There’s one phrase that I can always count on hearing at least once a week: “Are you making brownies? ‘Cause it’d sure be cool if you were.” Picture Matthew McConaughey, a la Dazed & Confused, and you know what I mean. It happens every single time that C and I cook dinner at my place. He’s not much on sweets, but if I’ve made a batch of brownies, I can bet that he’ll devour two or three. Remember The Baked Brownie??
I picked this recipe up when I bought a few things at Sur la Table several months back and it’s one that I’ve been meaning to try out for quite a while. So I just knew they’d be great to give to C along with the Linzer Hearts that I made this past Monday. The verdict? He had two for breakfast on Tuesday morning. I’d say that’s a good sign, wouldn’t you?
4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 c sugar
2 lg eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 c chocolate chips or chunks (optional)
1/2 c chopped nuts, toasted and cooled completely (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position an oven rack in the center. Line an 8" square pan with foil or parchment paper across the bottom and up two of the sides, then lightly coat with unflavored oil or high-heat canola oil spray.
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler. Place the butter, semisweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in the top of the double boiler (off the heat). Turn off the heat, then set the butter and chocolate over the steaming water. Stir occasionally with a spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and whisk in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well to incorporate each before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract. Whisk in the flour and salt. Continue to stir until the mixture changes from dull and broken-looking to smooth and shiny, about 1 minute. Whisk in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it (do not overbake). Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
Source: The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet & Sur la Table