Chocolate contains part of our daily requirements for iron. If that isn’t a great reason for eating chocolate, I don’t know what is. Plus, darker chocolate has a higher iron content. This explains my meditative moment in the baking aisles as I contemplated the brownie mixes: Milk chocolate brownies, brownies with colorful chips, brownies swirled with marshmallow, brownies with chocolate chips, with nuts, without nuts, rich dark chocolate brownies or gourmet brownies.s
I decided on dark chocolate with a few nuts added from my stash at home. I grabbed a couple boxes because I needed to make a dessert for church, which is always my excuse for making brownies.
At home I pulled out the mixing bowl, the eggs and oil. I stacked up baking pans: a small cake pan to hold enough brownies for us, a disposable pie tin to fill and share and a rack of eight individual loaf pans to give or freeze to eat later. Typically I use the rack to make small loaves of bread to share. That day for the first time I tried it with brownies.
I opened the brownies. I measured out a double dose of eggs. I added a double dose of oil and water and stirred thoroughly as the instructions dictated. I sprayed the pans with oil and carefully poured the brownie soup into the pan. Because so many cannot or do not eat nuts, I only added hazelnuts to our pan of brownies before I slid them all into the oven.
It took me less than 10 minutes to whip up a double batch of brownies. Feeling super efficient, I began clearing off the counters. I washed the bowl, the spatula and wire whisk. I tossed the box filled with egg shells and plastic into the trash and began wiping down the counters with the bar rag until the sight of an intact, unopened box of brownie mix stopped me.
I checked the box twice. Yep, I forgot to double the dose of brownie mix.
Wait. How long had they been in the oven?!
A couple minutes, maybe?rb The pans were barely heated. Grabbing a hot pad, I pulled out the pie tin, the loaf pan and the rack of pans. I emptied the pie tin into the mixing bowl with the dry mix. Holding the pan with nuts, I scooped handfuls of nuts and put them in the pie tin.
To empty the rack of little loaf pans. I tipped and poured chocolate goo. It drooled from the top and the second rows as the bottom two rows poured smoothly. Brownie mix globbed into and outside the bowl and down the counter front to the floor.
I needed a new strategy. I carefully scooped brownie soup from each little trough. Most of it fell into the mixing bowl. I drizzled a couple brownies down the cabinet doors before I finished and stirred the second box of mix into the brownie soup creating a stiff brownie sludge.
I resprayed the pans, filled and slid the baking pans back into the oven and began cleaning up my second, much larger mess. So much for efficiency. While the brownies baked, I cleaned the chocolate-drizzled cabinets.
The brownies emerged from the oven half an hour later with enough nut-filled brownies to satisfy our love of a crunchy, gooey brownie. I carefully eased the little brownie loaves out of their pans onto the wire rack to cool. Before the hour finished, I had a stack of dark brownies with enough iron to allow any health conscious foodie to eat them and enough to share to justify having made them in the first place.