Monday, June 15, 2009

Progress and Deliciousness (Is that a word?)

Apologies for the lack of posts lately, but we've been pretty busy with visitors and the new baby routine. So, to make it up to those of you who are still reading, this post covers a wide range of topics - including what my MIL and I and my mum have determined is THE BEST BROWNIE RECIPE in the world (the caps are not excessive - this really is it). The brownies are the Maida Heatter Palm Beach brownies, and the recipe is below the photo.

Maida Heatter's Palm Beach Brownies (with some minor edits)

8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
8 oz (two sticks) unsalted butter
5 eggs (large or extra large)
1 TBS vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (I just add in more vanilla)
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 TBS dry instant espresso or other powdered (NOT GRANULATED) instant coffee
3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour (sift if you please, but I am generally too lazy)
8 oz walnut halves or the nuts of your preference (I prefer my brownies nut free :)

1. Adjust oven rack so that it is in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2 inch pan (and she lines it with foil that is greased, but I don't think it's necessary).

2. Melt the chocolate and butter together - either in a double boiler or the microwave. I think the microwave is MUCH easier, I just heat in 30 second intervals and make sure to stir well between heatings so that the butter keeps the chocolate from scorching. When melted, set aside and allow to cool a little

3. In the large bowl of your mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla, sugar, salt and coffee powder for 10 minutes on high speed. Turn the speed down to low and add the chocolate mixture, beating only until mixed. Likewise, add the flour on low speed, mixing only until all combined.

4. Pour into greased pan and bake for 35 minutes. Now, you will note that the edges get a little dry. This doesn't bother me, whereas Mrs. Heatter recommends trimming and discarding the edges. I think that's wasting chocolate! I do agree that you must make these a day in advance, as they are simply too rich and fudgy to cut the first day. So, cut yourself a nice piece the first day, and serve the rest to some really nice people the second day. These also freeze like a dream, so you can microwave them for delicious brownies anytime.

Below is my favorite little sous chef surveying the kitchen and for ONCE, being chill in her car seat. Seriously, she only likes the seat when she's in the car, or it's snapped into her stroller. Any suggestions? Everyone else's baby seems to like to hang out in the seat, but not Miss K!

This past weekend was my birthday, so I celebrated by picking up some adorable Lilly for Mommy and me fun. Miss K was so comfy in the Lilly boutique that she required a prompt diaper change. Fortunately the owner was so nice and helpful - it still makes me a little uncomfortable asking if there's a restroom or other place to change her - but I can't let her sit in a dirty diaper!

Miss K and I have embarked on an exploration of the many "Mommy and Me" classes here in LA. We went to Mommy and Me yoga twice last week - but as it is during Ms. K's preferred napping hours, I'm not sure we'll be going back, as she was VERY MEAN and not very calm. This Wednesday I'm going to try to check out Mommy Bootcamp, and I'm signing up for a Mommy discussion group for later this summer. In the meantime, I've discovered that Miss K really likes Motown/Soul, so this post is brought to you courtesy of the Motown/Soul music station on Direct TV. Happy Monday, and I'll be trying some new recipes this week, so keep your eyes peeled!


  1. we are on the same page...i just posted brownies. yours look better!

  2. ooooh those sound like the barefoot contessa outrageous brownies! so yummy! love the mommy and me lilly :)

  3. Instant coffee in brownies, eh? That actually does sound delicious.

    Too funny that your baby K is already into Motown - starting her young on good music, I see!