Rediscovering a Long Lost Friend: Midnight Brownies

A few weeks ago, my friend's daughter Joanna asked if I would be interested in supplying the baked goods for a reception they were going to be hosting at her office this week. After figuring out that I could fit the baking project into my schedule, we discussed the details. Joanna had several specific requests, which included mint chocolate chip cookies (which I thought was funny, since her father is the person who originally gave me that recipe), gingersnaps, and Milky Way brownies.

Milky Way brownies? I knew Joanna was referring to the "Midnight Brownie" recipe contributed by Lisa Yockelson to The Good Cookie: Over 250 Delicious Recipes, from Simple to Sublime, by Tish Boyle. The recipe gets its name from the inclusion of chopped bits of Milky Way Midnight candy bars (the "Midnight" version of the Milky Way is vanilla nougat and caramel covered in dark chocolate; the diced candy bars that go into the batter are pictured at the top of this post). At one point in time, this was my go-to fudgy brownie recipe. But I literally couldn't remember the last time I had made these brownies, and so I checked my baking records. Since early 2002, I've been keeping a detailed handwritten record of everything I bake, including notes on yields, baking times, and results. I also maintain an index organized by recipe name, so it was easy enough for me to look up the last time I made this particular recipe. Inexplicably, I hadn't made these brownies since January 2006.

I racked my brain to try and figure out why I had let this recipe fall by the wayside. I first tried this recipe in the fall of 2004 and I instantly fell in love with it, making it six times in six weeks. The recipe (flour, cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, butter, unsweetened chocolate, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and candy bars) produces a very tall and fudgy brownie speckled with beautiful bits of caramel and nougat from the candy bars. It's a decadent and unusual treat.

I still can't figure out why I forgot about this recipe, although I do know that in mid-2007, the Recchiuti Fudgy Brownie became my go-to fudgy brownie recipe. I'm extremely grateful that Joanna asked for this brownie, because it was wonderful to rediscover a forgotten recipe -- it's a bit like reuniting with an old friend you haven't seen in ages. I'm smitten all over again... I couldn't help myself from baking another batch last night to take to the office!

Recipe: "Midnight Brownies" from The Good Cookie: Over 250 Delicious Recipes, From Simple to Sublime, by Tish Boyle.