Chewy Chocolate Brownies

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Sometimes I’m asked why I started a baking blog. Holy heckfie…I’ll be honest. I’m almost always the one doing the asking. Why did you start a baking blog? I ask, when I’m on the treadmill, sweating off those extra eight pounds I’ve whisked and folded and kneaded right around my inner thighs. Why did you start a baking blog? I ask, when I’m carefully rearranging a slice of quickbread for it’s eighteenth photograph, in an effort to more fully capture the diffused light tickling it’s way through our dining room window on any given afternoon. WHY did you start a baking blog I wonder when I’m up well past midnight organizing recipes and files and tossing botched batches of cranberry oatmeal cookies.

Crepes and croissants, whyever did I start a baking blog?! I suppose now is as good a time as any to try to explain myself. In doing so, perhaps this will serve as a written reminder when next I try to explain to the grocery store clerk why my shopping basket holds eleven boxes of butter and a twenty-five pound bushel of pure and powdery confectioners sugar.

I started a baking blog because baking connects me to the nostalgic ideal. Standing over a soft mound of bread and kneading it, folding it, forming it, wiping fingers on my floured apron, pushing the well-used tin deep into a warm oven, filling my home with the scent of yeast and yearning appetite. There is something divinely womanly about baking, it is an act both restrained, yet sexy. Both nurturing and fulfilling. An intensely personal, introspective act that grow and rises and forms itself into a plentitude of offerings. Offerings which incite gasps and awe and smiles and sugared lips.

I started a baking blog because my fondest memories are tied to dessert. Thanksgiving dinner, with the family gathered round was always a nice place to be. But, thanksgiving dessert, when steaming bowls of carrot pudding smothered in punch-flavored sauce and dolloped with real cream arrived just in time for the grown-ups to be loose and lively. With proper place settings out of the way and nicely-folded napkins now smeared with stuffed lips, dessert meant paper plates and plastic forks and heads bowed in laughter over jokes new and old.

I bake because it’s science. The perfect balance of butter to flour. Of eggs to milk. Of sugar to salt. I bake because it’s art. Frosting colors and concocted hues. The twist of a pastry pouch, the fold of a pie crust, the sprig of a mint leaf.

I started a baking blog because it connects me to the good old days. Reminds me of being in Grandma’s kitchen, sucking up the smell of homemade rolls. It offers quiet moments amid hectic days, the simple whoosh and whirr of eggs cracked and beaten in a bowl while life stirs ever so quickly around me. It gives me a reason to knock on a neighbors door. A gift to give when words fail. A plate full of tangible progress when I feel I’m failing at everything else.

I started a baking blog because baking is all the things I love about life-beauty, comfort, creation, flavor, color–plopped into a perfect little muffin cup. Then, savored bite by bite.

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Chewy Chocolate Brownies

When you see the ingredient list below, I know exactly what you’ll do. You’ll gasp. “EIGHT EGGS?!” you’ll say. You’ll think I’ve made the typo of my baking career, you’ll email me immediately and warn me that I’ve really done it now. And you’ll be right. I have really done it now. These brownies use just over a half-dozen eggs to create a gorgeous, chewy texture. See how little flour goes in the mix? Just enough to hold it all together and create a batch of chocolatey, chewy, entirely perfect brownies. These brownies are truly perfect treats when eaten fresh from the oven. They also lend firm-yet-chewy texture beautifully to being cubed and coated with granulated or powdered sugar to create bakery-style “brownie bites.” And, don’t forget the ice cream. A scoop of vanilla bean Dreyer’s atop this recipe is, perhaps, the finest way to end your day. {And an even better way to begin it.}
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8 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
1 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and butter until very creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into a 13×9 inch pan and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 27-30 minutes.

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If you’ve noticed a few gorgeous changes around Cheeky Kitchen these last few days, then you’ve only just seen the beginning of things to come. First off, I can’t even begin to thank Dawn Viola enough for her talented design work. Everything you see here on Cheeky Kitchen, from the eye-catching illustrations to the organized sidebar is the work of Dawn’s hand. Would you believe she’s also an incredible blogger, baker and pie-maker? She posts inspiring recipes and food tips regularly over at Wicked Good Dinner. Be sure to check it out. This summer, she’s also venturing to America’s Test Kitchen for a three-month internship. Having the opportunity to meet and work with talented artists and chefs like Dawn is one of the things I love most about the blogging world.
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Along with Cheeky Kitchen’s new look, you can also expect a simpler navigation menu (to be updated this week) as well as some new features. The Sugar-Free Summer, Party Of The Month, and a return of Abby’s Bake Sale will all be making regular appearances on this site. You’ll also see a big shift from my normal naughty indulgences to healthy, whole-food based treats that nurture the body just as much as the smiling soul. You can even expect to see more gluten-free recipes here.
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What else do you want from Cheeky Kitchen? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment, email me, or post your opinions in the sidebar poll. I can’t wait to hear from you. After all, the main reason I started this baking blog is because of YOU! How I adore my readers, new and old!
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Now, go! Don those aprons, pluck up those ponytails, and bake to your hearts’ content.
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26 Responses to “Chewy Chocolate Brownies”

