Monday, January 7, 2013

Chris's Brownies

Chris brought some awesome brownies to share with family over the recent holidays.  The recipe he used and gave me is Supernatural Brownies in the April 2007 edition of the New York Times, adapted from “Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers,” by Nick Malgieri.  We not only added some to the cookie platter but had them as a stand alone dessert, their richness tempered by a clementine or small scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.  

Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a double boiler [or microwave] melt:

8 oz  butter [2 sticks! not a typo - these definitely fall in the category of "special/holiday dessert"]

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate

In a large mixing bowl whisk together:

4 eggs [why bother with my usual "egg product" when using this much butter]

then add:

1/2 t salt
1 c dark brown sugar
1 c granulated sugar
2 t vanilla extract

Whisk the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients, then fold in

1 c flour

Then add (optional)

1/2 c chopped walnuts

(The recipe also gives an option of arranging 3/4 c of whole walnuts on top of the batter; Chris used the chopped nuts but not the topping nuts.)

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes "or until shiny and beginning to crack on top".

The author notes, "For best flavor, bake 1 day before serving, let cool and store, tightly wrapped. "

September 2013: I was recently asked to bake brownies for a Dartmouth College First Year Trip.  My few attempts at brownies have been pretty disastrous, and Chris's comment about a dessert  pot-luck he recently attended did not boost my confidence:  "If I'd just gone for the food, I would have been better off to stay home and eat the Linzertorte I made.  Most of the other desserts were gooey brownies,  definitely not worth the calories."  Oh my!  But Chris said this recipe was pretty fool-proof and fortunately he turned out to be right; I made two batches and both met my expectations. 

Lining the pan definitely helped.  After the brownies had cooled, it was so easy to carefully lift them out of the pan on the paper.  Even the first piece cut cleanly!

I melted the chocolate and butter in a microwave instead of a double boiler.  I checked and stirred the mixture each minute for the first two minutes then every 30 seconds. In my microwave, which does not run as hot as some, this took 4 minutes.  

Since the batter is so stiff, it is needs to be smoothed level once it has been poured (and scraped) into the pan.

Because I could not make these right before the event, I froze both batches.  I removed the paper from each sheet, wrapped each sheet (un-cut) tightly in aluminum foil and placed one sheet on top of the other in the cleaned baking pan so that the brownies would be protected in the freezer and while traveling to the event where they were enjoyed by all :-)

December 2014:  Chris just brought us some brownies made in his Edge Brownie Pan. Many more edges and corners --- very yummy.  

Reviewed 5/14/17

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