Monday, February 16, 2009

Classic Brownies

These are wonderful, basic brownies--and a great substitute for boxed brownies (let's face it, folks--the boxes often taste better and have better texture). Part of the reason these are good is the amount of butter in them! If you don't have cake flour, put a tablespoon or so of cornstarch in the bottom of your measuring cup; add flour and sift.

Recipe from Cook's Illustrated, #67 (March-April, 2004)

  • 1 c. pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
  • 1 1/4 c. cake flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 T.) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 c. sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13x9-inch pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. If using nuts, toast lightly (5-8 minutes in oven). Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. (Althernatively, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl in microwave on high for 45 seconds; stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second intervals; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding tith rubber spatula until batter is completely smjooth and homogeneous.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatual, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve.
Serves 24

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