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New life

When I started working at my job early last year, I immediately hit it off with my coworkers. Hilarious and kind, they make working in my cubicle way more entertaining. It’s funny how your office mates become like family, don’t you think? You work with them on all kinds of projects, see them 40 hours a week,  and even travel with them. No wonder they seem like family; I see them more than my actual family! I feel so lucky to be close with the people in my unit because I know what it’s like to work in a very awkward and unfriendly environment. But when you work in a place like that, you learn to appreciate those lovable coworkers once you get them.

That being said, when my brother-from-another-mother Adam told me he was expecting a baby last August, I was so happy for him. I always joke with him that he is the brother I never wanted because we laugh, we bicker, and we torment each other like real siblings. Hearing about his impending arrival, I felt that in a way, this kid was somewhat related to me. I get to be the cool Auntie Amanda that spoils it with treats and takes it to see rated R movies. How awesome is that?

Watching a man prepare for the birth of his first child is one of the most interesting things to watch. The worry is etched all over his face and shows in the gray beard hairs. He suddenly knows all about the female anatomy and gets weekly newsletters about the benefits of breast feeding. More importantly, I’ve seen Adam grow in to this mature adult, a man who is on the brink of starting a family. It’s been an honor to see him really stand up to this challenge and I am so proud of him. The mothers get so much attention (and rightfully so) but I think the men deserve some credit too.

The baby’s due date came and went and suddenly we were all on baby-watch. He set up a text messaging hotline so everyone would know what was happening when it happened. After 9 hours of labor, the little girl was born and I can’t believe she is finally here. Dillon Violet. 10 fingers, 10 toes, two eyes, and one sweet smile. You can bet she is gonna have her daddy wrapped around her finger.

To prepare them for the tough adjustment lying ahead of them (new babes aren’t easy), I baked some rich and decadent brownies. I was going to stick to my favorite recipe but I wanted to give Karen Demasco’s book, The Craft of Baking, a test drive. While they aren’t as amazing as my beloved Alice Medrich recipe, they are a close second. Instead of using a 8 x 8 square pan, I used a 9 x 13 pan and ended up with thinner brownies. If you prefer thicker brownies, go with the 8 x 8. Don’t forget to put parchment paper on the bottom though; these brownies will stick to the pan without the paper.

How good were these brownies? They were so good, I even had one for breakfast… Or maybe two… At any rate, they are worth a try. If you can resist temptation, let them sit overnight. Trust me, these brownies get better after they have rested overnight. Fudgey and thin, they are the best way to celebrate new life. Plus, these new parents need all the sustenance they can get!

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies
Origin: Craft of Baking by Karen Demasco
Yield: 25 squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
● 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
● 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
● 3 large eggs, room temperature
● 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
● 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
● 1 cup all-purpose flour
● 1 tsp kosher salt
● 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment.

Bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Put the butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over the simmering water. Stir the mixture frequently with rubber spatula until it is completely melted and combined. Remove the pan from the heat but keep the bowl over the water to keep the mixture warm.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Pour the warm chocolate mixture over the egg mixture and whisk together. With a rubber spatula, quickly fold in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and immediately pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly.

Bake for 10 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake until the brownies are shiny and cracked on top, 10 minutes more. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely. Then cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.

Keep the brownies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.

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April 15, 2010 - 7:04 am

Jenious - Your enthusiasm and observations are endearing. Love the brownies too. :)

April 15, 2010 - 7:12 am

Maria - Brownies are always one of my favorite treats. These look wonderful!

April 15, 2010 - 8:11 am

Tracy - these look delicious!
thanks for sharing

http://www.tracyzhangphoto.wordpress.com/

April 15, 2010 - 9:13 am

VeggieGirl - So wonderful about your work friend! And hooray for brownies :)

April 15, 2010 - 9:22 am

blairpet - So brownies make the world go ’round and I just made a grainless batch using black beans instead of flour. Sounds weird but seriously, they were amazing!!! Very fudgy.

April 15, 2010 - 9:24 am

Fusun - Well, I have stumbled across a real treat. What a beautiful blog page you have. I am going to enjoy checking in and trying out your recipes, not to mention reading your posts.

Congratulations to your ‘bro from another mother’. What a wonderful auntie you will make, with child in tow you will teach about the glorious adventures that await in the kitchen. With a chocolate coated mouth, having just finished licking the bowl, Dillon is going to tell mummy and daddy that she just has to stay another night. :) I know my five year old just love the kitchen.

