Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Pursuit Of Happiness Includes Brownies

"Remember to make time for the pursuit of happiness, one of your most important human rights!"
-Susan Branch

It's an overcast day, perfect for baking brownies and watching leaves fly past the kitchen window.

I no longer have that overwhelming feeling of impatience about Rafael's arrival. The closer I get to his due date, the more I feel rested and assured that yes, he will come, and no, I won't be pregnant forever. So I'm pursuing happiness today, like Susan Branch suggested, and that involves licking brownie batter from a wooden spoon.

I discovered this recipe over at the beautiful blog Honey & Jam; it promised gooey, chewy, rich brownies that were easy to make and didn't require bar chocolate. The result is delicious and everything Hannah promised.

Gooey Cocoa Brownies
courtesy of hannah from honey and jam

Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. 

Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave for 1:30 minutes (since I don't own a microwave, Hannah suggested I melt the mixture in a bowl over boiling water).
Remove and stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smoothes out once the eggs and flour are added. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. 
Spread evenly in the lined pan. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board.
Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

I've been pretty good about eating healthily and staying active throughout pregnancy; up until now I resisted the many times I've longed to bake batches of cookies or tins of pies. But now, nearing the end, I can feel this need to pamper myself, to take it easy, and to thoroughly enjoy these last days of pregnancy. 

I am including the picture below, taken this morning while waiting for the brownies to cool, to remind myself later of the incredible size my belly expanded to...and the incredible things my body is capable of. I know some day I'll look at this photo in disbelief!

No wonder my back hurts....


  1. Wow! That is one gorgeous, ripe belly dearest Dawn!! Just beautiful, especially to think of your little boy all curled up tightly in there. When he's born, I guarantee that you'll have NO IDEA how he fitted so perfectly!
    The brownies look wonderful, but I'm sure you'll forgive me and understand if I don't enthuse over them TOO much!! I baked 44 trays yesterday, so their appeal fades a little...but they do look yummy & I'm so happy you're treating yourself and relaxing xoxox LOVE Rachel

  2. Brownies on a cool almost autumn day is a nice little indulgence. Hope you days leading up to the birth are filled with peace and happiness which is good for the precious Raphael. Think your belly looks wonderful, not huge, just right with baby tucked all cozy inside. Enjoy the rest of your day. Cold glass of milk and a brownie-YUM!

  3. your new header is awesome

    and I absolutely love that quote and totally am making those brownies now...
    what a miracle of life!!

  4. Hello Dawn!!!
    Yes absolutely treat yourself; you've gone through the periods of time where some foods might make you ill-feeling, where certain smells are horrid and where certain spices make you cringe----now indulge today for a bit; it's cool and rainy here, too, so I KNOW what you're feeling....sip tea, put your feet up and pat that beautiful belly.....what a gorgeous belly!!!!! It's almost time!! xo Joann in CO

  5. Mmmm, lovely treat! I love the Honey & Jam blog too! Is Kiki waiting for a crumb in the photo?

  6. It is amazing what our bodies can do, and you look ready to pop! lol The brownies look good too!

  7. Dawn- you must be so excited...I remember when I was so close and could hardly wait for my little girl to arrive. God Bless!

  8. Oh Dawn..

    What a lovely day...fresh brownies just out of the oven! Yum! Just the perfect size pan! Just enough for a nice treat! You deserve it now!

    You look like you are ready to have him!

    Bless you!
    xoxo Gert

  9. Oh, yes, keep pursuing happiness and it will just overflow and envelope your sweet baby and dear husband!!! Wising you all the joy in the world as the big day is nearing!!! Love and hugs, Sherry xxx

  10. I remember having days when I thought I would die of impatience, and days of serenity. Such a special time of life - I'm glad you're recording your thoughts and days.

  11. The brownies look amazing and your blog is delightful!

  12. I am at that impatient stage still so it is lovely to read that you have passed that and are now restful and waiting and your bump looks so much lower now too.

    I haven't craved sweet things like I thought I would during pregnancy and instead have enjoyed fruit and vegetables more than ever before but I am not immune to a delicious brownie and they look heavenly!

    Hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend.

  13. I know this is crazy...but I keep coming back to see if you've made a blog update and when I don't see anything I wonder if Raphael has arrived. Hope you are well. Thinking of you always! xox

  14. I'm thinking the same thing too, Johanna! Hope all is well!!


  15. Dear Dawn,
    I keep checking on you, too. Just know that we are all thinking of you and sending good thoughts for a safe delivery of your little boy....all the way from Michigan! xoLaura

  16. haha- i keep doing the same as Johanna:). hope you're feeling well!!


  17. Funny, I have been doing the same thing too....we are all counting down the days with you. :)


  18. Hi Dawn I found your blog as a follower through pinterest, it's beautiful. I had my little boy just over 6 months ago (after suffering a loss a year before). I remember those last days well full of excitment and impatience and thoughts of 'this will be the last time I do this and that on my own' hard as it sounds but enjoy the quiet and sleep, sleep as much as you can lol.
    Your in for the most amazing times ahead of you, oh I can't even begin to describe.

    I hope your little man arrives safe and sound and doesn't keep you waiting to long, and that your labour is kind to you.

    Jess x

    P.s am going to make some of those brownies today with some blackberries chucked in the mix.



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