The other day, we celebrated my father-in-law's birthday, one of those big round numbers which I'll keep to myself. I tossed around ideas for a dessert, but my husband kept rejecting them: he doesn't like x, he doesn't like y. Finally, I rifled through the big pile of recipes that I've printed out off of the intertubes (because I don't seem to be organized enough to use Delicious like a good index) and picked out an ice cream recipe that I've been meaning to try for a long time. And, because ice cream needed a little something, I made a batch of brownies.
Heaven in a bowl.
First, the brownies. My all time favorite brownie recipe is one that Laurie Colwin claims came from Katherine Hepburn's family; it is available on Epicurious. The Colwin-Hepburn axis is nearly enough to love something, but these brownies are seriously good and totally easy. So easy, in fact, that my six year old can almost make them by herself. You melt the butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan, and add everything else TO THE POT. One bowl! Easy! Delicious! No frou-frou ingredients! And a stellar pedigree!
Second, the ice cream. I love caramel. I love dulce de leche. I love all those butterscotchy flavors. And I love a hit of salt in my sweets. Also, I'm in one of my occasional periods of insane love for my ice cream maker, because it turns really simple stuff into wonderfulness. So, naturally, the recipe that leapt out of the pile was David Lebovitz's salted butter caramel ice cream. Oh, dear lord, it is the ice cream of my dreams. It didn't even matter that I screwed it up because we always keep a 1/2 cup measure in the sugar canister (and a one cup measure in the flour) and not 'til later when I was making the brownies did I realize that in fact there was a 1/3 cup measure living in the sugar bin which means that I made the ice cream with 1/3 less sugar than it should have had which could account for the fact that it was distinctly salty but no matter, it was still excellent. [When I make it again, I'll do it with the right amount of sugar. Also, I did pour my praline/caramel out onto a silpat sheet - and when it was time to crush the praline, I just rolled up the silpat. Clever, no? I am full of labor-saving tricks.]
Incidentally, I availed myself of Blogger's recent addition of static pages, and added a recipe index to my site, which you can get to over there in the right sidebar. I did it for me as much as for anyone else, because I find myself rooting around in my own archives looking for thus and such, but maybe you'll like it too.