Chocolate Chip Cookies and Fail Brownies

Peter has been baking like mad recently.

He comes back to the apartment, sneaks the Joy of Cooking off the shelf and then doesn’t let me in the kitchen for an hour and a half while he does something with flour and sugar, loud crashes and his sister’s bright red KitchenAide mixer.

A week ago it was chocolate chip cookies with cashew butter.

Last night it was Fail Brownies.

Maybe he mixed the batter too long, or maybe he didn’t let the melted chocolate cool long enough. In any case, what came out of the oven was not, strictly speaking, brownies.

Instead of one dense cakey layer, there are two. There is a thin top layer, like a coffee-colored cloud of meringue. It’s dry and chocolatey, sweet and dense. It lifts more-or-less cleanly off the bottom layer, which is like the wonderful moist inside bits of a chocolate bread pudding.

We stood around the stove in the kitchen, and ate it out of the pan with spoons.

Whatever his mistake was, I hope Peter makes it again. And soon.