A Charlie Brown(ie) Christmas

Every year around this time, I dig through my small, but cherished collection of CD’s and pull out one that makes me happy just looking at it.

For those of you unfamiliar with this cartoon character, he's the one on the left.

Sometimes I even do the happy dance. :)

Charlie Brown is a man after my own heart — optimistic in spite of the odds, always hoping for the best.  Even when the needles fall off his spindly Christmas tree year after year (via the wonder of re-runs), his spirit remains undaunted.  I like that.

I also like brownies.

Yup, that would be me in the all-seeing silver bulb...

These brownies make me happy looking at them, too.  Better yet, eating them.  I’ve made them year after year (over 30 years’ worth of re-runs) and, just like Charlie Brown, they’ve withstood the test of time.

Unlike my “tree”…

The tree AND brownies eventually took a tumble.

But… my spirit remained undaunted.

Charlie Brown(ies)

1 stick of butter (plus a little extra, to butter the baking pan)

2 squares (2 oz. total) unsweetened chocolate

1 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 c. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Butter a 9″ x 9″ glass baking pan; set aside.

Get out a heavy saucepan, a wooden spoon, and a spatula.  (These are the only utensils you’ll need; consider it an early gift.) :)

Melt butter over low heat in the saucepan.  When butter is almost melted, add the chocolate.  Stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is melted; remove from heat.

Add sugar; mix well.  Cool mixture for several minutes.  (You don’t want your eggs to cook when you add them.)  Add vanilla and eggs; mix vigorously until combined.

Add flour and salt; mix until flour is incorporated.  Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the buttered baking pan.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  They’ll look fairly “wet” but please do not overbake — they’ll settle down if you will.

Cool on a wire rack until you can no longer resist eating them.

Do the happy dance!

Enjoying the simple joys of the season,

~ Kim