Chocolate Revel Bars
Text from me to J around 3 pm on Wednesday:"If you buy eggs on your way home, I'll make brownies."
J got home around 7:00 pm, we made dinner, drank a bit of wine, ate some strawberries--suddenly brownie-baking sounded a lot less appealing than it had earlier in the afternoon. Well, J knows just what to say to get me going--"Really? No brownies? My mom could whip them up in thirty minutes. What's the big deal?" The boy was kidding--and commenting more on his Mom's baking insanity than my domestic skills--but it still spurred me to action. Of course, I required his help, and by 11:45 pm we were dunking warm, fudgy brownies in cold glasses of milk as a bedtime snack.
I used Martha Stewart's brownie recipe in her Baking Handbook--perfectly fudgy and dense, though perhaps a bit too much sugar. Good, but I imagine most people reading this blog already have a favorite brownie recipe of their own.
So...let me share with you a distant cousin of the brownie that J's mom is known for--Chocolate Revel Bars. A few years ago J and I visited his folks for Thanksgiving and the Wednesday before the holiday, J's mom tasked with baking these, ginger snaps and a few other cookies as "treats to have around" for the weekend. They were not for a specific dessert or day, but just for J and his two brothers to snack on. Baking insanity, indeed.
These are the ultimate Midwest church basement bar--straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and ridiculously delicious. They are a favorite of J's, and when I want to surprise him, I dust off my copy of the book (which is actually a great repository of cookie, bar and dessert recipes) and bake them. You can find the recipe here; I usually halve the recipe, and omit the nuts. The only downside to halving the recipe is I never know what to do with a leftover half-can of sweetened condensed milk, but that's probably better than having a full batch (75!!) of these bars around to tempt me.