Sunday, September 14, 2008
Far far away...
My closest college friend is in D.C. and although it is only 4 hour drive from my current residence, work prevents me from visiting often. The rest of my friends live in Texas, far far away. I find myself missing them more often now that I am away, keeping in touch more and sending more goodies than ever.
I guess its the distance. I can no longer cook or bake for them so I send packages of brownies, cookies, books and other things. They do the same. There is no hesitation from any one of us and often there is no message of the package until it shows up on the doorstep of the receivee. It's better that way; it's a surprise.
With Ike and Gustav hitting places where I have friends currently, I've been constantly making sure everyone is alright by twittering and text messages. I guess its the maternal instinct that I have.
Then again, I made several e-mails and phone calls when Hanna hit last week, so I've been in the same spot. Though some may say they have to worry about me more because sometimes I don't fully think things through before doing something, which is true.
So this morning I decided to put together packages my friends know so well. (My friend's dad patiently waits to see what I send her every month, which means she sometimes only gets one piece.) Since I love chocolate and coffee, I put together an espresso brownie recipe.
It is deliciously soft, chewy and chocolatey the perfect thing for all my girlfriends.
(adapted from Everyday Food)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon coffee grinds
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with rack in center. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan, and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Coat paper with butter. Set aside.
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate, and place over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and eggs.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture, and stir until just combined . Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly wet, 30 to 35 minutes. Using a damp, warm knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife blade after each cut.