I am a novice in the blogging department, having just started one, literally eight days ago, and am so interested in gaining opinions from experienced blogger like youself. If you find time, amongst work, baking, newly appointed auntie and this blog, I would love it if you took a look.

http://feastingwithfriends.wordpress.com

Thanks again.
Fusun :)

April 15, 2010 - 9:37 am

cookinstyle - The photographs just increase the appetite right from the screen! :)

Cheers!

April 15, 2010 - 9:59 am

Mary - Those brownies look delicious! I think I may have to make these :)

http://delightfulbitefuls.blogspot.com/

April 15, 2010 - 10:06 am

harshit151989 - Looking forward to try your delicious brownie recipe this weekend, and what you said about the coworkers is so true.

April 15, 2010 - 10:57 am

Dolce - Congratulations for your co-friend-worker :) And high fives for the brownies too!!

April 15, 2010 - 11:08 am

findufountain - Wow, those brownies look gorgeous. I’ve been at my new job for a month and I’m having such a blast. Might have to share this recipe with them!

Congrats to the new parents x

April 15, 2010 - 12:12 pm

dinu - yummy !

April 15, 2010 - 12:21 pm
April 15, 2010 - 1:04 pm

Jake - Nice recipe, I’ll try it out. Hopefully it takes just as good as urs.

April 15, 2010 - 1:14 pm

Amanda - Welcome to blogging! I know you will have a lovely time :)

April 15, 2010 - 1:52 pm

Già abbastanza - These look delicious!

April 15, 2010 - 2:24 pm

Ann - Only 10 mins in oven? Really?

April 15, 2010 - 2:25 pm

Amanda - you bake it for 10 minutes then rotate the pan and bake for another 10 minutes. it says in the instructions.

April 15, 2010 - 3:14 pm

Suwandi - lovely brownie! great photo that you took there!

April 15, 2010 - 3:54 pm

livvvvvvvvvvvv - deeeeeeelicious!

April 15, 2010 - 3:56 pm

Frazer - Your commentaries on life a put across brilliantly! :) And if the food is as good as the pictures of them, I’m going to get rather fat. No question of a doubt ^.^

April 15, 2010 - 4:14 pm

Richard Kleeberg - One day I think I will bake and sample the top 100 recipies for Brownies. Or maybe the top 500! Brownies make the world go ’round.

Yours sound delightful. They will be on my list!

Richard

http://justthepoint.wordpress.com

April 15, 2010 - 4:58 pm

Maddie - I bet if you added powdered caffeine to these brownies, they’d be even better new-parent treats! :) But all kidding/stimulants aside, these look delicious, and are such a thoughtful gift for your tired and overwhelmed friend.

April 15, 2010 - 6:45 pm

katie o. - such a sweet post. my cubemates are my family too…it’s funny how close we get from work relationships.

and the brownies…look to die for. and your photos are fantastic. nice job!

April 15, 2010 - 9:44 pm

libbyosity - I love how you write!

Today is my last day of my 4 month long internship. I’ve gotten so close with each and everyone that I work with, I’m getting really sad just thinking about it. I should have brought them brownies!

April 15, 2010 - 9:47 pm

Xpat - Interesting post and I must try that recipe

April 15, 2010 - 11:55 pm

shinta - brownies always make your day perfect :)

April 16, 2010 - 12:41 am

Kris - Your photos look like straight from a culinary magazine! And I will be trying that brownie recipe for sure!!

April 16, 2010 - 1:30 am

Flora - I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole workmates-as-family dynamic recently. Makes me feel all warm inside, just like a sweet brownie. Thanks x

April 16, 2010 - 2:06 am

hanneymonster - I wish you worked where I work.

April 16, 2010 - 5:36 pm

steph (whisk/spoon) - he is lucky to have a “sister” like you. and when dillon has some teeth you can bake these for her!

April 17, 2010 - 7:02 am

Janine Cofield - I just want say I love your blog and the images are wonderful. I can’t wait to bake some of these goodies. Thanks for sharing!

April 28, 2010 - 1:08 pm

jhsketch - Yummeeee brownies!!
And great photographs!

May 7, 2010 - 9:04 am

Promotional Gifts - I love brownies and these look delish!!

May 20, 2010 - 7:31 pm

olgalopez - wow a great brownie recipe.

I love Brownies.

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