If you want to convince your family that cast iron cooking makes everything taste better, all you need to do is bake this dish: brownies!
Pans needed: One large-sized bowl for dry ingredients; one medium-sized bowl to mix wet ingredients. One 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet to melt chocolate and mix in the wet ingredients. A second cast iron pan, fully 10 inches wide, to bake the brownies. This pan will need to be kept separate and greased with butter or shortening, to prevent the brownies from sticking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. The bowl with the dry ingredients should be larger than the bowl with the wet ingredients, because we'll be adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a little later.
In another, medium-sized bowl, mix wet ingredients: sugar, brown sugar, eggs. You can use the same whisk to stir the wet ingredients. If you're using nuts, add them to the bowl along with the sugar and eggs.
Grease the larger 10-inch cast iron skillet with butter or shortening.
Switch to a rubber spatula, and in the medium sized cast iron skillet, bring butter and cream to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as the liquid begins to bubble, add chocolate; reduce heat to medium-low. Stir slowly and constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Using the rubber spatula, stir the chocolate mixture into the bowl of mixed wet ingredients.
Using the same rubber spatula, add the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix it thoroughly. The mixture will be very thick, but it will mix thoroughly and produce a very rich and heavy batter. Pour batter back into larger greased skillet. Be sure to add the batter quickly: it is very thick, and it will congeal within a few minutes.
If you're not satisfied and want a true chocolate overload, top the batter in the pan with still more chocolate chips. Leave them on top, don't stir them in.
Let a young child lick the bowl and the rubber spatula. This is important.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. (If you like brownies more gooey, bake for about 35 minutes.)
Now comes the hard part: Let the brownies sit in the skillet until cool, to finish baking the underside of the brownie and allow it to settle. If the brownies are removed from the pan too soon, they will crumble. They must rest in the pan for about an hour to properly solidify, yet still be soft.
A topping for your brownies that will knock them out of the ballpark!
In a medium bowl, mix butter and peanut butter until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread on top of your brownies before serving.