Today is the international day of peace; although you'd never know it listening to the daily news reports. Finding peace in our everyday lives is a sparse reality for many of us; we have to schedule it in order for it to happen.
I find peace in my garden, trimming back the roses, digging up weeds, and dividing plants. There is something satisfying knowing that when we trim something back, it will grow back with vigor and strength. The same thing can be said for our lives; when we trim out the things that keep us distracted and we are able to focus on what's important, we find some peace and are able to move forward with greater strength and purpose.
Working in the kitchen, I love the peace of a quiet space, working with simple ingredients, putting them together to make something delicious to eat. Quiet, simple work is soulfully satisfying. This recipe is the result of a peaceful day in the kitchen, enjoying the quiet on a grey gloomy day of peace.
Makes about 24
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
12-ounces turtle candies, quartered, or four 3-ounce Caramello bars
2 cups pecan halves
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the cocoa and pulse 4 to 5 times. Add the flour and pulse until it disappears into the mixture.
3. Spread half the chocolate batter over the bottom of the prepared pan, and then scatter the candy over the batter, keeping the candy away from the edges of the pan. (The caramel can seep out and stick to the bottom of the pan, making it difficult to remove the cooled brownies.) Top the candy with half the pecans, then the remaining chocolate batter.
5. Remove from the oven, cut the brownies into squares, and leave them in the pan on a rack to cool completely.
6. Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 6 weeks.