Did I ever tell you that I am part of the most wonderful book club? Janssen was in it first, and always spoke so fondly of it, that it sounded like something I would love to be a part of one day.
This book club has rather a lot of rules, including that there are only 12 members of the group, so I was not invited while Janssen was part of it (which was completely okay with me, by the way), but a year or so after she moved away, someone else dropped out, and I was invited to join.
I jumped at the chance, and have found this book club to be one of the most rewarding activities of my life. I have had such a wonderful association with the women in this group, and have read some outstanding books. This book club is truly a judgement-free zone.
Twice a year, I am in charge of bringing food, and for March's meeting, we read "Bread and Wine," a truly exceptional book by Shauna Neiquist (I also want to read her book, "Present Over Perfect"). It is a semi-memoir, where she shares some of her most poignant and wonderful experiences with food. It is a beautifully written book, and has some tasty recipes in it.
I made these brownies from her book, adapted slightly, because I didn't have walnuts on hand, but they were some of the best brownies I have ever had. And I don't even like brownies with nuts!
They are great even if you are not gluten-free, even better if you are! Next time you are looking to make an exceptional dessert, look no further. You won't regret it!
Adapted slightly from Nigella Lawson
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate chips together. Remove the pan from heat once smooth, and add the vanilla and sugar. Let cool for 4-5 minutes, then add the eggs, almond meal and pecans.
Grease an 8x8 pan, and pour the brownie batter in.
Bake for 25-30 minutes (I baked mine for closer to 45 minutes), or until the edges and top are set, but the middle is still a little jiggly.
Remove from the oven, let cool, and serve at room temperature or cold.