Fat Witch Brownies

So, did you have a good Thanksgiving? Did you survive? Did your stomach survive? By the end of the weekend I felt slightly pregnant, but in all honesty this may have been the best Thanksgiving I’ve had in awhile. I think that’s because I had no expectations. No, that’s a lie. I expected to miss celebrating with a big family as well as my own. This year I just spent time with my family. We don’t have a huge Thanksgiving; just my mom, dad, brother, and my grandfather, and this year Ian’s girlfriend. Ian and I pulled up to my parents’ house around 1pm to start cooking…and drinking. After all, what’s Thanksgiving without some wine?

Look at my brother! He’s a cook!

A quick rundown of the really really delicious food we made.

So, now starts December. I’m very excited because this year my friends and I have decided on a no presents rule. Instead I’ve ordered two packs of really cute (and some baking-related) holiday cards. Also begins a time when I feel absolutely guilt-free about baking non-stop. Who cares about calories during the month of December? OK, actually, I’m buying a cold-weather running shirt to combat all the baking. As in, I will be running aplenty. Out-of-doors.

So, the first delicious-you-must-make holiday recipe is: brownies! Fat Witch Brownies to be exact. This recipe has been floating around the food blogosphere internet for quite awhile. I’ve just been slow to jump on the bandwagon. Fat Witch Brownies come from a bakery in New York called, yes, Fat Witch Bakery. They seem to specialize in awesome brownies. Sweet. They have a cookbook, in which the recipe for their original brownie can be found.

It’s a very different brownie from the other brownie recipe I have on here. Still gooey, but much more mellow. It’s still very obviously chocolatey, just not insanely intense, probably because it has only 1/2 cup of chocolate in it. And it’s kind of buttery. I have no other word to describe it. These are every day brownies, the kind you can snack on without feeling like you might explode. They’d probably travel really well in holiday care packages too.

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Papa’s brownies

About a month or two ago my grandfather spent some time in the hospital. First of all, Papa is 94 years old, but a kickin’ 94. He drives, goes out to dinner often (twice a week to a restaurant in town called Taste where he always sits in favorite waitress Anna’s section), remembers waaay back to his childhood, and still tells the longest and most incredible stories (some of which we’ve heard 20 times). He’s also had heart and blood pressure issues off and on, so seeing him in the hospital isn’t a terribly strange thing. And he always bounces back.

Papa and me lighting candles for his 94th birthday

This time he was in for lump reasons, which turned into tumor reasons. So, for a while when he first got home, understandably, he was bummed out. A lot. He’s bounced back, yet again, and is doing well now. My first reaction when Mom told me he could use some cheering up was “let’s bake him something!” Obviously, right? I’d recently made these incredible brownies, Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia, from Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook Baking: From My Home to Yours, and they were out of this world.

In fact, they tasted almost identical to the brownies Papa’s cook Mattie always made. Those were the brownies of my childhood. Gooey, chocolatey, and dusted with powdered sugar. They’re probably Papa’s favorite brownies. He loves Mattie’s cooking. LOVES it. So, I made him a batch. And he fell for them. So hard in fact that the next week he was asking me when I was going to bring more over to his house.

So here’s the recipe, slightly tweaked, and renamed Papa’s Brownies.

Papa's birthday cake: Mattie's chocolate cake, as made by me

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