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Father’s Day ‘Closet’ Brownies

The following is an excerpt from the memoir “My Fat Dad: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, With Recipes” by Dawn Lerman (Berkley Books, September 2015).

My maternal grandmother, Beauty, always told me that the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach — and by the look of pure delight on my dad’s face when I baked him something, I knew that what she said was true. I also learned anything with chocolate was an added bonus.

Image by Dawn Lerman

Every year on Father’s Day, I prepared these fudgy brownies for my dad. They contain a fraction of the flour found in traditional brownie recipes but are the most decadent, delicious bit of heaven you can imagine. My family called them “closet” brownies, because when my 450-pound, ad man dad smelled them coming out of the oven, he imagined hiding in the closet to eat the whole batch. They also freeze well if you do not want to devour them in one sitting.

“Closet” Brownies

Makes 16 brownies

6 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup brown sugar, or coconut sugar
2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup flour (you can also use almond flour but change measurement to 1/3)
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Fresh berries or powdered sugar for garnish (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

2) In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Then add butter, melt and stir to blend. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix well.

3) Add flour. Mix well until very smooth. Add chopped walnuts if desired. Pour batter into greased baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until set and barely firm in the middle. Allow to cool on a rack before removing from pan. Optional: garnish with powdered sugar, or berries, or both.

Dawn Lerman is a board-certified nutrition expert and the author of the best-selling book “My Fat Dad: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, With Recipes” (Berkley Books, September 2015), from which this article is excerpted.

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