Side Dish: Brownies! (December 6, 2010)

Brownies!

All my life, my sweet tooth has gotten me into trouble. On my 8th birthday I ate so much chocolate cake that I was sick for a week.

I even went trick or treating until I was 16. Come on…free candy! Can you blame me? After I was about 11 some of my neighbors said: “Scotty, aren’t you a little OLD to be trick or treating?” So for the next 5 years I made sure my costumes always covered my face so no one knew who I was. ;)

Which brings us to this past weekend when Kevin’s sweet tooth – and his emotional eating in general – got him into a little bit of trouble, too. Suffice it to say, I think he will ask around the kitchen before diving into brownies in the future. Of course, after getting sick from the “special” brownie he ate, I wonder if he’ll want to eat brownies at all. But I can promise you that if there is any brownie recipe that can reignite his passions for fudgy brownies, this is it. I like this recipe for the fine line it walks between being fudgy and cakey and they freeze beautifully too!

SCOTTY’S IRRESISTIBLE BROWNIES Makes sixteen 3×2-inch brownies

Ingredients
– 12 ounces good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken or cut into 1-inch pieces
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus one more for the baking pan
– 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the baking pan
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– ¼-teaspoon salt
– 4 large eggs
– 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

  1. Melt the chocolate, sugar, and butter in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water (or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of barely simmer water). Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 10 minutes. Make sure the water stays at a bare simmer; if it gets too hot, the chocolate will separate. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Heat the over to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan.
  3. Stir the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Beat the cooled chocolate mixture with a handheld mixer at medium speed until shiny. Add the eggs one at a time, beating very well after each. Beat in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients just until no streaks of white remain. Fold in the nuts, if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
  4. Bake until the edges are crisp and begin to pull away from the pan and the top is set, about 18 minutes. The center of the brownies will still be slightly soft to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center will not come out clean.) Let cool completely.
  5. Cut the brownies into 2×3-inch bars. This is easier if the brownies are chilled in the pan for 10-20 minutes first. The brownies may be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving. The brownies may also be frozen, well wrapped in aluminum foil.