Adventures in Making Thank You Brownies

My neighbor came and shoveled my walkway and used his fancy blowing machine on my driveway. So I thought I might say “Thanks” with some brownies. Problem was I was pretty much still snowed in and I don’t really bake, let’s give it a go anyway….So collected anything I might have that resembles ingredients you put in brownies…

Salt crust Brownies

Adventures in Brownie-Making

Realize I do not own a brownie pan… let’s see if we can find some recipes with a muffin pan I found buried under the stove on the bottom of everything else.


Found 2 great recipes on Food52 for brownies with some of the basic ingredients I have on hand. Chocolate Fantasy Brownie Bites by Jenny and Moca Brownies with Sea Salt by Allistew. Here we go. My basic recipe with whatever leftover ingredients I had on hand to make some “Thank you so much for shoveling my snow so I didn’t have to brownies”

Trader Joe’s Coca Powder 100% Tumaco Coca beans from southern Columbia. (I haven’t seen this in the stores lately, which is a shame I’ve quite enjoyed it)

3 tablespoons or whatever the size of the spoon that Fresh Market gives out with their coffee.

3 Squares of dark chocolate from the shady looking baggy I found in my “junk” reserve for chocolate stuff drawer

1 generous drop of molasses

1-ish large tablespoon of Colonel D’s vanilla bourbon sugar (i skip the vanilla later)

1 large tablespoon of coffee plus grounds I reduced down to sub for espresso grounds

9 Tablespoons (one 1/2 stick plus 1TBS of butter, plus some dabs in muffin tin)

1 cup-ish of some Demerara Raw Sugar

1 cup Flour (I used bread flour, I have no idea what I bought that for, but it was what I had)

2 eggs


I tend to eyeball most of my measurements, I think my kitchen measurement tools were thrown or ran away some time ago. I usually look to my ever dependable and will never leave me mason jars for general idea on “cup” or half cup measures. That looked about right for a cup and half of sugar with a stick and slice of unsalted butter.


Started heat on med-high down to low rather quickly till it got very bubbly and turned a shade darker.

196-9604_IMGAdded in chocolate, the few pieces I found of dark, plus the powder from Trader Joe’s. I added the strong coffee with some very fine grounds, about a tablespoon, which had a bit of a boiling reaction. This tasted delicious!! I was getting high hopes for these brownies!


Let the cocoa mixture cool and then added in two eggs, one at a time by first mixing the egg in a small bowl and “tempering” with a small bit of the chocolate. And then slowly added the cup of flour.


Ground some Trader Joe’s Himalayan Pink Salt Crystals on top to add some salt crunch to it (I debated on Jo-Jo’s, Joe’s version of Oreos, but nah). Into the oven at 325, for 12-15 minutes!


Brownies are soooooo beautiful! I sprinkled a little extra salt toward the end so it had nice crystal appearance. 196-9620_IMG

For my tastes, enjoying a deeper richness to the chocolate and the deeper flavored sugar, I loved them. If my neighbors didn’t I hope the thought counted as I really did appreciate not only his work but his attitude in enjoying the outdoors and doing nice for others just because it’s fun in itself. Makes me happy. Maybe even more happy than chocolate! Were these brownies “good” for us? I’d love to get to grinding the flour myself someday, but in terms of comparison to the box, I would say without question. After a hard day of work, the butter, the chocolate, the molasses, the coffee all very replenishing and wonderful sources of polyphenols and nutrients. I hope to improve my baking skills, maybe someday I’ll get more precise, but for today this was a lot of fun and a great way to find some baking supplies I wasn’t even sure I had. Enjoy the snow and life’s little pleasures!


March blizzard 2013


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