  1. 1

    Jas. on April 12, 2010 at 5:27 am Reply

    oh how I love your blog – it makes me smile every time I visit. I wouldn't change it, but I voted anyways – more gluten free but that's only because I am!

    :)

    the gluten free scallywag

  2. 2

    Dee on April 12, 2010 at 9:13 am Reply

    The 8 eggs just means more protein! Yummm, can't wait to try them.

  3. 3

    Cumorah on April 12, 2010 at 9:33 am Reply

    "A plate full of tangible progress when I feel I'm failing at everything else"… Finally! An eloquent way to express why I create when everything around me seems to be falling apart! You truly are amazing – and those brownies look AMAZING! My sweet husband seems to think that boxed brownies can't be beat. I've tried and failed a few times – but armed with this recipe, I'm sure I'll be victorious! Happy day to you!

  4. 4

    Julie on April 12, 2010 at 9:43 am Reply

    Brooke I love your blog!! My husband even reads it with me sometimes. Thank you for all the awesome recipes and time you put into your blog!
    Julie
    Fountain, Colorado

  5. 5

    mosey on April 12, 2010 at 10:04 am Reply

    Always love popping by to see what you're up to and how your site is evolving (it looks beautiful). Great poll, and can't wait to see the variety you'll be introducing – GF and simple healthy organic, etc. etc. – right up my alley!

    have a lovely day.

  6. 6

    memoryminded on April 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm Reply

    I'm so glad you started a baking blog! Thanks for not only sticking with it, but adding more! While I'm thrilled with this brownie recipe, I have to admit I'm looking forward to the "healthy recipes" that you will post in the future. My clothes will be very appreciative, too!

  7. 7

    Samya on April 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm Reply

    I love your blog and cannot wait to try this brownie recipe! I have a recipe that I use a lot, but yummmy, I wanna try this chewy treat now!!

  8. 8

    Kolette on April 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm Reply

    Finally! A recipe that we can use at our Thursday night parties! I have been searching for one and this will definitely be used THIS YEAR! The few people invited will love them!

    XOXO

    Kolette

  9. 9

    Chablis on April 12, 2010 at 6:08 pm Reply

    A – to the M.E.N.!! It's like you opened up my heart and wrote an essay. My mom never baked. Ever. So when I discovered the joy, fulfillment and the jiggle of it all it was all just so amazing.
    I love what you're doing for Abby. I may just have to come up with a bake sale for her. ;)

  10. 10

    Debby Kaye on April 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm Reply

    I already absolutely adore you & your blog, I don't care what you blog about as long as you're blogging! :) I can always count on a smile(and many times a moist eye-both happy & touching) when I see your new post in the reader! I love your baking and have used your recipes often(hope to have them in a book someday!). I also can't get enough of your healthy recipes and would love to see more. You are charming and I love your contest entering and videos! Love how big your heart is for Abby and how you inspire me to do more. I could go on & on & on…to sum it up – you are a rockstar. :)

  11. 11

    Memória on April 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm Reply

    Like the others, I love your blog, too. It is lovely and quirky! It has a different style than other blogs. Your photos are lovely as well.

    I do understand your love of baking, but I don't understand why you consider baking "womanly" since not only women bake, and baking is not a gender-dependent activity.

  12. 12

    Mary Kathryn on April 12, 2010 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Perfect!! I just started my own food blog myself and you worded the reasons just perfectly. And you totally just saved me from a search for a homemade brownie recipe.

    When I shared with a friend about my food/mommy blog idea she said, "Oh, like conversations with a cupcake?" I have to admit I had no clue so she explained… I laughed and said I don't create my own recipes I just do what others have already tested.

    A homemade brownie recipe was top of my list… I can't wait to try it.

