"Ordinarily, Maura made sludgy brownies, but she hadn't been there. Persephone had tried her best to re-create their undercooked glory, but the brownies had accidentally turned out pretty and precise with powdered sugar dusted in lace patterns on top. Calla had seemed worried that Blue would be angry, which bemused Blue. Why would she be angry at them? It was Maura she wanted to slap. Or hug."
– Chapter 6, The Raven Cycle: Blue Lily, Lily Blue, by Maggie Stiefvater
I love The Raven Cycle so much, y'all. I've posted two other recipes in the past (Avocado & Sausage Pizza and Pecan Pie), for the previous two books, and I can't wait for the fourth book (4/26/16), though it'll also be the final installment which is bittersweet. Maggie Stiefvater is an awesome human being/woman/mother and a fantastic writer – one of my all-time favorites. Her style and sentiment is my cuppa.
Note: I baked my brownies a little longer so they didn't turn out "sludgy" (though Smalls says she "loves the inside because it's so soft and chocolate-y"), but I've adjusted the temp. and time in the recipe below so you can get closer to the Maura effect. Of course, if you'd rather not have them too much like hot batter, simply let them bake a little longer like I did (stick a toothpick in to judge for your preference).
Maura's Gooey Brownies
3/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 box (3.9 oz) Instant Chocolate Pudding
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, cubed
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips (optional)
Powdered Sugar, sifted
1. Preheat your oven to 325ºF & grease or butter an 8"x11" baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, pudding powder, baking powder, & salt. In a large, glass, liquid measuring cup or bowl, layer 1 cubed stick of butter, the sugar, & then the other cubed stick of butter. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, & then heat for another minute, stir again, & then heat for 30 seconds (if using a stove, simply heat the butter & sugar in a pot on med-low until melted). Stir the vanilla into the butter/sugar mixture.
2. Pour the wet mixture into the dry & stir to combine. Whisk the eggs all together & pour the beaten eggs into the batter in 4 increments, stirring well after each addition to fully incorporate. Lastly, fold in the optional chocolate chips (I say optional because these will make the brownies hecka chocolate-y!). Pour the batter into the baking dish & use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Slide in the oven & bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on the amount of gooeyness you want. Use a toothpick inserted into the center to judge. Remove from oven & let cool for a few minutes. Sift powdered sugar on top, cut, & serve warm.