Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Indecision Brownies

I am plagued by indecision. I admire those women with absolute certainty in all areas of life who can purchase an entire outfit, including shoes and handbag, in under a half an hour. I am a handwringer, always unsure. Is it the best choice? Might the other one be better?

I'm pitiful when it comes to ordering at a restaurant. I either order something I already know I like, as that eliminates the decision making process, or I'll make the waiter come back 4 more times to ask if I'm ready to order yet. When the "yet" starts sounding a little testy I"ll make a desperate stab at something on the menu, then think as he's walking away, "Oh no, maybe I should have ordered the salad."

Indecision can paralyze me in the kitchen, as well. The question of what to bake - cookies, or muffins? a cake or a pie? - can make me pace back and forth from cookbook to cupboard to cookbook to freezer. And then nothing gets baked. And my family isn't happy.

So, recently when faced with a dilemma of choice, brownies or blondies, I turned to my favorite source of wit and wisdom - movie quotes. In the wonderful movie, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray asks a fellow drunk if he'd like to throw up on the sidewalk or in the car. The drunk cogitates a few moments and says, "I think.....both."

So here I give you Indecision Brownies. The best of both worlds swirled together. It's an easy decision to make.

Indecision Brownies

I recommend that you read through the recipe and have everything measured out and ready to go on the counter. Putting it together is a bit of a juggling act.

3/4 c. unsalted butter, divided
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt, plus a pinch
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1-3/4 cups cake flour (210 g), sifted and divided
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

1- Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

2- In a medium mixing bowl stir together. 1 cup of the flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp salt and white chocolate chips (if using). Set aside.

3- In a large saucepan (#1) over low heat, combine 1/2 cup of the butter and the chopped, unsweetened chocolate. Stir often until melted. Remove from heat.

4- In a medium saucepan (#2) over low heat, melt 1/4 cup of the butter. Remove from heat.

5 - Into saucepan #1 stir in 1 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir until well blended.

6 - Into saucepan #2 stir in the brown sugar. Add 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir until well blended.

7 - Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the sifted cake flour over saucepan #1 and stir just till blended. Gently stir in the dark chocolate chips, if using.

8 - Add the contents of the mixing bowl to saucepan #2 and stir till well mixed.

9- Alternate blops of batter from saucepans #1 and #2 into the prepared pan until all the batter is in the pan. Drag a table knife through the batter to marble the batter, being careful to evenly distribute the two batters, but not make a homogenous mixture.

10- Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost completely clean.

11- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. You'll have tidier squares if you wait till it's cool to cut, but if you can't resist, dig in while still warm.


Unknown said...

Looks delish! I had one question about the measurements in the recipe. On the ingredients list it says 3/4 C of butter, but in the instructions it asks for 1/2 C of butter twice. Am I missing something?

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Haha, "indecisive" should be MY middle name!! I know how you feel :0) But one thing's for sure, I'm DEFINITELY not indecisive about the fact that those brownies look FABULOUS!!

Sean said...

Ah, that line is good for so many different occasions.
The brownies look fantastic - care to bring some over my way...?

Deborah said...

This is too funny, because I just made brownies the other night. On one page of the cookbook was a brownie recipe, and on the opposite page was a blondie recipe. I couldn't decided. I was going to make both until I ran out of steam and just made the brownies. I should have combined them - because these look fantastic!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Irene - Thanks for catching that! I fixed it.

VeggieGirl - That's funny. You always seem like a girl who knows exactly what she wants.

Sean - Yes, that movie is full of great lines. Can't bring you any because they're all gone. But maybe I could make more...

Deborah - Great minds having the same baking dilemma. I'll bet your brownies were fabulous.

Brilynn said...

I'm definitely the same way and am currently having a ridiculously hard time making decisions, worse than usual, but that's always the case when something important comes up.
I think I need some of these brownies...

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Now you've gone and done it. I have to add yet another recipe to my "to make" list!! I think I might have to push this one to the top of the pile. They sound and look great! Thanks for the inspiration.

Laura said...

I can be pretty indecisive as well--so I think these look fabulous! (Don't even ask my mom about shoe shopping with me as a child--yikes).

SteamyKitchen said...

I just love your writing Lynn! You're always so clever and make me smile.


Aimée said...

The best of both worlds, Lynn! To bad this doesn't work for more things, like pancakes or waffles. Early morning decisions are the worst!

Anonymous said...

Now, for the next decision...One brownie or six?
They look lovely!

Peabody said...

Come shop with me. I am one of those whole outfit women. :)
I am also one of those whole plate of brownies woman. ;)

grace said...

ah, groundhog day. good stuff. better stuff--these brownies. wowza.

i'm miss indecisive in restaurants. when i finally do order, i usually immediately regret my choice. eh, i'm a work in progress. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, darling, the "what to cook/bake?" is something that follows me around all the time, too! :)
But I'm impressed - this is such a win/win situation! Blondies and brownies in one?? My goodness, Lynn! :)

Anonymous said...

Gee Lynn, I'm so glad your indecisiveness led you to these brownies!

Erica said...

Looks totally delicious! I love marbled treats! I just finished making marbled banana bread and am not sure I'll ever be able to go back to the basic bread! Hope you have a wonderful ewekend!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

This is proof that indecision can be a good thing, because what did you get? Two great desserts in one! This looks excellent

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said... the quote. I'd say these brownies are a great compromise:D

Dee Light said...

Okay I've been away from blogging for way to long. So many yummy ideas. You really do have one of my favorite cooking blogs. You cook real food, the kind that kids and husbands enjoy!!

CindyD said...

You said your husband loves lime...You gotta check out the King Arthur baking blog today!

Maria said...

I am the worst decision this is the perfect recipe for me!

LyB said...

If I had to choose between a brownie, a blondie or your Indecision Brownies, I'd have no trouble deciding! :) They are the best of both worlds, I'm sure!

eatme_delicious said...

Yum what a great way to solve your indecision!

Veronika said...

It definately looks delicious! I will try out your recipe since the pictures look eatable. ;)

Glenna said...

Wonderful! Indecision at its finest!

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Janelle said...

Love the story...too funny. I made these this week for a Labor Day BBQ. I'm not normally a blondies person, and I generally prefer brownies from a mix (sacrilege, I know), but these were EXCELLENT. My only complaint probably is that the amount of brownie vs. blondie were uneven, which made even distribution a bit of a challenge. I didn't use the white chocolate chips, but I think next time I might use butterscotch or peanut butter chips. When they asked, I told my friends they were "Indecision Brownies -- brownies and blondies in the same pan, swirled together." With that description, my friends renamed this dish "Bi-Racial Brownies."