I’ve been reading a couple books that would be found in the Christian Living section of the bookstore. In the past I’ve avoided those books. If I’m going to be reading something religious, it should be the Bible. The problem with that is for months at a time, I wouldn’t be reading the Bible every day. I read a chapter here, a chapter there. But one of the wise ladies in my church heaped praise upon a Christian parenting book, so I went through it with two of my good friends with kids in the same stage as Ava. And then I found another book about economics in the Bible, and the result is right now I can’t get enough of the Bible.
These books highlighted to me that Jesus doesn’t just intend to redeem us for heaven, but he has always had a plan to redeem the world for right now. There is practical instruction in the Bible for your life, today, and not just for eternity. It’s an instruction manual on how to parent. It’s a map on how to deal with your business. It’s a comfort in depression, a praise in celebration. Sometimes, it’s hard to see that at first glance, and you need the authors of Christian living books to point it out you.
When you pray the Lord’s prayer, when you pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” you are asking for our world, right now, to look more like what heaven will look like. And there’s a reason to be excited about that. The way God intended the world to work is good beyond comprehension. Sin has so tainted and so permeated every aspect of our lives that we cannot even imagine what it would be like to live without it. Not yet.
But God does. And he has instructed us to live, right now, in a way worthy of his kingdom and if we do it has the power to transform not only our minds, as I’ve so often focused on, but also the world around us. By our own power we cannot redeem the world (we’d screw it up pretty bad based on human ideas about what is good: see the world around you for evidence), but nothing is impossible with God.
I’ve been awed at the idea that God didn’t intend this life to be a burden. He didn’t intend for cooking for our families to be tiresome. It is work, but work is not a curse. I think–I know–God intended for food to be enjoyed. And this recipe, these brownies, were thoroughly enjoyed by my family. We made them without forethought one evening while my mom was here and they didn’t last long at all. I decided to post them here for my mom, in case she desired to make them again. Love you, Mom!
For the Coconut Center
2 1/2 Cups Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup of Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons White Corn Syrup
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
For the Brownie Batter
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted and Cooled
1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
The original recipe says to line a 7×11″ rectangular pan with parchment paper, but I only have a 9×13″ pan, so that’s what I used. Use what rectangular pan size you have, line it with parchment paper and make sure you use enough parchment paper that you will be able to lift the brownies from the pan later.
In a bowl, stir all the coconut center ingredients together until combined.
In another bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Then add the eggs and vanilla, followed by the dry ingredients.
Pour 2/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
Top as evenly as possible with coconut mixture.
Top with spoonfuls of remaining brownie batter. (If you have some coconut mixture peeking through, that’s fine, it will get toasted and fabulous, but if you can do it without any peeking, you are amazing.)
Bake until top is dry to the touch (20-30 minutes if using 9×13, or 30-35 minutes is using 7×11).
Reduce heat to 325 and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let cool. Then you’re suppose to let it refrigerate for an hour, but at this point we dug in.
Lift the parchment paper and the entire cake from pan and cut into squares.
Apparently these freeze well, but if you have any leftover I don’t think you made them right.
Original recipe here. The books I mentioned are Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Hubbard, and a collection of essays called For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty, which I’m still in the middle of but I’m finding fascinating.