    Thanks again for your words and this recipe. I am also a big fan of Your Homebased Mom and was kind of shocked of the connection with your previous post. What a fun world blogging is. :)

  13. 13

    Jamica on April 12, 2010 at 10:32 pm Reply

    Another reader commented on this line: "A plate full of tangible progress when I feel I'm failing at everything else." i love that! It is beautiful! A "Brookeism" I shall quote often. Quite frankly, I know you too well to believe that you've ever failed at anything (painted buckets included! :)) EVERYTHING you touch turns to beauty! You are so eloquent. You made ME want to start a baking blog! (But then I remembered that i don't know how to blog. And I don't do well writing. And, oh yeah, I don't really know how to bake either.) So I'll just keep living vicariously through you. Thanks for being so talented! I sure do love you!

  14. 14

    Camille on April 12, 2010 at 10:35 pm Reply

    OK – we made these tonight! So easy and sooo good! I've never had brownies turn out as perfect as these! Thank you! And because I think you're fabulous, I had to blog about you.

    http://www.makeitworkmom.com/?p=2738

    Hope that's ok :)

  15. 15

    Connie on April 13, 2010 at 6:50 am Reply

    Because Camille blogged about you, I had to come check y'all out!
    Made me smile and drool at the same time. Kind of like the guy on Goonies!

  16. 16

    SweetThingsTO on April 13, 2010 at 8:15 am Reply

    You had me at "cold milk" :-)

    Love your photos and blog postings!

  17. 17

    KPackard on April 13, 2010 at 10:54 am Reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!! Every reason to have a baking blog made me melt more and more. And now I'm off to my kitchen to get baking!

  18. 18

    Tongue-N-Cheeky on April 13, 2010 at 11:20 pm Reply

    Thanks, my fellow bakestresses and bloggers, for your sweet comments. It's always a relief to know that I'm not the only person in the world that finds comfort in my kitchen.

    So nice to think of us all stirring away in our kitchens, somehow connected to our grandmothers, mothers, and each other, isn't it?

    Love you so!

  19. 19

    screwdestiny on April 14, 2010 at 3:22 am Reply

    All the new stuff sounds great! Looking forward to it.

    I love baking, too, because it's not only fun but makes me feel oh-so-womanly.

  20. 20

    s. everett on April 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm Reply

    Something in your post touched the core of me today. I've felt so lost in life, but baking is always that one thing I can go back to and feel calm/comforted/at peace. Thank you for your sincerity and the smiles you bring into my life with each recipe you share.

    "I bake because it's science. The perfect balance of butter to flour. Of eggs to milk. Of sugar to salt. I bake because it's art."

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

  21. 21

    Gayle on April 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm Reply

    I bake just because I like to! Because God knows I dont eat it i dont have a sweet tooth- but I do enjoy watching someone else bite into a sweet treat that i concocted brownies are what I love to make. So I have to try this recipe… eight eggs though seems like a bit much. Going to try this now :)

    Love your blog by the way it is so pretty

  22. 22

    Kirsten on April 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm Reply

    Can I get an AMEN?! Today's post made me so happy…it even gave me goose bumps. La la love it!

    http://www.sliceoffeist.com

  23. 23

    Christina Y on April 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm Reply

    Oh, I so wanted to love these! I adore your photography, your narratives, and so many of your other recipes. And these were yummy, don't get me wrong – they were chocolate-y and delicious. But they were like mini-cakes. From the description, I was picturing chewy as in crispy exterior, fudgy interior. You all should definitely make these, if you haven't already, but I'd describe them as "cakey" if you post them again.

    Any tips for the fudgy, crispy-topped ones? Like box brownies, but no box, chemical-taste, or yucky ingredients – that's what I'm yearning for!

  24. 24

    Lisa Andrews on April 25, 2010 at 8:58 pm Reply

    These were fantastic! My husband said these were the best brownies I've even made. Thanks for the recipe!

  25. 25

    Wahzat Gayle on May 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm Reply

    So I wanted to try the 8 eggs, but hesitated and went with 5 instead and they came out all cakey which I don't like :( i like gooey, chewy
    I am sure yours came out delish but it just didn't work for me!

  26. 26

    Elizabeth on August 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm Reply

    This recipe wasn’t specific enough. It didn’t say how long to beat the mix or if you have to melt the butter. And it was too much butter. When I put the mix in the oven, the butter melted, rose to the top, and started bubbling. If she had specified to melt the butter, you wouldn’t have to beat it for so long causing the brownies to be dense and spongy. Not chewy at all.

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