This is a Brownie with a dry
cracked crust, a wonderfully moist texture, and a
deep chocolate flavor. Brownies are often classified as "fudgy" or "cakey",
yet I would describe this brownie as a cross between the two.
They are wonderful plain or I often serve them for dessert with a scoop of
vanilla ice cream.
The beauty of this Brownie is that
it is made using just one bowl. First you melt the chocolate with the butter and
then, one by one, you stir in the rest of the ingredients. You do not have to
pull out your electric mixer, all you need is a wire whisk and spatula (or
wooden spoon). The
deep chocolate flavor of these brownies comes from semisweet chocolate and cocoa
powder (either unsweetened or Dutch-processed). As I have stated so often with other chocolate recipes, the quality
of the chocolate will affect the taste of your brownies. So buy the best you can
afford. When choosing a chocolate, always buy one that you enjoy eating
out-of-hand. Look for chocolate that has a lovely shiny finish (a sign that the
chocolate was cooked at the right temperature for the right amount of time) and
one that has that wonderful 'snap' when you break it into pieces. Although this
recipe calls for adding chocolate chips to the batter, you could substitute nuts
(chopped walnuts or pecans) for the chocolate
Now, the challenge with all
Brownies is how long they should be baked. It is amazing how just a minute or
two will turn a moist brownie into one that is dry and tasteless. So use the
stated baking time as a guide only and test the brownies a few minutes before
the end of the baking time. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of
the brownies. These brownies are done when the toothpick still has a little
batter clinging to it and a few moist clumps. You do not want the toothpick to
be clean as this means the brownies have been over baked.
Brownies are definitely America's favorite bar cookie
(square). It is hard to believe that they began their life in a Sears, Roebuck
and Co. catalog over 100 years ago (1897). Brownies are so named because of
their dark brown color, not because they contain chocolate. In fact, the first
brownie recipes didn't even contain chocolate. When I looked in Fannie Farmer's
'Boston Cooking School Cook Book' the Brownie recipe calls for butter, sugar,
Porto Rico molasses, an egg, flour, and pecan meat. So, I think we can safely
say that our Brownie has evolved over the last century.
Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180
degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a
nonstick cooking spray) an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan, and line the bottom of the
pan with parchment or wax paper.
Melt the chocolate and
butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar . Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and
eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and
chocolate chips (if using).
the prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in
the center comes out with a little
batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it.
Do not over bake. Remove from oven
and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
These freeze very well.
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