Deep, Dark Brownies

It wasn’t until I put the two recipes side by side that I realized this recipe is almost identical to the Baked brownie. You know, the BAKED brownie. But it makes sense, considering the recipe comes from Matt Lewis.

I got this recipe off the Martha Stewart website, and the only difference is between this and the Baked brownie is the use of semisweet chocolate vs. bittersweet chocolate.  Otherwise, everything else is status quo.

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These were amazing ~ and just as the name suggests, they are deep, dark, intensely flavored and an all-around great brownie.

I did leave out the chocolate chips ~ the brownies are substantial enough without any extras. They just might become my #2 favorite brownie.

Deep Dark Brownies – adapted from Matt Lewis

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon best-quality cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper and butter parchment.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine butter and espresso. Place over low heat and stir until butter has melted. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in both sugars until well combined.
Add eggs and vanilla and continue stirring until well incorporated and mixture no longer appears grainy. Sift flour mixture over batter, and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan; smooth top with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 28 to 30 minutes. Be sure not to over bake. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 9 brownies.

Martha Stewart Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I made these brownies last year – and wrote that “while very good, they have a milder flavor than Ina’s Outrageous Brownies”. Then again, most brownies have a milder flavor when compared to Ina’s – so my comparison was definitely unbalanced.

The method for mixing these is similar to the Sweet Melissa Brownies – meaning that the sugar and eggs are whipped together first, as opposed to just stirring them into the chocolate/butter mixture.

The longer beating time does create the “crispy” top crust, which I am ambivalent about – but the basic facts are the same – these are good, sturdy and while a bit more time consuming than a standard one-bowl mix, they have good chocolate flavor and aren’t difficult to make.

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Chocolate Fudge Brownies – adapted from Martha Stewart

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
12 ounces coarsely chopped good-quality bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a buttered 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.
Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate are melted. Let cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out brownies; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Sweet Melissa Brownies

Last week, for Sweet Melissa Sundays, our chosen recipe was Brooklyn Brownout Cake, which required us to bake a batch of brownies that were used to fill the cake layers.

I always like a recipe that requires me to bake brownies. 🙂

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The ingredients are pretty straightforward, very similar to a one-bowl brownie recipe. The difference here is that Melissa instructs you to whip the eggs and sugar together before adding the melted chocolate. I can’t say it made a big difference in the overall texture, but I did use a smaller pan and therefore my brownies came out thicker, which I liked.

Flavorwise? Very simple, no bells and whistles, just a regular brownie. I don’t want to use the word plain, but these are perfect for kids or anyone that doesn’t like strongly flavored brownies.

I will definitely make these again.

Chocolate Walnut Brownies – Sweet Melissa’s
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional) (I didn’t use them.)
Before you start:
Position a rack in the center of your oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9x9x2-inch square cake pan.  (I used an 8×8 pan.)
(1) In the top of a double boiler set over simmering, not boiling, water, melt the butter and chocolate.  Remove from the heat but keep warm.
(2) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
(3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
(4) Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in 3 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Stir in the nuts by hand.
(5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until sides begin to pull away from the pan and center is moist but not running, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a  wire rack to cool.
(6) When cool, loosen the edges of the pan with a knife and invert the brownies onto a cutting board.  Cut into 12 brownies.

Amaretto Chocolate Brownies

These tasty little chocolate devils come to us from Tyler Florence.

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In my words – delicious.

In my husbands words – “For a man that thoroughly dislikes brownies, I couldn’t get enough of them. They were simple, perfectly sweet, no chunky stuff, and the amaretto really made these exceptional. The only problem is that they are gone. Megan needs to make more.”

So with a review like that, what are you waiting for?

Amaretto Chocolate Brownies – adapted from Tyler Florence

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 by 9 square baking pan with parchment paper, making sure paper hangs over the edges. Grease paper with butter so the brownies don’t stick. Melt butter and chocolate over a double-boiler and stir gently until smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk together eggs, sugar and amaretto in a mixing bowl until combined. Pour in chocolate mixture and continue to whisk until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, and incorporate with a wooden spoon. Transfer batter to baking pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the pan. When done, invert onto a cutting board, remove paper and cut into squares. Garnish with powdered sugar and serve.