Monday, November 12, 2007

Recipe - Brownies

This is my go-to brownie recipe. It requires 1 bowl or saucepan, one measuring cup and 1 or 2 measuring spoons... If it were any easier it would come out of a box. And speaking of brownies from the box, if you add a cup of chocolate chips and a cup of chopped nuts and no one has to know they're from a box. Yeah, it's that easy to get away with.

And this is my kind of brownie pan:

From King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: Fudgy Brownies

Yield: Two dozen 2-inch brownies

Baking temperature: 325 degrees
Baking time: 29 to 32 minutes

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar - I use: I cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar, but again, I tend to find these too sweet
1 cup (4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup (4-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (optional)
1-2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, if you have it on hand adds a little something

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugars and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot (about 110 degrees to 120 degrees), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla (and espresso powder if you use it). Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth; then add the flour and optional nuts and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan.

Bake the brownies in a preheated 325-degree oven for 29 to 32 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a tiny amount of crumb clinging to it. The edges of the brownies should be set, but the middle still soft. Remove the brownies from the oven, and cool them completely before cutting and serving.

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