Stan’s been working some long hours lately, and he comes home pretty tired. Since I’m home all day, I can’t really commiserate. What I can do, is have some unexpected sugary goodness waiting for him when he gets home. My hubby has always had a big sweet tooth, and despite him not being a foodie, I learned way back at the beginning of our relationship that the way to his heart was through baked goods. Let me tell you, I baked more apple pies that first year…
The other night Stan was working late again, and I wanted to have a little treat waiting for him when he got home. I also wanted the kitchen to be completely clean by the time he walked through the door so he wouldn’t have to worry about doing dishes. (He hates dishes pretty much more than anything in the world.) Knowing he’d be home soon, I needed to figure out a dessert that could be thrown together in a flash and did not use many dishes.
I’d been sitting on this baked fudge recipe for a while, and it seemed like the perfect solution. The Pioneer Woman created this recipe, which is sort of like a gooey brownie middle with a crispy, crackly brownie-top crust. Not like real fudge, but not exactly your standard brownie either. Clearly, it defies simple definition, but it fit the bill for the sugary goodness I was looking for. Plus, you can whip this up and have clean dishes in under 10 minutes. And while it was a little buttery for my taste, Stan really liked it. Which was really the whole point now wasn’t it?
Baked FudgeAdapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 T. (heaping) cocoa powder
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 to 325 degrees. (Stick to 300 degrees unless your oven, like mine, doesn’t get as hot as it should.)
Using a stand mixer or a large bowl, whip eggs until light in color.
Add sugar and mix until just combined.
Add cocoa powder, flour, melted butter, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
Pour batter into 4 individual-serving size ramekins or an 8x8-inch pan. Place ramekins or pan in a larger pan filled halfway with water. (I forgot to do this which may explain why my fudge was not quite as fudgey as I expected.)
Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top is crusty and the middle is only softly set, but not runny. If you test the middle with a toothpick or a knife, it will not come out clean, but it shouldn’t be too wet either. (It’s not an exact science. It will taste good no matter what.)
Serve warm, topped with some sweetened whipped cream, ice cream, berries… you get the idea.
** Note: PW recommends baking the fudge in individual ramekins or an 8x8-inch baking dish. I don’t have any cute little ramekins (yet) so I went with the baking dish. If you have the equipment, I’d go with the ramekins or something smaller and deeper than an 8x8 instead. That way you’ll have more fudgey middle. However, if you are a crispy-brownie-crust-lover, by all means, stick with the 8x8.