October has been a long ass, exhausting month. Which is a shame because I love October. I love it so much I chose it as the month to get married in. My one-year wedding anniversary with the Husband is swiftly approaching and, since I am a Very Bad Wife, I have made zero plans for it – literally ZERO. I’ll run out and get a card on the day of. That’ll make up for me turning into a man from the 1950s.
Because that’s what I’ve become this month. I go to my full time job, then I’ll come home and work another 4-5 hours on an assignment for my old employers. Which, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m happy to do because I’m helping them draft an argument that’s going to the Supreme Court of Canada (insert excited squeal – sigh, only a lawyer can be excited about this) for a case that I’ve been working on for the past two years with them. But still – all this work has really put a cramp into the time I’d rather devote to doing nothing.
Back to my point that I’m emulating Don Draper. The Husband has been cooking almost all our meals for the past month. A part of me secretly delights in this turn of events – God, it’s nice to come home and have dinner waiting on the table. But I also feel guilt and shame that I’m not pulling my weight around here. I haven’t cleaned our apartment in over a month (it’s getting pretty disgusting). I’m a raging bitch most of the time because I’m tired and stressed. I don’t think I’ve said more than a handful of words to the Husband in the past few weeks or done more than exchange the obligatory hug and kiss when we’ve both arrived home in the evening.
I waiver from being super appreciative that the Husband is picking up from where I can no longer function but then I’ll snap at him for the littlest thing. Next thing you know, I’ll be throwing my dinner at him because it’s not hot/salty/tasty enough and slapping his ass as he clears the plates before I retreat to spend my evening doing a “real man’s work.”
I can feel how ridiculous this is getting.
One more week and my legal magnum opus will be on a plane to Ottawa.
One more week and then I can return to myself: a relatively sane reasonable person. Oh, sweet sanity.
And sleep! Maybe I can get some sleep.
The Walking Dead is back on tv. I thought season two went through some real slow, boring lulls, but for the most part I love this show. We PVR it and watch every week with our good friend, The Runner. She came over the other night to watch the season premiere with us. I was tempted to reschedule so that I could put in another solid night of work but figured I needed a bit of a reprieve (which didn’t end up happening since I stayed up till 1:30 a.m. working).
I also needed to bake – badly.
This sublime One Bowl Homemade Chocolate Chunk and Toffee Chip Brownie from the fabulous Picky Palate was exactly what I needed. Quick, easy and mind-blowingly good.
Chocolate Toffee Sea Salt Brownies (adapted from the Picky Palate)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted ‘n hot
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling on top
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 packet Starbucks VIA instant coffee
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits (I used Chipits Skor bits)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8X8 baking pan with either aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Melt butter in the microwave and as soon as it’s completed melted, dump in the 1 ½ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate has mostly melted. My chocolate refused to melt in the butter so I had to create a faux double boiler by putting my bowl over a boiling pot of water to finish it off.
Add the flour, salt, both sugars and the instant coffee to the butter/chocolate mix. The batter will be thick. Add the two eggs, egg yolk and oil. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add in the chocolate chips and toffee bits. Stir until evenly distributed.
Side note – the addition of the instant coffee doesn’t not make the brownies taste coffee or mocha-like. It just brings out the deep dark chocolate flavour. You can omit it if you want.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan, sprinkle the top with as much or as little sea salt as you want (or just omit completely, but seriously – it tastes amazing with it) and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.
I pulled my pan out of the oven at about 37 minutes. A knife inserted came out clean but it was still pretty molten inside, which to me is perfect. We ate the hot almost liquid-y brownies while Rick ‘n the gang mowed down zombie after zombie with a kick ass mechanical precision.
I’m glad I cut back on the sugar in the original recipe – the brownie was still pretty sweet but not cloyingly so. The next time I make these (and you can be sure there’ll be a next time) I’m going to omit even more sugar and sprinkle more sea salt over top. The combination of the salt with the chocolate is super addictive. The toffee bits melted so there was no crunch but I could still taste the buttery, caramel flavour with each greedy bite.
I ate about a quarter of the pan within 12 hours. You will not be able to stop yourself. If that bothers you, you’d best give these brownies away. If not, eat away. Your mental health will thank you.