A couple of days ago, I read this article on getting up early. Having gotten up 10 a.m. and enjoying my third cup of Saturday coffee, it made perfect sense. If I raced someone, I wanted to win. I'd get up early and would have time to exercise and eat breakfast and contemplate the world. All the things I didn't have time to do during the day. I loved the article so much, I forwarded it to the hubster and in a sickening gung-ho manner, proposed that we get up early from hereon.
Except well, I hate getting up early, I don't like exercising, and as hard as it is to believe, I'm not really hungry first thing in the morning. Oh, and my contemplating the world is pretty much centered on how I hate getting up early. But once I proposed the idea, there was no going back. The next morning, sacred Sunday morning reserved for sleeping in and leisurely brunches, the hubster jumped out of bed and started chattering about how getting up early was such a great idea. The normally quiet hubster was talking incessantly... at 6 a.m. I would have appreciated the irony of the situation... if it wasn't 6 a.m.
After I finally dragged myself out of bed, the hubster had the audacity to propose we go to the gym. I resisted the urge to pummel him. Recognizing his life was in danger, he suggested we stretch in the comfort of our living room. This sounded reasonable. Maybe I could catch a short nap while stretching. Until I realized his defintion of stretching and mine clearly didn't coincide. See, stretching my world is me standing there, trying to touch my toes relaxedly and then, well, stopping. The hubster's stretches involved, well work. Finally, I just gave in, and went to my happy place as followed along quietly because it was taking too much energy to complain.
The hubster, unaccustomed to a lack of complaining, suspiciously asked, "What are you thinking about?" "Brownies," I replied contentedly. "You are thinking about brownies during our morning stretches?" he asked, shaking his head. "Yup, and not just any brownies. Ad Hoc brownies," I replied. See, my love for Thomas Keller is fairly well documented but I had no idea he was also a brownie genius until I tried an Ad Hoc brownie at Eat the Love's Holiday Dessert Extravaganza. Dense, fudgy, and of course perfectly chocolaty. These are not your grandmother's cake-like brownies. Since that fateful party, I have been plotting as to how I can get those brownies in my stomach again.
And to think, Sunday morning stretching hour was just the time I needed to plan my brownie blitz. Needless to say, as soon as the hubster announced stretching time over, I pushed his stretchy self aside, rushed into the kitchen and got my brownie making on. And I am proud to report that I spent the remainder of Sunday eating brownies. It was almost perfect enough to make up for having to get up at 6 a.m. Almost.
So the moral here is, I may have to accept that the next time I race someone, they will likely leave me in the dust. And not just because I didn't get up early to train but because I got up early and ate an entire pan of brownies.
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbsp cubes
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 1/2 cups chopped 61-64% chocolate (can substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips)
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl.
Place half of the cubed butter into a bowl. Melt the remaining half of the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Pour the melted butter over the saved butter in the bowl, stirring to combine. The butter should look creamy, with bits of unmelted butter still present.
Beat the eggs and sugar on medium until light and doubled in volume. Add the vanilla. On low speed, alternate adding the flour and the butter in small portions. Finally, stir in the chopped chocolate.
Butter and flour a 9x9 square pan. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out nearly batter free. Brownies will continue to cook after you pull them out of the oven so you don't want to overcook them in the oven.
After cooling, dust with powdered sugar, cut, and serve.
Recipe from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home.