One of my favorite pastimes is baking. I love to cook. I have a full set of All-Clad pots hanging from the rack in my ceiling. A trip to Williams-Sonoma is a trip to nirvana. I always find a pan I must add to my collection. My brother is a chef, and he wishes he had my kitchen, which I sadly don’t use as much as I should.
So what does this have to do with writing? My latest book is about a pastry chef who has to return to her hometown and enlist the help of the boy next door to help her save her recipes. It still amazes me that I made an intellectual property case sexy. I’ll thank a good friend, a media lawyer who once worked with Oprah, for the great media law class I took as part of my MA degree!
When I created Rachel’s character, I had an excuse to cook. As a mother of two with a full-time teaching job (who also is on a permanent diet—aren’t most of us?) I don’t dig out the recipe book as much as I used to. I’m not sure why, especially since I’m a firm believer that anything you bake yourself does not go straight to your hips—and it’s all those ingredients with words I can’t pronounce that cause weight gain.
So since I was researching, I pulled out my cookbooks. I made pumpkin bread, cupcakes, cookies, and some of my old favorites, like chocolate cake! I also got to think back to college, when I would bake constantly—for the way to a guy’s heart was through his stomach—and my brownies and chocolate chip cookies were legendary.
In the spirit of cooking, since I can’t send you any cookies virtually, here is my brownie recipe:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch square pan. In medium bowl, stir butter, sugar, and vanilla together. Add eggs, and with a wooden spoon beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture, beat until well blended. Spread batter into a pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from the pan. Cool completely in pan. While cooling, make frosting. To make frosting, in a small mixer bowl beat 3 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until blended. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 cup milk; beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Add additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if needed. Spread over cool brownies and cut brownies into squares. (PS—you can add nuts and chocolate chips to the batter before baking.)
Enjoy the brownies and the romance!