Austria, Bake on Saturday, Dessert

50th Post + Oh-So-Easy Brownies

This is my 50th blog post!  A few weeks ago I tried to calculate when I would reach this milestone, and then promptly forgot.  I wanted to do something extra special, but didn’t quite get to it…never fear!  These brownies, while truly so-freakin’-easy, are also delicious.  

Come the holiday season, there are days where you just feel so rushed.  Every now and then work, errands, chores, and social gatherings just seem to all need to happen on the same day.  But because it is the holiday season, you feel like you can’t go to the store and buy cookies to bring to the next social event, you need to bake them.  And that’s where these Oh-So-Easy Brownies come in.  I kid you not, I went to the store to pick up ingredients and had them out of the oven and cooling in an hour.

brownies02
Remember the part about being busy? Don’t mind the photographs!

And for one hour and minimal equipment (if you’re clever, I bet you could figure out a way to make these one bowl brownies instead of two), these are wonderful.  Oh, also, this recipe makes two awkward European panfuls of chocolatey goodness, aka will make two 8×8 or two 9×9 American pans.  If I’m doing my math correctly, that means this recipe yields more brownies than making one 9×13 pan.  More chocolate!  More holiday baking love!

brownies01

Speaking of holiday love, I think I’ve talked a little about Austrian Christmas some in previous posts but I want to briefly talk about a wonderful old tradition called the Krampuslauf.  Yes, the holidays are about love of various kinds (love actually is all around).  Here in the Alpine region, they are also about scary monsters that run around whipping people, theoretically those who have been naughty.  It makes getting coal from Santa seem rather tame, doesn’t it?

I don’t mean that’s some mythological story they tell here in Austria, it actually happens.  The Schiachperchten are ugly creatures from Alpine mythology.  In particular one called Krampus is sort of the bad to St. Nick’s good.  He does the punishing of all the naughty children around Christmastime.  Every December, groups of people dress up like Schiachperchten and parade around towns or visit shopping centers (a Krampuslauf or Perchtenlauf).  They actually whip people, shove people, steal hats, and generally get in people’s faces.  Some of them actually cause pain when they whip (I speak from experience), but despite all that it’s really all in good fun.  I promise.

Sankt Florianer Krampuslauf
At the Krampuslauf in Sankt Florian bei Linz

But back to these brownies.  Did I mention easy?  Quick?  Chocolate?  Oh, and that you should drizzle them with caramel sauce before serving?  You might get a round of applause for doing that (again, speaking from experience).

Oh-So-Easy Brownies

Adapted from Kitchen Treaty

Ingredients

  • 6 oz dark chocolate (50%-60% percent), chopped
  • 1 cup + 2 T butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs + 1 egg white (using 5 eggs would probably be fine, but just give you cakier browneis)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line two 8×8 or 9×9 pans with aluminum foil (leave some hanging over the edge) and grease the pans.

On the stove over low heat or in large microwaveable bowl, melt chocolate and butter.  Check often and stir occasionally.  You can actually remove from heat/the microwave when there are still a few lumps left as they will disappear as you stir.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl (you can do this while the chocolate and butter are melting).  Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture, and stir until smooth.  Add chocolate chips and stir until just incorporated.

Divide evenly between the two pans, and bake for 25-35 minutes, switching the pans halfway through.

Optional:  When cool, drizzle with caramel sauce.

Posted to Mommy on Demand’s Friday Follow Along, Serendipity and Spice’s Manic Monday, and This Gal Cooks’s Marvelous Monday!

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