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Handling It, Handleless | Crackle-Topped Brownies

8 September 2010

Last week, while roasting potatoes to accompany TLTs and preseason football, a very unfortunate incident occurred in my kitchen. I opened my oven and pulled out the baking sheet full of perfectly browned and crisped spuds. While closing the oven with one hand and holding the baking sheet in the other, my hand beginning to heat up through the thin potholder, I felt a strange unbalanced sensation and looked down to see that my oven handle was no longer attached to my oven and was, instead, dangling in my hand, threatening to send my body off balance and the potatoes to the floor.

Until the handle of your oven door comes off in your hand, you really have no idea how crucial that piece of plastic is to holding things together. Without the handle, my oven door basically disassembled itself, leaving a pane of tempered glass, a metal housing, and a few springs on the floor (don’t worry, though, the potatoes made their way safely to our plates).

It has been surprisingly difficult to plan meals without an oven. I was confident that I could make do with my stovetop and relatively capable toaster oven (hey, it has a convection setting!) until (any day now) I receive the replacement handle, the arrival of which—through the mail—I feel is uncertain. For now, I am left with four of the softest, brownest bananas, because I don’t want to risk wasting ingredients in a failed banana bread in the toaster oven, as well as a few towering bell peppers, whose height won’t allow for stuffing and baking in the toaster oven.

But perhaps the biggest tragedy is that I am unable to satisfy my craving for these brownies, which I made for the first time a few Friday nights back, unless I get the guts to risk a batch in the toaster oven. If you like brownies with a nice crackle of chocolate crust on top, then these are for you. The trick is really beating the eggs enough that you’re essentially baking a meringue of top of your brownies and their fudgy chocolate center. Okay, I think I’ve convinced myself that these are worth the risk…

Click here for the recipe: Crackle-Topped Brownies

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