Brownie, Oh! Brownie

From the bonds of friendship to the crushing feeling of a broken heart, chocolate has always been a part of the celebration or healing.  There is a certain amount of comfort and warmth that comes from that familiar chocolate smell when it hits your senses.  From ice cream to cake, the chocolate flavor is home.  Our home was filled with the aroma of brownies.  Not just any brownie - the perfect brownie; otherwise known in our family as Fudgey Pie!

Let me give you a quick back story of how Fudgey Pie came to be. What seems like a lifetime ago my mother, Teri, was on a business trip in New York City.  In a spur of the moment decision, my brother and I were on a plane to spend the weekend with her in the Big Apple.  Among all of the hundreds of things we crammed into those three days, one of my favorites was lunch at a rather iconic restaurant. Being the cook that she is, she picked up a small cookbook.  What she found inside changed the way we knew brownies forever.  After modifying the recipe by giving it the "Hartlage twist" Fudgey Pie quickly became a favorite among our family and close friends.  

What makes this brownie better than your average box brownie mix?  The combination of milk chocolate, cocoa, and butter make for a luscious fudge texture.  The chocolate and butter is melted together using a double boiler, which heats the two ingredients with steam rather than direct heat.   Once the chocolate and the butter are melted, let the mixture rest until thoroughly cooled.  If you mix it with the eggs while too hot, you will get something resembling scrambled eggs. Once the chocolate is thoroughly mixed, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet.  Now that your batter is complete and in the oven, watch it closely.  It will overbake easily.  Use a toothpick to test the center of your brownie.  When the toothpick is slightly damp from the ingredients, it is ready to be removed from the oven.  Your brownies will be rich and fudgey, just like Fudgey Pie.  Remember, adding more eggs will produce a cake like brownie.  If you prefer that type, alter your recipe accordingly.

As the smell of chocolate fills the air, go grab a glass of milk and enjoy a piece, or three, of your own version of Fudgey Pie!!

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Kristen Hartlage