july is the month of birthdays in our family. two of my besties and i are days apart, then jacob, one papa, one mama in each family... the list goes on and on. when making so many cakes in such a short time (baruch hashem// gracias a dios) you have to get creative and change it up a bit. it's a good problem to have.
i made this bad boy a few days ago for jacob's 34th. (!) the man makes 34 look damn good. in fact, we went out last night and were quizzed (literally. as in "what town do you live in? what is the address?") about our i.d.s. i guess it should be flattering, but i mean, come on. we were in our new town's "athletic club," a tiny old abandoned veterinary building with pool tables and like four people playing the juke box. would we really try to sneak in to such an establishment if we were under 21? really??
[completely unrelated: because of all the birthday commotion i have been reading a ton of rob brezney's horoscope action. if you don't know him, get to know him immediately. if you don't read horoscopes, that's cool. neither do i. read him anyway. ]
this brownie recipe is my go-to. jacob discovered it one summer when he was out of bittersweet chocolate to melt but desperately needed brownies. i was traveling with a singing group at the time, and he wrote me a detailed description of how these brownies taste like perfect frosting and are the world's best creation. the subject line of the email was "the most important ingredient is a shit ton of love."
five years later, i feel so lucky to still be with such a love (and chocolate) ball of a man.
2 sticks butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 t vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips
gobs and gobs (maybe 2 pint containers) of the best ice cream you can lay your hands on. (we used some local creameries salted caramel & maple walnut.)
preheat oven to 350. beat butter & cream cheese together until smooth. add in eggs. beat until supa dupa fluffy. add in vanilla, add salt. (adding flavorings to the fats carries it through the whole brownie.)
next, add your dry ingredients all together to the batter. beat just until mixed in. (note: there is no leavener in this recipe intentionally. it makes it extra gooey chewy and not cakey at all.)
drop in the chocolate chips. beat until distributed. bake for 20-25 minutes or so in a big pan, until just set. (it's a good idea to spend your wait time snuggling or smooching while brownies are baking.)
take the brownies out while still a bit doughy. let them cool completely. then take your ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften. plop it all over the brownies and smooth it out. it's the lazy man's ice cream cake!