It seems that since the start of our quarantine, all I can do is eat carbs. It’s not altogether surprising since we are all seeking comfort in some form or another and carbs, be it pastas, breads, or brownies, do just that — provide us comfort. Equally comforting is knowing that friends and family are cooking more nowadays. It’s a source of pleasure to know that everyone is making the most of their time at home in front of their stoves and gathered around their tables.
This brownie recipe has earned it’s name because it has been a go-to whenever I have been “in a pinch’ and in need of a dessert for last-minute dinner guests, late night chocolate cravings and especially in my work in preparing lunches for our team of 50! Despite the fact that we all have extra time these days for dawdling in the kitchen, it doesn’t mean we want to. Thankfully, these brownies can be made “in a pinch”, which means we spend more time gathered around our tables rather than tethered to our stoves.
In a Pinch Brownies
I often bake these in a quarter-sheet pan, which measures at 9x12" (23x30cm). If you're baking this in a different pan, simply adjust your baking time as necessary. A toothpick poked into the center of the brownies should come out clean.
1¾ cup granulated sugar
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder (not cocoa mix)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter, if you have the time)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
3-4 ounces milk or dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 F / 175 C
Next, grease your pan with a little oil or butter. Additionally, I often also use baking paper, though it’s not necessary. Afterwards, dust your prepared pan with flour to prevent the brownies from sticking.
Then, add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt to a medium mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients with a whisk. The sugar will help break up any lumps in the cocoa powder. Then, add the oil (or butter), eggs, and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients just until there are no dry bits. Then, fold in the walnuts and chocolate with a silicon spatula.
Afterwards, tip the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the edges. Lastly, bake the brownies in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once removed from the oven, allow them to cool slightly on the countertop for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
Serve them warm with ice cream, at room temperature or chilled by cooling them in the fridge once the pan comes to room temperature. The brownies will develop a crispy exterior once they’ve cooled to room temperature.