Brownies, take one
December 2, 2010
There are days when I try to find a recipe that sounds complex! new! exciting! full of esoteric ingredients to satisfy your adventurous side! Some days, however, you just want to bake a ton of brownies and eat them, burning your mouth on the chocolate still hot from the oven. This was one of those days.
I rummaged around my papers, and got out my handy brownie recipe that has served me well these past few years. This particular recipe was torn from one of those airline magazines, stuffed in the pockets of the seat in front of you. Along with the barf-bags. Yes, those magazines. A friend and I recently went on a trip, and while in the airport we talked about the things in Skymall and the places reviewed in the magazines that were provided on our plane. We were laughing about some of the more ridiculous things when she said something about being glad that none of her friends ACTUALLY read them. My face got a little pale, and did that scrunching thing that my face does when I’m embarrassed (not a pleasant face, I assure you). She didn’t seem to notice, but it made me question my faith in that brownie recipe I had lugged with me all over the east coast.
Upon making the airplane magazine brownies for the umpteenth time, I did realize there existed room for improvement. On a gluttonous brownie day, I tried a different recipe from a trusted source. King Arthur Flour! They even had a recipe for brownies with whole-wheat flour, and I loved the idea of deluding myself into thinking these had some sort of nutritional benefit.
As a warning, these treats went fast, even faster than things normally go. I brought some to work, left some at home for my roommates, gave a few tiny bundles to friends, and brought two small-ish squares to a
dinner date. I didn’t give out an abnormal amount, but when I checked in at the end of the day, there were NONE left at home. The next day at work? NONE left in the tupperware. Gobbled up on the dinner date. The brownies were, overall, quite satisfactory!
(As an aside, I do still read those magazines. Sometimes they have articles about cool places! And sometimes other good things! I swear.)
Double Fudge Brownies
(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour)
This recipe makes enough brownie batter to fill a 9 x 13 inch pan.
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar (I used light, but only because I was out of molasses to make it dark)
¾ c unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (This ingredient is optional, and I used instant coffee powder)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate (I used my normal chopped chocolate mix, 60% and 72% dark)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium sized saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter. (Because I’m impatient, I swirled the butter around constantly, but am not sure if that sped up the process by any measurable amount.) Take the pan off the heat, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat, and remove it once the mixture is hot and starts to bubble.
3. Add mixture to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder (if using), and vanilla extract. Let this mixture cool to about room temperature, 25 to 30 minutes. (I simply left the mixture on the counter, but I imagine you could put it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes? Maybe?)
4. Whisk in the eggs, and then stir entire mixture until smooth.
5. Add the flour and chopped chocolate/chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
6. Spoon or pour batter into a lightly greased, butter or shortening, 9 x 13 inch pan.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes, although please check it around minute 26 or 27.
The hardest part about this recipe is that it recommended you let the brownies sit overnight. I gave into temptation, and had some brownies right out of the pan while the chocolate was still melty and warm. They were definitely good, but this recipe, like most from King Arthur Flour, speaks the truth. If you let them sit overnight, the whole-wheat flour seems to absorb some of the moisture and the brownie becomes this perfect equilibrium of cake and fudge.