Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brownies to Die For

Catagory: Cookies and Bars
Difficulty: Easy

This is my first official recipe for the cookbook I am writing for my daughter as a wedding gift. It is being written from the couch where I am lying after having experimented with 5 new chocolate chip cookie recipes and 2 new brownie recipes. It is hard to write on a lap top perched on your stomach, but I cannot sit up because I am drugged with sugar and gluten (which I am somewhat allergic to). The quest for the perfect brownie recipe is OVER. I started this search in about 1984 when Lauren was born. The brownie had to be: chewy, dense, moist, chocolate-y and thick with wonderful edges. Edges, for the brownie enthusiast, must be a bit carmelized--extra chewy, compared to the rest of the brownie. Finally, after trying at least 10 recipes through the years...this is it. Ina Garten's recipe for "Decadent Brownies" comes in second, but first place goes to the ever-perfect Martha Stewart.! If you compare that recipe to this one you will see I added 1/2 t. more salt--much mo bettah! And I hope I don't eat another brownie for a looooong time! These Chocolate Brownies are from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook circa 2000

Ingredients:

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 oz. best quality unsweetened chocolate
(I used 6 oz. Bakers usweetened chocolate and 6 T. cocoa and 2T shortening)
5 large eggs
3 1/2 c.s sugar
1-2 tsp. instant espresso powder ( I used 1 tsp.
1 T. real vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet choc. chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. with a rack in the center.Butter a 9X13 pan. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Stir till smooth and set aside. In a medium bowl, use a mixer (paddle attatchments if you have 'em) and beat the eggs, sugar and espresso. Beat on Hi speed for 10 minutes. Don't skip this! Reduce speed to low and add the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla until just combined. Slowly add flour and salt, beat until just incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in chips and nuts. Pour into pan and bake until the edges are dry but the center is still soft about 30 minutes. Cool and devour--they stay fresh about 2 days. Unless you freeze them--they freeze pretty well!

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