.

Cut a slice and light a candle on top. It’s someone’s birthday somewhere. Google it if you need to. Make a wish and blow out the candle. Consume. Feel good about it 🌈

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

For the “Treats”
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 bag (10 ounces) mini marshmallows
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
pinch of fine sea salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Ooh, That Topping
1 cup chocolate chips of your choice. You might like milk chocolate. Sometimes I’m in a dark chocolate mood. Feel the chocolate vibe and make your choice.
1 cup peanut butter chips. If you can’t find them, just use another cup of chocolate chips. Oh no, please don’t give me more chocolate, said no one ever.
Sprinkles of flaky sea salt (optional, but highly recommended)

Directions

Line a 13×9” pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving some to hang over the edges to help remove the treats from the pan later. Spray with non stick spray and set aside.

Pour your cereal into a large bowl and set this aside too.

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Add in the peanut butter and continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.

Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until completely coated. Plop this into your prepared pan and, using your buttered hands, pack into the pan. If you don’t like getting your hands messy, spray the bottom of a measuring cup (or whatever you got) with nonstick spray and use it to press the cereal mix into the pan. Don’t forget the corners!

In a microwave or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Spread over the cereal mixture with an offset spatula. Make pretty swirly designs if you want. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if you are so inclined. I was.

Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until chocolate is fully set. Cut into pieces and share with your friends and loved ones, if you want. Cut into really teensy pieces so you can pretend you’re a giant. Aaarhhh.

Cinnamon-Cardamom Mini Donut Muffins

Cinnamon-Cardamom Mini Donut Muffins

Ingredients

Muffins
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
¾ tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
Cinnamon-Cardamom Sugar Roll Around & Yum
12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt

Directions

Making the Muffins

Preheat oven to 375°

Coat mini muffin pans with non-stick spray.

In a small pan, melt one stick of unsalted butter and set aside to cool a bit. Whisk the milk, eggs, and vanilla in a small measuring cup and set aside.

Measure all the dry muffin ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients and the butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined and no more dry flour clumps are visible.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full, which for my 2 tbsp muffins cups is about 1 ½ tbsp per cup. You can also just put all the muffin batter in a ziplock bag, snip a small hole in the corner, and squeeze the batter into each cup, filling 2/3 full.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the muffins are all poofy and spring back when pressed. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire cooling rack. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes. You can mix your topping while you wait!

(If you have more batter, like I did, allow the muffin tin to cool off, then refill and bake the next batch. You can get the first batch all sugary while they bake!)

Sugaring up the Muffins

Melt 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter in a small pan. Set aside to cool a bit.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt.

Dip each muffin, top and bottom, in the melted butter and shake off any excess. Roll the buttery muffins in the spiced sugar mixture to coat evenly. Don’t eat it (maybe just one). Repeat with all the muffins. All done, but still have spiced sugar left? Give all the muffins another toss!

Share with family or friends or, just this once, hoard them all to yourself. No one will know 😉

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies

Ingredients

Brownie Batter
1 stick unsalted butter
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (70% is my preference, but at least 60% to avoid too much sweetness, especially with the peanut butter filling)
1 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grain salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
Peanut Butter Filling
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp milk (I used whole milk, but any milk will do)
Etcetera
2 tbsp each of chocolate chips (milk chocolate if you have it) and peanut butter chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8×8” baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over the sides to act as handles for lifting the brownies out at the end. If that makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to you, just really spray your pan really, really well. The brownies will come out. Pretty sure.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add chocolate and espresso to the melted butter and stir until melted and well mixed. Allow to cool.

While the chocolate is cooling, let’s make the peanut butter filling.

Place all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl and, using a hand mixer, beat everything together until mixed very well. It will have the texture of a shortbread cookie dough, and that’s exactly what you want. Now it’s time to press the dough into a 7.5” inch square. Here’s a good way to do that: Draw a 7.5” square on a piece of parchment paper with a pencil, then turn the paper upside down. (No graphite in our peanut butter, thank you.) You should still be able to see the square through the paper. Plop the peanut butter filling inside of the square, and place another piece of parchment on top of it. Peanut butter parchment sandwich. Using a rolling pin, gently press the peanut butter filling into the square shape. Finally, take your peanut butter parchment sandwich and place it on a small baking sheet or cutting board, then place it in the freezer to firm up while we finish up the brownies.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.

Combine eggs and sugar in stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip together for about 3-4 minutes, until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Using really well whipped eggs like this helps to give the brownies their traditional “crackly paper” top. I love that part 😍

Drizzle the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar and combine until completely incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a silicone or rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture in by hand just until the last bits of flour have completely mixed in. I don’t use a mixer for this part because over-mixing the flour can lead to too much gluten development. That’s just fancy baking talk for “it will make your brownies tough and chewy.” No thank you.

Place half of the batter in the prepared pan and, using a small offset spatula or your fingers, press it into all the corners and get it as flat as possible. Take your peanut butter filling out of the freezer and peel off the parchment paper. You should then be able to lay it precisely in the center of the pan, right on top of the batter.

Spread the remaining brownie batter evenly on top of the filling, making sure to get batter all along the edges, effectively “sealing in” your filling.

Sprinkle your chocolate and peanut butter chips evenly over the top give them a teensy push into the surface. Oh, I’m so excited for you!

Bake in a 350° oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the pan around half way through. I start checking at 25 minutes so I don’t over bake cuz no one wants a dry brownie.

