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A "food" gift to last the whole year through
Greetings, dear readers—
If you’re scrambling to find the perfect gift for a friend, a loved one, a food-lover you want to like you, (or yourself for that matter) we have a delicious solution for you.
Gift a Bittman Project membership before the end of December and get 20% off — just $40 for a year of trusted recipes; how-tos; and our thoughts and research on everything from which politicians are doing the best work on food policy, to the best way to use your sourdough starter, to how to use meat as more of a condiment and less as a meal. A year of Mark, Holly, Kate, Kerri and Mike plus more.
Lots of food publications embrace the pleasurable and entertaining parts of food and ignore everything else; others focus on the serious issues and forego the joy. The Bittman Project tackles it all, with (we like to think), wit, dogged research, good humor, and a fine palate.
It’s super easy to gift The Bittman Project: click the link below, select the annual membership, choose a start date and we’ll do the rest—even delivering a personalized message from you to your giftee’s inbox on the start date you select.
Of course, we recommend delivering the gift membership with something delicious, too. We’re including Mark’s Ridiculously Good Brownies recipe from our Recipe Archive below — with some simple ideas for additions, like banana, or whiskey — as an easy option.
Look out tomorrow for our book recommendations, the second part of our annual gift guide, and next week we’ll be sending members some side dish inspiration from the team to help you get ready for your holiday feasts.
Ridiculously easy, ridiculously good.
Makes: About 1 dozen
Time: 30 to 40 minutes
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus a little more for greasing the pan
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a square baking pan with butter or line it with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil and grease the lining.
2. Combine the stick of butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. (Or microwave them in a large microwave-safe bowl on medium for 10-second intervals, stirring after each.) When the chocolate is just about melted, remove the saucepan from the heat (or bowl from the microwave) and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl (or use the bowl you put in the microwave) and stir in the sugar. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Gently stir in the flour, salt, and the vanilla if you’re using it.
4. Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just barely set in the middle. Cool on a rack until set. If you used parchment, lift it out to remove the brownies. If not, cut them in squares right in the pan. Store, covered, at room temperature, for no more than a day.
Click for printable recipe.
Easy Ways to Zhuzh Up Your Brownies:
Add 1⁄4 cup peanut butter or 1⁄2 to 1 cup chopped toasted nuts to the batter.
Add 1⁄2 to 1 cup chocolate chunks (any kind) to the batter.
Use 1⁄2 teaspoon almond or mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla.
Add 1⁄2 cup mashed banana to the batter.
Add 1⁄4 cup bourbon, Scotch, or other whiskey to the batter; increase the flour by 1 tablespoon.
Add 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder along with the vanilla.
Stir 1⁄2 cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the batter.