Love Stories and Brownies

I’m a sap. 

This shouldn’t be news if you have been following me for any length of time. I love love in all of its forms. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I send get well cards and just because cards and buy gifts because, hey, this ceramic frog reminded me of you. 

I spend weeks thinking of perfect gifts for friends and family. My boyfriend gets silly gifts and thoughtful gifts and small things just because. 

I go crazy for a good date nights out, date days in, spontaneous adventures with my boyfriend, and girls nights with rom-coms, wine and popcorn. 

I cut my bookish teeth on romance novels. Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, the whole lot. As a 12 year old I would stay up way past my bedtime just so I could read one more chapter. I had a whole bookshelf dedicated to love stories before I hit high school. 

My reading preferences have shifted. I no longer exclusively read sappy love stories into the wee hours of the night. My tastes are more eclectic and I feel like a more well rounded person because of it. 

But there are still days when I crave a good love story. I crave Landon and Jamie, Lizzy and Darcy, Alex and Henry. I want to see love conquer all and for everyone to turn out the better for it. I want to suspend disbelief and read long proclamations of love. 

I want Claire and Jamie beating the odds. I want Henry and Claire. Actually, right now all I want is to sit and watch The Time Traveler’s wife. Audreny Niffeneger is a national treasure. I love her left of normal storylines and fleshed out characters. Her prose is lovely. The fact that she is also involved with paper and book arts in the Chicago area is just a plus. 

Also, I am just now realizing there are a lot of Claire’s in time travel romance novels. Who’d a thunk? 

Anyway, I digress. My point is that on days like today, a holiday dedicated to love I don’t want to sad stories. I want couples that are pulled through time to be together. Couples that were always meant to be. 

Meant to be like me and these brownies. Let me tell you, nothing says romance like gooey chocolate, raspberry truffle frosting, and some extra chocolate drizzle for good measure. I made these for the Boyfriend’s birthday last year and he has been asking for them again every since. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 large eggs

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons hot water

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

FILLING:

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup seedless red raspberry jam

GLAZE:

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon shortening

Steps:

In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until blended. Dissolve coffee granules in water.  Add to egg mixture when cool. Beat in chocolate. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture just until blended.

Spread in a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in jam; stir in melted chocolate. Spread over cooled brownies.

For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over filling. Chill before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.

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