Friday, February 5, 2010
Brownies. The word alone makes my mouth water. For years I was a boxed brownie mix kind of girl, and was quite happy. I think that may have been because I didn't realize how much better homemade brownies can be. Oh sure a boxed mix is quick and easy, but is it REALLY that hard to make them from scratch?
Turns out the answer is no, its not hard at all!! In actuality its very very simple, dangerously so. If you have a few basic pantry ingredients, 2 bowls, a spoon and an 8x8 pan you too can have awesome brownies, with out HFCS or PHO's, in 45 minutes. Uh oh, this could be bad, and yet so very good.
When looking for recipes I found that there are 2 basic options: fudge like and cake like. That's all well & good but what about those of us who like a hybrid version, fudgey and cake like all at the same time. I want a dense brownie but not gooey, one that has a nice crumb but not soft & spongy like a cake. Why can't I find the perfect marriage of fudge and cake brownies?
Thats when I discovered the extensive baking recipe collection at King Arthur Flour. One brownie recipe stood out from the rest: it claimed to be BOTH cake like and fudge like. Ah ha!! There ARE others out there who demand the best of both worlds! With out further adieu I made the recipe. Oh My Goodness. Brownie bliss!!!! I'm happy to share this wonderful chocolaty delicacy with you all. Enjoy!
It was the Little Witch's idea to make the brownies today. I think she just wanted to lick the batter spoon. Eyes closed in anticipation of chocolate overload!
makes an 8x8 pan
adapted from the King Arthur Flour recipe
1 cup plus 2 T sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 T cocoa powder (I use a combo of black cocoa, dark chocolate cocoa and regular cocoa powders)
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
OPTIONAL: 1 cup chocolate chips
In a microwave safe bowl melt butter. Add sugar to butter, stir well. Microwave butter & sugar for 1 minute and stir well. This will start the sugar melting and give you a thin, crispy, paper like layer on top of the brownies.
cocoa, eggs & vanilla
In a medium mixing bowl add the cocoa powders, vanilla and eggs. Stir very well until it forms a thick paste. Add 1/2 of the butter/sugar mix and stir very well with a wooden spoon. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl often to incorporate all the chocolate mixture. Add the 2nd half of the butter/sugar mix and stir well.
Add dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Add chocolate chips if desired.
Pour into a sprayed 8x8 pan, bake at 350* for 25-30 min or until the brownies are just set. I use a toothpick and lift up a small amount of brownie from the center. If its liquidy then bake 5 min longer & check again. If you have a distinct crumb and no liquid the brownies are done. You don't want to over bake these, they need to be JUST set so they stay soft & fudge like.
Cut into appropriate size bars (9 is about right). Your 8x8 pan could serve as many as 16 people, or as few as 2 people, depending on degree of chocolate jones and caliber of day, and well how big you cut them. Excellent with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.
PS I said they were good, I didn't say they were low calorie :)
Nutritional information provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 6.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4 g
Cholesterol 74.8 mg
Sodium 214.9 mg
Potassium 37.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Sugars 24.5 g
Protein 3.4 g