Optical illusions


Although we had the coolest, wettest July on record this summer, I’ve still managed to over-tan. Truthfully, I blame the economy for my sun-damaged forehead. Most summers I’m so busy whipping up bright ideas in the test kitchen for magazines and food companies that I find very little time to spend outdoors. But, this year has been different. Business has been down, so I’ve had time to play tennis regularly and to ride my bike to work. It seems that just these little changes in routine have helped me to get a very nice tan.

Despite the ugly age spots on my forehead, the rest of me is thankful for the pigment change. As you may know, dark things look smaller and, even though I’ve been exercising, I’ve been eating enough that I’m bursting out of my fat clothes. I can only hope the tan is creating an optical illusion that hides that fact.

The hope that dark objects look smaller is a blessing when it comes to my body but not so great when applied to brownies. If a brownie looks small, why not eat two? (Hence the problem with the fat clothes.)

After that segue you likely will think twice about making brownies but I hope you decide to go ahead. I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s super easy and so chocolaty and satisfying that you really only need to eat one small square to get your chocolate fix:

Dana’s Saucepan Brownies

4 oz (125 g) chopped unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
3 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan set over low heat. Heat, stirring often, until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350oF (180oC).

Stir sugar, vanilla and salt into chocolate mixture. Stir in eggs, adding one at a time. Blend in flour until well combined. Scrape mixture into a greased 9-inch (23 cm) square pan or 7 x 11-inch (1.5 L) baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes for fudgy brownies (my fav) or for 35 minutes for cakey brownies. Cool in the pan on a rack. Slice into bars. Makes 24 bars.


14 Responses to Optical illusions

  1. Rosa says:

    Hehehe! Those devilish looking Brownies sure won’t help LOL!



  2. Nancy says:

    One-pan brownies! I’m all over that idea, and I won’t even have a tan to help me afterwards–it’s winter here! I’ll just have to blame the bulge on all the sweaters.

  3. Great shot. And who doesn’t love brownies? These look wonderful.

    Gotta go find my fat pants and bake a pan of these.

    Charmian- who’s been making too much ice cream!!!

  4. dinnerwithjulie says:

    YUM. This is pretty much exactly the brownie recipe my Grandma has been making for years! must be an Ontario thing. I can attest that they are the BEST BROWNIES EVER.

    Some things are just worth being fat for..

  5. cheryl says:

    Between this and Charmian’s ice cream I’m going to burst, and be the most popular mom in the universe. Brownie ice cream sandwiches anyone?

  6. I have so many brownie recipes and yet I feel the need to keep this one too. I rarely make brownies!

  7. Charmaine Broughton says:

    No backyard bbq is complete without a pan of homemade brownies. A trick I do (that may slightly resemble age spots) is soak about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of raisins in about 1/4 (50 mL) dark rum over night and add it to the batter before baking. Rum and Raisin Brownies…VERY YUMMY. However lately I have been paying very close attention to proper nutrition as I am preparing for a fitness competition…so these days if I’m craving something sweet, I mix 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder with a few egg whites and microwave for about 1 minute. I’m not sure if my fellow pastry chefs would approve of this dish, but hopefully my bikini will…..

  8. Diva says:

    I want one of these with a scoop of Charmian’s salted caramel ice cream … right now. 🙂

    Its a nice theory about the tan making one look smaller … though I think I’m disproving that in spades this year. Funny, but not.

  9. Nice easy recipe and I am afraid I will love it. I am trying to get rid of the extra pounds but…off to the kitchen….

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