Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Everyone likes Brownies

A woman at my work, who I'm confident in saying is hardly more than a casual acquaintance, loaned me an entire TV series on DVD this past month. Now, I take my DVDs very seriously and when you loan them to someone - even family and friends - sometimes you don't see them again for many many months (brother! oh, wait, I still have his Transformers DVDs...)

ANYWAY.
I was terribly grateful she put that trust in me and I rushed through about 65 hours of TV in three weeks flat. I wanted to make her a little thank you goodie and figured brownies were pretty universally liked, yes?


I, foolishly, tried the top brownie recipe from All Recipes.com first.
And it was all right but nothing to write home about and certainly not something I'd give as a gift. It used cocoa as opposed to melted chocolate. Then I tried the Best Recipe's Basic Brownie and, once again, they came through. Their brownie was moist and rich, fluffy but not airy. It falls apart with softness but isn't gooey (although I love gooey but that's a personal preference; these were supposed to be universal).

If I were making them again for myself, I'd add some walnuts and maybe even caramel (mmm, extra gooey!) but otherwise, they were perfect. A definite keeper!

BASIC BROWNIES
Source: The Best Recipe

To melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave oven, microwave chocolate alone at 50 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir chocolate, add butter, and continue microwaving at 50 percent for another 2 minutes, stopping to stir the mixture after 1 minute. If chocolate is not entirely melted, microwave an additional 30 seconds at 50 percent power. Make sure to cool the melted chocolate and butter for about 10 minutes - it can be warm to the touch but not hot. Batter can be doubled and divided evenly between two 8-inch pans or poured into one 13 x 9-inch pan. If using one large pan, bake for about 26 minutes.
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (optional) 1/2 cup chopped nuts
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium, heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. (Alternatively, melt chocolate and butter in microwave oven. See instructions above.) Set mixture aside to cool.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl; set aside.

3. Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, then fold in flour mixture (and nuts if using) until just combined.

4. Pour batter into greased 8-inch-square baking dish; bake until toothpick inserted halfway between center and edge of pan comes out with a few fudgy crumbs, about 20 minutes. If batter coats toothpick, return pan to oven and bake 2 to 4 minutes more. Cool brownies completely in pan set on wire rack. Cut into squares and serve. (Pan can be wrapped in plastic, then foil, for up to 2 days. To preserve moistness, cut and remove brownies only as needed.)

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Damn straight everyone loves brownies. Your pictures truly do America's favorite baked good justice.

Jess said...

Yummy!!

Anonymous said...

I used to think this was true. Then I started working with the only person I have ever met who doesn't like chocolate. I think he's from Mars.