Have you heard about the #100happydays project?
I’d seen references to #100HappyDays but didn’t really know anything about it. Then last week, my old university roommate and I spent a couple of hours on the phone catching up and she happened to mention it.
The idea behind #100HappyDays it that for 100 days, you commit to recording a photograph of something that makes you happy and then post the photograph on social media. The neuroscience behind the concept is that happy thoughts are held for less time in our brains than sad, angry, depressing, or troubling thoughts. We’re hardwired to remember the sad, fearful, scarcy, or awful thoughts for much longer. It’s a built-in safety mechanism. But by taking time out to take a photograph of something that makes us happy and then post it on social media – enough time will have elapsed in the process, to hardwire the feeling of happiness in our brain. After doing this for 100 days, you should by all accounts, emerge a happier person.
I love this idea. I can think of a million things that make me happy and many of them are surprisingly small things – like baking. Some of them are amazing, big, wonderful things like my daughters. Sometimes it’s chocolate or coffee. Or a nice glass of wine. I love watching the moon cycles and the night sky. I love really good pizza. My dog makes me happy daily. Travelling makes me happy. So does hiking. And painting. And swimming in the lake. And a well-stocked pantry. I love books. And trees. And birds at my bird feeder. I am besotted with owls. Sometimes it’s a telephone call or a conversation with a complete stranger.
Like most people, I have to work at happiness. I’ve had my fair share of sadness and spills and heartache. I’ve struggled many times to remain buoyant. And no doubt, I will continue to do so. It’s the reason I like this happiness project. I need the reminder.
Whether you need the reminder of not, make these molten chocolate pots – for yourself, for someone you love, or for your next door neighbour. They’re like an infusion of happiness in a sweet little mason jar.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Molten Pots
You will need:
- 8-9 mini mason jars OR a 9×9 inch glass pan
- an electric hand mixer
For the brownie layers:
- 2/3 cup dairy-free margarine (I used Becel vegan but you can go ahead and use butter if dairy-free is not an issue!)
- 1 scant cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 2 extra-large eggs (mine were huge farm eggs – use three if yours are small)
- 1/2 cup flour
For the peanut butter layer:
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 tbsp dairy-free margarine
First, whip the peanut butter layer ingredients together with an electric hand mixer for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Set aside.
Next, wash and dry your mini mason jars and grease them generously.
Melt the margarine (or butter), cocoa, and sugar together in double boiler or use the microwave on low power. Stir well. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add the flour and salt and stir gently.
Place a tablespoon or so of brownie mixture into the bottom of each of the mason jars, then add a tablespoon of the peanut butter layer. Top with another tablespoon of brownie mixture.
Bake at 325 deg F. for about 15-18 minutes. The tops should be set and slightly risen. If you’re in total doubt – turn the oven off but leave the cakes in the oven for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand. The tops will fall. Don’t worry. These are meant to be molten – so they may be ever so slightly on the runny side if you pierce with a skewer. If you’re using a glass pan instead of mini mason jars – expect to cook the brownies for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool before placing the lids on the mini mason jars.