Proper Brownies

Top with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge, or savor alone with milk…

Really good brownies aren’t hard to make, so skip the Betty Crocker boxes and start from scratch. You want to get a broad pan or wok of water nearly boiling, and into this place a bowl of your chocolate and butter, stirring them as they melt into a gorgeous, silky, chocolate stream, like the one flowing through Willy Wonka’s factory. Nothing this gorgeous can come from a box.

Once melted, allow the chocolate to cool for 10 minutes. You don’t want the heat to cook your eggs. When cool, mix in the sugar, vanilla, and eggs (1 at a time) and beat the mixture well.

Separately, mix your flour and salt. Then add dry ingredients to wet, mixing the whole time. Grease a glass baking pan with butter, pour your batter, and bake at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out dry. Let your brownies cool for ten minutes, if you can…


  • 6 oz chocolate (bitter, milk chocolate, whatever you like)
  • 3/4 stick butter (room temp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Real Deal:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (half white, half brown)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Leave your egg and butter out overnight to warm. Mix the sugar and butter until creamy, add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Separately, combine:

  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Then mix the dry into the wet ingredients, and stir in:

  • 6-7 ounces chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or other premium chocolate preferred, semi-sweet or milk)

Grease a sheet and bake these bad boys at 375°F for 10-12 minutes. Cool them on a rack, then grab some milk…

(Store airtight. After a few days, use a microwave for 20 seconds to get that fresh-baked gooeyness again.)

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti
Almond Biscotti - perfect with a cup of coffee

These are so good and a cinch to make. I took this recipe from the web and made some changes, as well as some divisions so as to get servings for two.

  • 2 and 1/3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla and mix well.

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash salt

Mix these dry ingredients together separately, then combine well with the wet mixture and you have your dough.

Add in a bunch of chopped almonds – start with 2 tablespoons but add to your taste.

Grease a sheet of tinfoil and lay it on a baking sheet. Place the dough in a patty-cake on the sheet. If you wanna get fancy here you can brush the cake with milk and sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar across the top.

Bake at 375° F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 300° F. Let the cake cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then put it on a cutting board and slice into inch-thick pieces.

Put these pieces back on the baking sheet (no tinfoil this time, and no grease) and bake again for 10 minutes, flip them over and bake 10 minutes more. Let cool before you begin dunking in coffee. If there are any left (doubtful) – store them airtight.

Perfect Apple Pie

At Thanksgiving this year, my apple pie was the star of the dessert tray. The whole thing was sliced up and served out in about eight minutes flat. Poor X wasn’t fast enough to get a piece.

I’ve been perfecting the recipe for a couple of years, and now it’s just right. Try it out yourself, after you’ve cleared about four hours from your schedule. Hey, perfection takes time. Continue reading Perfect Apple Pie