How do you know when a brownie is done? Tricky question, since a toothpick inserted in the center will always come out with some chocolate on it, but this is my take. When they are done the edges of the brownies will be definitely set and the center will have no jiggle. You may also start to see some of the crackling of the top, usually near the edges as well. (They’ll finish their crackle as they cool and as you cut them.) Best bet? Take them out as soon as you see these signs since they’ll continue cooking in the pan for a few minutes.

Please, oh please, allow these to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes to an hour. I know, I KNOW your instinct is to get these in your mouth at Olympic speeds, but you want to let that beautiful filling set a bit. You also want the brownies to cool down a little so you don’t have to do the dog pant when chewing. The wait will be worth it.

Okay, GO!

Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

Ingredients

Salted Caramel
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
½ tsp flaky sea salt (or 1/4 tsp if using table salt)
And Let’s Not Forget the Brownies!
1 stick unsalted butter
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (70% is my preference, but at least 60% to avoid too much sweetness)
1 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark cocoa powder (it should say “dutched” somewhere on the label)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grain salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
A sprinkle of flaky sea salt for the top (optional, but hey…)

Directions

Salted Caramel

Place the sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir frequently – the sugar will form clumps at first, but will melt into a thick amber colored liquid. Watch it carefully, as it will go from perfect to ruined really fast. I’d rather you make a lighter color than burn it.

Remove from heat. Add butter and stir in until melted. Add cream and stir in. Be careful! It will bubble and spit, but don’t worry, that’s just what caramel does. Return to heat – let it bubble for another two minutes. Stir in your salt. Pour the caramel onto a parchment paper lined plate or bowl. Freeze for 20-30 minutes to solidify. When ready, spray a sharp knife with non-stick spray and cut the caramel into small pieces. Place back in the freezer until ready to add to the brownie batter. Don’t eat it.

Don’t Forget the Brownies!

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8×8” baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over the sides to act as handles for lifting the brownies out at the end. I highly recommend that you don’t skip this step because there will be melty pools of caramel trying to keep your brownies in the pan!

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add chocolate and espresso to the melted butter and stir until melted and well mixed. Allow to cool.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.

Combine eggs and sugars in stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip together for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Using really well whipped eggs like this helps to give the brownies their traditional “crackly paper” top. I love that part 😍

Drizzle the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar and combine until completely incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a silicone or rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture in by hand just until the last bits of flour have completely mixed in. I prefer to do this part by hand so that I don’t overmix the batter.

Go get your (uneaten) caramels out of the freezer and fold about 2/3 of the pieces into the batter. Pour the batter into your prepared 8X8 pan. Press the rest of the caramels into the top of the batter. Sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on top to tell everyone what you’re about.

Bake in 350° oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the pan around half way through. I start checking at 25 minutes so I don’t over bake cuz no one wants a dry brownie.

How do you know when a brownie is done? Tricky question, since a toothpick inserted in the center will always come out with some chocolate on it, not to mention melty caramel, but this is my take: When they are done, the edges of the brownies will be definitely set and the center will have no jiggle. You may also start to see some of the crackling of the top, usually near the edges as well. (They’ll finish their crackle as they cool and as you cut them.) Best bet? Take them out as soon as you see these signs since they’ll continue cooking in the pan for a few minutes.

Please, oh please, allow these to cool for just a little bit. Can you wait about 10-15 minutes? This will allow the caramel to go just a bit below the temperature of molten lava and allow you to eat one without melting your face off. Safety first.

Classic Fudge Brownies

Classic Fudge Brownies

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (about 70% is good), coarsely chopped
1 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee crystals
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup dark or dutched cocoa powder (exactly what “dutched” cocoa is, is a story for another day, but it will say dutched somewhere on the label. Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder is actually dutched, but just doesn’t say that 😒 Ugh)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grain salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar (dark or light)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8X8 baking pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over the sides to act as handles for lifting the brownies out at the end. If that makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to you, just really spray your pan really, really well. The brownies will come out. Pretty sure.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add chocolate and espresso to the melted butter and stir until melted and well mixed. Allow to cool.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.

Combine eggs and sugars in stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip together for about 3-4 minutes, until the mixture thickens and lightens in color. Using really well whipped eggs like this helps to give the brownies their traditional “crackly paper” top. I love that part 😍

Drizzle the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar and combine until completely incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a silicone or rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture in by hand just until the last bits of flour have completely mixed in. I don’t use a mixer for this part because over-mixing the flour can lead to too much gluten development. That’s just fancy baking talk for “it will make your brownies tough and chewy.” No thank you.

Pour into prepared 8X8 pan and bake in 350° oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the pan around half way through. I start checking at 25 minutes so I don’t over bake cuz no one wants a dry brownie.

How do you know when a brownie is done? Tricky question, since a toothpick inserted in the center will always come out with some chocolate on it, but this is my take. When they are done the edges of the brownies will be definitely set and the center will have no jiggle. You may also start to see some of the crackling of the top, usually near the edges as well. (They’ll finish their crackle as they cool and as you cut them.) Best bet? Take them out as soon as you see these signs since they’ll continue cooking in the pan for a few minutes.

If you want to cut these brownies into nice and tidy squares, perfect for sharing, allow to cool for at least an hour before removing from the pan and cutting them with a sharp chef’s knife. If you are an absolute beast and want to dig right in, maybe wait 10 or 15 minutes and just fork it. Neatness doesn’t always count.

These brownies will theoretically last for 3 days in a covered container. I say “theoretically” because I’ve never actually seen 3 day old brownies in my house.