Brownies Make Everything Better

Ombuzz is all about providing tips, tools and strategies to help people navigate conflict, improve communication and sustain healthy relationships in the workplace. This week I want to take a step back and acknowledge a few truths: effective communication is difficult, conflict is often complicated and relationships are, well, messy! If you are having a particularly tough day, are feeling stressed and are simply not ready to tackle the conflict, that’s okay! We have an alternative. Brownies! Research shows chocolate reduces stress. Brownies might be exactly what you need! 

In her book, Rising Above Office Conflict A Light-Hearted Guide for the Heavy-Hearted Employee, Clare E. Fowler shares her recipe for Resolve-Any-Conflict Brownies. Give them a try and let us know what you think. I will be sure to let Clare know too! 


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla.
  3. Pour flour, cocoa, salt, and chocolate chips on top of the wet ingredients and mix until just the dry ingredients together with a fork. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together just long enough to say, “We disagree, how interesting, I wonder why?” – or whatever your mantra is. 
  4. Pour into a greased 9” x 13” pan; spread evenly.
  5. Bake for 28-36 minutes.
  6. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before digging in. These take a long time to set up.

Enjoy and let the stress of the day slip away!

By: Elizabeth Hill, Associate Director, University of Colorado Boulder Ombuds Office, Co-Editor for Ombuzz

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