Science proves that baking these brownies will make you happy

Need an excuse to make these brownies?

Three brownies from our Year of Baking project. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

You probably don’t, but just in case you do, scientists have recently figured out why baking, cooking and other creatives tasks make you feel better on a gray, rainy or otherwise blue day.

I’m usually annoyed by stories and claims like this, but something about this one struck me. Maybe it was this part from the lead author of the study: “People who worked on little creative projects every day also felt they were “flourishing”—a psychological term that describes the feeling of personal growth.”

My go-to dessert right now are these fudgy brownies from our Year of Baking series last year. Good Housekeeping originally published the recipe years ago, and it’s so good, it’s worth republishing on the blog.  (Want a vegan or gluten-free brownie recipe? We got ya covered.)

Click here to check out all of our Year of Baking recipes and projects.

Good Housekeeping’s Fudgy Brownies

Super rich, with lots of deep, dark chocolate flavor, these brownies have a moist and fudge-like texture. The sugar cools down the heated butter and chocolate so that you don’t accidentally cook the eggs. Feel free to use any combination of chocolate you’d like. Eight ounces of chocolate chips will work in a pinch but not quite as well as the bars of chocolate you’ll find in the baking aisle. You could reduce the recipe for an 8-inch-by-8-inch pan by using half of a cup flour, a pinch of salt, a stick butter, 2 ounces of chocolate, a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla and two eggs.

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. granulated salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened, semisweet or dark chocolate, broken into chunks
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, broken into chunks
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
5 large eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

In a heavy, 4-quart saucepan over low heat, melt butter and add chocolate pieces, stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and stir until well mixed. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture until just blended. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

When cool, lift out the brownies and peel foil away from the sides. Cut into pieces and serves. Makes about 24 brownies.

— Adapted from a Good Housekeeping recipe


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