As you’re reading this, I’m either driving up to New Hampshire or already there, spending four days in the mountains and 100% off the grid to celebrate finishing my second year of law school. So when deciding what to bake this week, I wanted some kind of treat we could bring with us, but still felt hearty enough to eat on the trail. That’s how I landed on spiced oatmeal cookies.
I am solidly back into procrastination cooking mode. As tends to happen when my work picks up, I convince myself to make increasingly elaborate recipes in an effort to justify not doing that work. This week, I did this both with my baking AND my regular cooking.
Baking ingredients all have their own personality. Some of them are over-sensitive, hardening and becoming unusable at slightest hint of oxygen (I’m looking at you, brown sugar). Some of them have a way of hiding in your cabinet and only appearing after you’ve bought a replacement (that would be molasses, as discussed here, and, oddly, Karo syrup). And others fall into the general category of “You Will Only Ever Have To Buy This Once Because It Is A Magical Never Ending Container” (obviously, this is baking powder and baking soda).
When I told some friends, also first year teachers, that I would bake for them if they came over to my apartment to lesson plan, their request was obvious: chocolate. So naturally I immediately thought of brownies. Now, I personally am a huge fan of boxed brownie mix. I think Ghirardelli does a perfectly good job, and, honestly, duncan hines are delicious too. But a blog post about how to add water to chocolate powder wouldn’t be all that exciting, and there was the additional request of chunks, which boxed mix doesn’t do all that well.