Perfect Brownies for Kids

I have found the perfect brownie for kids. Alexander (who is 10, mind you) declared these the absolute best brownies that I have ever made. And that’s high praise, considering how many different brownies I make him try.

I have to agree with him, though – these are really mild, with a cakey-but-not-dense-middle, and crispy top / edges. The semisweet chocolate gives them that “kid-pleasing” sweeter quality, because most kids (mine included) don’t care for bittersweet chocolate.

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I think I’ll make a batch of these for his class on Friday, sort of a “congratulations you survived the first week of school” treat.

Scratch that – I’ll give them to his teacher, instead – she’ll need them more.

Perfect Brownies for Kids – adapted from a recipe by Kathy Faulding

2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Semi Sweet)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla extract and chocolate chips, reserving some of the chips for later. Stir until the chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each one.  Blend in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour the mixture into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the mixture with the remaining chocolate chips and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool before slicing into squares.


Brownie Buttons

Wow – I didn’t realize so much time has passed since I last posted a recipe!

Here we are with another one bowl wonder – this time from everyone’s favorite baker, Dorie Greenspan. In case you’ve been living under a cyberspace rock lately, these brownies were just covered by 300+ bakers for Tuesdays with Dorie group.

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Easy to make, with a  wonderfully mild chocolate flavor. These are great – cute, perfectly sized, and will definitely be making an appearance for a friend’s upcoming birthday party. She wants a dessert table with an array of sweets, and I think these will be just right for a group of 50 7th graders.  I’m still on the fence as to whether or not they should be iced. The original recipe calls for a white chocolate dip (doesn’t that sound fun?), but maybe a pretty rosette of ganache would be nice too.

One note: since these are so small, you really need to watch the time. They go from done to overdone in the blink of an eye.

So don’t blink!

Brownie Buttons – adapted from Dorie Greenspan

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 teaspoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a miniature muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
Whisk together the flour and salt.
Melt the butter, chocolate and brown sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and cool for a minute or two.
Stir in the vanilla, egg and the zest, if you’re using it, into the chocolate mixture. When the mixture is well blended, add the flour and stir only until it is incorporated. You should have a smooth, glossy batter.
Spoon the batter into 12 of the muffin cups, using about a teaspoon and a half of batter to fill each cup three-quarters full.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the tops of the buttons spring back when touched. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 3 minutes before carefully releasing the buttons. Cool to room temperature on the racks.