Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies

I flounder a lot in the winter. This winter, while trying to write a mystery novel, I’m floundering more than ever. Writing used to be something stable for me–now, when I sit down to work, it’s like I’m attempting to write in German. The only calming influence seems to be baking.

Inexpensive and easy to make, Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies turn cocoa powder (even ordinary Hershey’s cocoa powder) into chocolate alchemy. (Chocolate genius Medrich owned the Bay Area line of Chocolat shops.) But what I like best about these brownies (aside from the results) is the process: something about baking and cooking frees thaws out parts of my brain that just sit there, un-creatively and lump-like, most of the time. But the act of measuring ingredients, stirring, and tracing the most efficient path around the kitchen fires a synapse or two in the writer/hack gray matter.

The brownie recipe can be found here: “Best Cocoa Brownies Recipe.”

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