My apartment can go from immaculate to disgusting in about 2.5 days. Having my Corgi, Topper in the house makes it all possible. Clumps of dog hair the size of tumbleweeds are rolling around as if it was the high desert. Newspapers are toppling over the basket where I usually have them neatly stacked. Dishes are piled in the kitchen and I am too stinking tired to do them. I am pooped. Working numerous jobs will do that to you. That’s why I had to turn to brownie mix tonight.
Yes, you read that correctly. And even though gourmets everywhere gag when they hear this, I like brownie mix. It’s so much easier than melting chocolate and mixing all the ingredients together for homemade brownies. And, if you add enough chocolate chips and smother the brownies in chocolate ganache, you can fool yourself into thinking you paid five bucks a for one at some high priced pastry shop. But, in reality, the whole batch cost about ten bucks or less in ingredients! My soul takes comfort in knowing that something cheap and easy is also delicious.
So, here’s my recipe for this week. It’s really hard:
Go buy a box of Betty Crocker Original Recipe Brownie Mix. Some people like the more uppity Ghirardelli brownie mix, but I like Betty Crocker. If that shows my scrappy, western Pennsylvania roots, then so be it. Next, get yourself a bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. (OK, you can buy really expensive chips, if you want, but these work just fine.) Buy a small container of whipping cream and maybe some nuts.
Make the brownies (you’ll need two eggs, 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of water). Then add about 3/4 of a cup of the chocolate chips to the mix. Bake them. While they’re baking take two cups of chocolate chips and put them in a sauce pot on the stove. Add one cup of whipping cream. Stir it until it melts and is nice and smooth. You can use a whisk if it makes you feel more gourmet (it does help smooth it out). Remove that mixture, called chocolate ganache, from the heat and cover it with a lid.
When the brownies are cool enough to cut. Cut them up, pour the chocolate ganache over them, (reheat it to make it pour better) and maybe sprinkle the brownies with nuts, maybe not. Then, stuff one in your mouth and try to tell me that’s not delicious. I know good food, I love good food and I know one thing: When you’re tired and your house is a hairy disaster, nothing makes you happier than a decadent brownie smothered in chocolate goo, even if it comes from a box.