Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Search of The Perfect Brownie... Eureka!

A couple of years ago, I sampled a brownie that I declared, "The perfect brownie!" It was somewhere between cake and fudge-like, buttery, chocked full of nuts, rich and moist but not gummy, in short... chocolate heaven. But I failed to get the recipe. Sigh. After that one ultimate brownie I could no longer abide the taste of a boxed or commercial baked brownie again. I'd skip over the gummy artificial, corn-syrupy tasting chocolate goo that passed for brownies, at most potlucks or picnics.

Yesterday, using a couple of brownie recipes, I came up with the following ... which I found to be ....yes!!.... the PERFECT BROWNIE. It will not help you lose weight, but it will gain you friends.

Becky's Perfect Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 sticks butter

2/3 of a 12 oz. bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (reserve the other 1/3 of the bag for later)

3 oz. (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate (from baking aisle)
Put the above on top of double boiler and melt, stir until combined. (I like to use my big Pyrex glass bowl on top of my stock pan, filled with about 3 inches of boiling water, for this)

In a separate big bowl, combine (you can do all of this by hand, no need for mixer):

3 eggs, beaten well
1 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla

Into the bowl sift: 1/2 c. flour, 1 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt

Pour melted chocolate and butter mixture over all and mix thoroughly.

Chop 1 1/2 c. pecans or walnuts on cutting board, and to the nuts add the leftover 1/3 bag chocolate chips. Sprinkle nuts and ch. chips with about 1 T. flour and toss to coat.

Then, fold nuts and chips into batter.

Pour into greased 11 X 14 inch Pyrex pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. Then tap on oven rack to remove any air bubbles and finish baking approximately 10 minutes more.

Let cool as long as you can possibly stand to wait and serve with ice cream or ice cold milk!

These are rich, so cut them in small squares... I got 24 brownies out of one pan. I'd rather have one small perfect brownie than 3 gummy brownies from a box. You can also divide and put in Ziploc bags, and freeze them to keep them fresh, and just take one out and microwave a few seconds to get that just-baked brownie treat all over again. I tend to eat less when I freeze cookies or brownies almost right after cooking, because I have to think, "Do I really want to take the trouble to get this treat out of the freezer and pop in the microwave and sit down to savor it?" rather than mindlessly picking at the crumbs and cookies on a plate in the kitchen .

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