Brownies! How outrageous….

So, I’m usually the one who forces baked goods upon people. I have thrust plates with cake/cobbler/cookies into the hands of many friends (fork included) and instructed them to eat. I usually bake things with the intent to eat less then half of what Ive made, leaving the rest to be given to friends, family, fiance. So, when Jason ASKED me to make brownies tonight I got pretty excited, excited enough to drive to the store at 7:30 in the dark to buy the acceptable (not appropriate) ingredients for this amazing brownie recipe I just unearthed from (gasp right?) the Smitten Kitchen blog (god I love that woman!).

CLASSIC BROWNIES

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

(copied verbatim from Smitten Kitchen by me)

Be sure to test for doneness before removing the brownies from the oven. If underbaked (the toothpick has batter clinging to it)the texture of the brownies will be dense and gummy. If overbaked(the toothpick comes out completely clean), the brownies will be dry and cakey.

1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces

2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you.)

* So, a few notes. First, make sure that whatever bowl you melt your chocolate and butter in is the bowl you want to add your dry ingredients, etc to… it gets really messy to try to transfer it all to a larger bowl. Secondly, even though it  seems pretty sketchy to melt chocolate in the microwave, the instructions on how to do so above are PERFECT. I highly recommend it, its easy and fast and very doable.Just make sure to stir, stir, stir! *

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