Uncertain Baking for Uncertain Times
To say that we are living in uncertain times is very much an understatement. I'm currently on day three of the government mandated quarantine here in Madrid, and to be honest, I'm taking it pretty well. I feel so fortunate to have a sunny apartment in which to take shelter and no young children to drive me up the wall and plenty of ingredients to keep me busy in the kitchen.
In an international crisis such as the one that we are experiencing right now, one is given the opportunity to reflect upon what is important and what's not so important. Putting food on the table is important. Having a roof over our heads is important. Staying healthy is important. Whether you use rice flour or regular flour isn't so important. Granulated sugar or brown sugar. Extra large eggs or medium. NOT IMPORTANT.
I had a little over a cup of rice flour that I wanted to use up, a handful of walnuts that I didn't feel like eating, and a bottle of sunflower seed oil. Would these brownies have been better with normal flour? Perhaps. Butter instead of oil? Most certainly. But I really didn't want to go to the grocery store (trying to avoid putting myself or others at risk), and, at the end of the day, IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER. Maybe they won't be the best brownies in the world, but they will be brownies. I can assure you that if you make any brownies, the few lucky individuals that will eat them (social distancing, people) will not be thinking "oh, I wish these brownies were better" but rather "yum, brownies!".
What does matter is that now I have brownies to enjoy with my morning coffee, because in these times of uncertainty, of course you can eat dessert for breakfast. And please, don't forget to lick the bowl!
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy homemade!)
-1/2 cup neutral oil
-dash of vanilla extract
-1 cup rice flour (or really any flour, who cares)
-1/2 cup raw, unsweetened cacao (or sweetened, up to you!)
-sprinkle of sea salt
-handful of walnuts (optional, but are nuts in brownies really ever optional?)
1. In a large bowl, mix sugar and wet ingredients (eggs, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla extract) until fully incorporated.
2. Fold in flour, cacao and a sprinkle of sea salt (if you wan't to sift beforehand, go for it. I really don't care) until fully incorporated and no dry spots remain. Fold in nuts, if you have them on hand.
3. Pour into a pre-greased baking dish or loaf tin and sprinkle with sea salt (I used the latter, and it turned out fine). Bake for ~20 minutes on a low-ish heat (maybe 325F? My oven is a toaster oven and the temperature is super messed up so mine was done after 20 minutes at 200F). Let cool completely before removing from tin. Eat for breakfast.
Makes ~12 two-bite brownies.