Perfect Brownies

Before I get chastised for titling or claiming a “perfect” brownie, allow me to explain.

The name of these brownies, adapted from Serious Eats, is Perfect Brownies.

Are they perfect? Well, no.

Are they chewy, chocolatey, a bit cakey and simply delicious? Absolutely.

P1000320Enjoy :)

Perfect Brownies – adapted from Serious Eats

  • Non-stick cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 5 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Adjust oven rack to medium position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8- by 8-inch baking pan with non-stick pan spray. In heatproof bowl over pan of barely simmering water, heat chocolate and butter until just melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Sift flour and cocoa into medium bowl; set aside. In large bowl, whisk sugar with eggs, yolk and vanilla until light, about 30 seconds. whisk in chocolate mixture. Using wooden spoon, stir in chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in flour mixture and pecans until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until just set and toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs about 25-30 minutes. Let cool on wire rack about 45 minutes before cutting into squares.

Andes Mint Brownies

Summer is almost over……..school starts next week, and the days of hitting the ground with a running start at 5:00 a.m. will soon commence.

It’s crazy – where does the time go? I haven’t posted anything since April – in fact, I think these are the first brownies I’ve baked since then.

And quite frankly, that’s almost shameful for a chocoholic such as myself……

So about these brownies – they’re good. Really good. Sabrina eats hers frozen (which enhances the chill factor from the mint) and Alexander eats his at room temperature (at which point their consistency is almost cake-like).

Which reminds me… time to get working on that Top 10 list I’ve been promising for so long…..

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Andes Mint Brownies – adapted from dorie greenspan

5 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) York Peppermint Patties, chopped into bits

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.  Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates.  Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

With a whisk, stir in the sugar.  Don’t be concerned when your smooth mixture turns grainy.  Whisk in the eggs one by one.  Add the vanilla and whisk vigorously to bring the batter together and give it a shine before gently stirring in the flour; stir only until incorporated.  Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the peppermint pieces.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake the brownies for 30 to 33 minutes, or until the top is dull and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  (The tip of the knife may be a touch streaky.)  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.

When they are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.

Chewy Fudgy Brownies

Once again, another trip to the doctor (for my mother) necessitated another batch of brownies to be delivered in conjunction with her visit.

However, unlike the last batch that I never got to try, this time I planned ahead – I baked a double batch of these and actually tried one.

Wow – they truly are chewy, fudgy, and absolutely delicious. Good thing I still have one stashed in the freezer.

And it’s another good thing that the posse doesn’t know about it.

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Chewy Fudgy Brownies – adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

5 oz semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbs. unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into quarters
3 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

In medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture; then stir in flour with wooden spoon until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners, and level surface with rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Robert’s Best Brownies

Hello fellow chocolate fans!

This post originally appeared on Megan’s Sweet Life…but I’m reprinting it here so I can keep this blog up to date ……..

I have to admit something regarding these brownies…….

I didn’t try them…

Shocking I know, especially if you are aware of my intense love affair with chocolate….

However, they were baked, wrapped up, and delivered to my dermatologists’ office before my mom had a procedure done two weeks ago. My doctor is as much of a card-carrying chocoholic as I am, so I always like to take something extra delicious for him and his staff.

The next day, I had to take Alexander over to the office to have a palm thorn removed from his hand (long story) – but the girls made a point of telling me how absolutely delicious those brownies were – and was I sure I didn’t buy them somewhere?

…..as if…...

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Robert’s Best Brownies – adapted from David Lebovitz

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Line the inside of an 8-inch square pan with 2 lengths of foil, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan, or with a single large sheet of extra wide foil or parchment paper. Lightly butter the foil or parchment.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the chocolate and stir by hand until it is melted and smooth.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs by hand, 1 at a time. Add the flour and stir energetically for 1 full minute—time yourself—until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the saucepan.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center feels almost set, about 30 minutes. Do not overbake.
Let the brownie cool completely in the pan—this is the difficult part—before lifting the foil or parchment and the block of brownie out of the pan. Cut the brownie into squares.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I’ve done peanut butter brownies before – quite a few times, I think…..and while these won’t win any awards for creativity or looks, they were spec-ta-cu-lar….

Of course, I am a card-carrying peanut butter enthusiast, so perhaps my opinion is slightly biased :)

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Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies – adapted from martha stewart

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Peanut butter filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractPreheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang).

Make batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.

Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Coconut Swirl Brownies

As I was perusing my newest holiday baking magazines (can’t resist those at the checkout stand!), I started thinking about what kind of brownies I wanted to make this week.

I started mentally reviewing all the recipes I’ve tried, variations of those recipes, and then it hit me – I don’t think I’ve ever made coconut brownies before.

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Like a cross between a brownie and a Mounds candy bar, these were really, really good – but I guess I fell a bit short in the swirling department, because I was advised by my trusty taste testers that there wasn’t enough of the coconut filling. But honestly, I think if I doubled the filling I would end up with a black bottom coconut bar – which isn’t a bad thing at all, now that I think of it….

These were delicious nonetheless and definitely worth it.

Coconut Swirl Brownies – adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 large egg white
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped ( I used bittersweet)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Spray foil with nonstick spray and set aside.
Stir together 1 tablespoon of sugar, the condensed milk, coconut, egg white, and 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla in a bowl.
Put butter and both chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a bowl.
Whisk remaining 3/4 cup sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs; whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well combined.
Pour 1/3 of chocolate batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly with an offset spatula. Drop dollops of coconut mixture (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining coconut mixture on top.
Gently swirl coconut mixture into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Simply The Best Chocolate Brownies

I could have sworn only a few weeks have passed since I last posted.

I was wrong, because it’s been a few months….

Unbelievable.

At any rate, here’s a recipe for brownies that can truly be described as “simply the best”. Really, they are. From the master of chocolates, Marcel Desaulnier, these brownies are definitely going to hit my top ten list for 2012. I do have a few more I want to try before the end of the year, and with the holidays coming up, I had better get busy.

Stay tuned.. I won’t be gone that long again :)

Simply The Best Chocolate Brownies – adapted from Marcel Desaulnier

4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
3 eggs
1 cup sugar1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/4 cup sour cream4 ounces chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 1 1/2-inch cake pan with 1 teaspoon of butter. Flour the pan with 1 teaspoon of flour, shaking out the excess.

Sift together 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt onto waxed paper. Set aside.
Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 4 tablespoons butter, and 2 ounces semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler tightly cover top with film wrap. Heat for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes, remove from the heat, and stir until smooth.
Place 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on high speed until slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk on medium for 30 seconds. Add the sifted ingredients, whisk on low for 10 seconds, then on medium for 10 seconds. Add the sour cream and whisk on medium for 5 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine ( also add and combine 4 ounces chocolate chunks ).
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading evenly. Bake the brownie for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan.