11 hours ago
Saturday, March 21, 2009
What should I do with a rambunctious 4 year old boy while stuck inside on a rainy day?
Put him in front of a cartoon or dvd would be my old answer.
But I have found that I love to cook and bake with James, my 4 year old neighbor.
Usually a rowdy kid, with lots of energy and normal 4 year old behavior, I find he is very calm when at my kitchen counter (or ON my kitchen counter) without his mother in the room.
He listens and pays attention and even now asks "what we can cook?". "A chicken or brownies?".
Ok, today it's brownies.
We learn how to crack eggs, stir ingredients, grease a pan, stay away from a hot stove and of course, decorate with nuts.
This kid really gets it.
So, we made these wonderful brownies. They were posted by Cathy at Noble Pig (my new baking guru). They are the wonderful screen legend Katharine Hepburn's recipe originally.
They were the best brownies I have ever had. I used Bakers brand chocolate instead of the pricey Scharffen-Berger chocolate, because I didn't feel like spending 10 bucks for the bar, and I thought it was fitting for Ms. Hepburn's quote:
"My greatest strength is common sense. I'm really a standard brand - like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate".
Katharine Hepburn's Brownies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
In a 2-quart saucepan over low-heat, melt butter with unsweetened chocolate, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (I melted the butter & chocolate in the microwave).
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract to make into a smooth batter. Add walnuts, flour and salt; stir until incorporated.
Prepare an 8" x 8' baking dish by greasing it with butter. Then line the pan with parchment paper and grease it as well. Pour the batter into the lined dish and spread evenly.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Since you have lined your pan with parchment you can immediately remove the brownies from the dish, leaving them to cool.
For all you purists, here is the original recipe from a magazine from years back.
The butter measurements are less in the original recipe. You can't go wrong with either recipe!