When I began the Bewitching Kitchen I hoped it would reflect our day to day cooking,  from meat to fish, from pastas to grains, with frequent bread baking and infrequent sweets popping up on its pages.    I also hoped that the move to Los Angeles and the nano-kitchen wouldn’t dramatically change anything, but I recently realized that something’s been bothering me:  I haven’t made any “sweets”  in over a month!!!

To return a sense of normalcy to the nano-kitchen, this week I baked a batch of butterscotch brownies and surprised our new labmates with it.   I followed a recipe I’ve been remembering ever since I saw it in one of my favorite blogs, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

(from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, originally from  Molly O’Neill’s New York Cookbook)
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75g   all purpose flour (1/2 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
65 g  unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
215 g   brown sugar (1 cup, well packed)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2  cup chopped walnuts (OR omit the walnuts, and double the choc chips amount)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat  the oven to 350F  (175 C), and line a   8″ square pan (20 cm)  with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave, and add the brown sugar, stirring well until dissolved and smooth.  Remove from the heat, and allow it to cool for 5 minutes (do not skip this step or you might end with scrambled eggs later).

Add the egg  and vanilla extract, mix until incorporated.  Add the flour and  baking powder mix,  stir vigorously to combine.   Gently mix in the walnuts and chocolate.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and  bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top feels firm to the touch.   You can insert a toothpick to test if it’s fully baked, but try not to over bake it.

Remove from the oven, let it cool in the pan for half an hour, transfer  to a cooling rack.  When cool, cut in small squares with a very sharp knife.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: According to Celia you can omit the walnuts, and double the amount of chocolate instead.  They’ll be a bit more gooey that way.  I advise you to use the best tasting chocolate you can find and afford, because it’s the prominent flavor in this sweet.   Celia warned that they would be “flat and ugly, cracking all over as you slice them.”   Well, what they may lack in looks they deliver in flavor: my new colleagues inhaled them, leaving only a few crumbs at the end of the (successful!) meeting.   😉

Note to self:  This recipe makes a very small batch, if  serving at a party, make a double batch because they will disappear quickly.

ONE YEAR AGO: Autumn Vegetable Soup

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