Saturday, October 1, 2011

Recipes and Memories

by Lucy Arlington

Last month I promised to veer away from the healthy recipes and offer you a decadent one instead. With a penchant for sweet baked goods, I have an unending supply of decadent recipes, so deciding which one to post today was not an easy task. Should it be a pie or a cake? Cookie or square? Chocolate or fruity?

As I leafed through my recipes I not only started to feel a craving for something yummy (tough on a person who is trying to be disciplined in her weight loss plan), but I also began to feel nostalgic. My recipe collection is like an epicurean journal—this recipe is for the cake my mother used to make on my birthday; those are the cookies my kids always ask for, even now as adults; that pie recipe was given to me by a dear friend who died a few years ago.

My senses have always evoked memories, transporting me to a time in my past. The smell of French fires always puts me on the beach in Port Stanley. The song, Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver, has me walking the halls of high school. If I have a bite of gevulde speeculaas (a Dutch treat—see my post from last December), I’m sitting at the table with my mother. It’s amazing what might unearth the many experiences we have buried in our minds and hearts. This week, my journey through happy memories was prompted by foraging through my recipe box.

Do you have recipes that bring to mind special memories?

Oh, I almost forgot. Today’s recipe is for yummy marbled chocolate cream cheese brownies. What memory do they conjure up? Sitting with my longtime friends, talking, laughing, and enjoying rich chocolate together.

Chocolate Marbled Brownies

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup dark cocoa

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese filling:

250 g. package cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in cocoa. By hand, beat in sugar, eggs and vanilla.

4. Blend in dry ingredients.

5. Pour half the batter into a greased 9-inch (2.5L) square baking pan.

6.Cream cheese filling: Beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

7. Carefully spread the cream cheese filling on top.

8. Spoon the remaining chocolate batter over filling. Pull a knife through to create a marbled effect.

9. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 40-45 minutes. Cool.

Makes about 2 dozen brownies.

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