Remember how I was telling you about all the books I’ve been reading? I was right in the middle of the beginning of this one (well it makes sense to me) and couldn’t stop turning back to this recipe. Midnight Cry Brownies. How can you resist a title like that? So the protagonist had a little difficulty as a result of trying this recipe, that didn’t mean I was going to have any difficulty as a result of trying this recipe. I just fell in love with the name of the recipe. Midnight Cry Brownies. I read on, I did, but I kept thinking about the way the author described the smell of the brownies ~ how smells of the different ingredients mingled together ~ and I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how it would add to the story if I was reading with a luscious homebaked Midnight Cry Brownie and a cold glass of milk. (I would totally be careful not to spill or get chocolate on the pages. I’m talking library book after all.) I resisted. I did. For a chapter and a half I resisted. But apparently that poltergeist was too strong for me; I had to mark my spot,
put the book down open the book up to the recipe and try it!
Midnight Cry Brownies
1 stick butter
½ cup cocoa
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter & stir in cocoa & espresso powder thoroughly. Let cool slightly.
In a larger bowl, beat eggs until pale yellow, then add sugar & continue to beat.
Add butter mixture to bowl. Stir in vanilla & flour until just combined.
Pour into 8×8” glass pan lined with lightly oiled foil. Sprinkle salt on top.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.
Maybe because Ginny (the book’s main character who tells the story) was so careful with the recipe, I felt I needed to be careful too, so I actually followed this one exactly. Well, almost. (You’re surprised? Really?) I didn’t have any espresso powder in the house, and even if I had I would never have used it. I wanted to eat (at least) one of these brownies and ever since I was pregnant with my oldest I haven’t been able to endure even the smell of coffee or anything related to it. Can’t even walk down the coffee aisle in the grocery store (which I have to do because, frustratingly, they seem to always want to put the cereal there) without wanting to toss my cookies in my shoes (so to speak). But I after having read Ginny’s (Jael McHenry’s) description of the bitter mingling with the sweet, I wanted that experience. I did have some of this in the house. Pero. (Is it weird that Pero is considered a coffee substitute but it doesn’t make me sick? I’d say it was the cafeine, but Diet Coke doesn’t make me sick either.) I figured it was rather bitter, and not having read the blurb on the link I just gave you about it tasting like coffee (it so doesn’t in my opinion) I gave it a try. (Worked out kind of well, if you ask me, which you didn’t. But in a way you did, since you’re here reading my blog, aren’t you?)
I also didn’t have any raw sugar, so I used this. (I bought mine at Wal-Mart but when I searched their internet site for it I couldn’t find it. Maybe Wal-Mart doesn’t sell it anymore. However I highly recommend trying it, if you can find it. Love the stuff and use it for baking every chance I get.) I don’t know if it was the sugar or the salt crystals (I used sea salt, which counts as coarse, right?), but they gave the brownies a few nice crunchy bits that I quite enjoyed. Something kind of made the bottom taste carmelized the next day too. Very tasty. (Yes, believe it or not, I did not eat the whole batch in one sitting ~ although I must say I was tempted. I even shared.)
My husband wasn’t sure that he liked Midnight Cry Brownies. Apparently they didn’t “call” to him the way they did to me, but then, he’s not really a bitter chocolate fan. Maybe he just needed to read the description of them in the book. My oldest, on the other hand, wolfed his down and was caught picking at another still in the pan a moment later. Can’t say I blame him. I found myself picking bits off the foil after the last one disappeared, wishing I had doubled the recipe...
Can you see how the salt made little holes in the top? Like Ginny, I wondered what sprinkling the salt on top does differently, other than making little holes, that is. Anyone out there who knows enough about food chemistry to tell me?
Are these brownies crying to you? “YUMmmmmmmmmmm!”