A big change has been approaching around here, ever so slowly. When we first learned about it, it felt significant and exciting and a little bit crazy and also right. Over the past weeks, pieces have been falling into place, one by one, and suddenly the final picture has all but come into focus. And, you know what? It still feels significant and exciting and a little bit crazy and also right, and each of those feelings are even more vivid. Friends, the big change is this: we’re moving to Seattle! One week from Monday. So, how’s that for news?
Kevin will be starting a new job in April, which is the reason for our westward move. But, in all honesty, we’ve been ready for a change for some time. While this particular change is one that we never envisioned, we’re pretty thrilled about it. We can’t wait to explore the Pacific Northwest, and its mountains and water and markets and tulips and rain and green. We took a (very, very) short trip earlier this month to scout Seattle out, and we were smitten. We’ll be living in Fremont, and we welcome any and all suggestions and tips as we get settled.
Back home, there’s been a lot of preparation and the parade of “lasts” has officially begun. We’ll have a lot of relocation assistance through Kevin’s new employer. In light of the suddenly mobile third member of this moving party (who knew that rolling and army-crawling-in-reverse could be such efficient modes of transportation?!), all I can say about this assistance is thank goodness. But, still, we’re trying to organize and pare down, and we’ve been ticking off the items on our rather daunting to do list, one-by-one.
It’s felt a little disjointed to do all of this—all of these things that feel so momentous—against the backdrop of our everyday, normal lives. We’ve been grocery shopping as usual, feeding the baby, watching our normal TV shows (guilty), making dinner every night, heading into work in the mornings. Every now and again, we’ll stop to pinch ourselves, to remind ourselves that this adventure is real, and it’s almost here. Or we’ll clink little glasses of champagne to toast this new direction we’re headed in. Or we’ll bake up a pan of these brownies to celebrate.
These brownies fit the bill exactly during this time of new and old. I’ve been making them for years (they’re a mash up of this recipe and this one), and they keep changing, keep getting better. That’s precisely my hope for my family, too.
Yield: About 16 brownies
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 12-ounce bag semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small dish, soak dried cherries in bourbon; set aside. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan, line with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper.
Combine butter and cream in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer until butter is melted. Add about 2/3 of the bag of chocolate chips; stir until the chips are melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Whisk the melted chocolate mixture into the sugar-egg mixture. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate-egg mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and soaked cherries.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.