Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cocoa Cinnamon Brownies. Inhale.

Dear Doctor who Operated on Me,
I am mad at you. I am sad at you. I am all things unpleasant at you. I, my master's right ring finger, am still sick. Even after you cut me open and gave me a scar on my side that doesn't match my beautiful painted face. You stuck screws in me. Long screws that make me feel like E.T. Well the E.T. in me says, screw you, sir. You and your pompous butt. You know, sir, when my master was growing up (before she got boring), she used to draw faces on me and my four other buddies. All of us, standing straight, standing upright, smiling morbidly. Now that she's technically grown up (not that I think so), she has ceased to draw faces on us. And I thank God. Can you imagine what I'd look like in our group photo? A smiley face with a head tilt. A smiley face with a hump. You, screwy sir, have turned me into the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'm happy that my master found her Esmerelda, in the form of a man with sparkling green eyes, but that might not have happened had I been the Hunchback five years ago. Shame on you for limiting chances that she doesn't need anymore. Hmph! So Dr. Screw, I say, screw you. The Hunchback, I, Scar Finger, previously known as plain old right ring finger, am participating in making glorious brownies when I'm not working out to get my strength back. And I say, poop on you. You'll never taste our brownies. Merry Christmas. 
Screws flying your way,
Hunchbacker (Sort of like a backpacker, but permanent.) 

P.S. My master is a little strange today and cannot stop listening to Bloodhound Gang. She "hopes you die". But not really. Oh, and she's apologizing to her readers for the hiatus. Her laptop died for a month but came back to life for Jesus' birthday, her yogi sister was visiting and oh yeah... she was busy fixing me, Hunchback.

Cocoa Cinnamon Brownies  
(Originally Alice Medrich's, I couldn't resist messing about.
I've made the original before and it is just as amazing.)  
140 grams of unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups of sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used salted butter and eliminated this)
1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold (I used 3 small eggs, because that's what I had.)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of walnuts

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. I actually skipped this step and microwaved it all, stirred vigorously, then combined the cinnamon. I was stuck on time and it worked perfectly. I've tried the original method before, which produced almost the same result with a 10-15% smoother brownie at the end. I highly recommend the proper way if you have the time. 
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously (there we go again) after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer then beat for 40 strokes. Stir in the nuts. Spread evenly in your lined pan. 
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Take them out. Let them cool for a while then pop them in the freezer, as they are, for a good 20 minutes. Take them out and slice. Nice. :) 
Happy New Year, you. 
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