Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mmm mmm, Brownies

Best brownies I have ever had.  That's right, EVER!

On the rare occasions when my sweet tooth kicks in, and on the even more rare occasions when it demands something chocolate-y, I usually turn to brownies.  They're quick, easy and they get the job done.  Usually, I eat one and then take the rest to work. But I may have a hard time parting with these tomorrow.  These brownies jumped out at me from the pages of Bon Appetit and they immediately came to mind tonight when I wanted something sweet.

The breakdown:
  • Flavor/Texture: Very dense and intensely chocolate brownies. Not too sweet or rich. I loved the crunch of the walnuts.
  • Difficulty: VERY easy to make. Browning the butter was pretty much the only effort put in, and that's not much.
  • Pros: Quick to make and all of the ingredients were in my pantry.  No special shopping trips.
  • Cons: I wanted to eat the entire pan.
  • Misc: Don't skip lining the pain with foil and spraying with cooking spray. The brownies are quite sticky and you may never get them out of the pan otherwise. I used a ceramic dish and had to bake an additional 5 minutes.
  • Encore Performance: I will definitely be marking these as a favorite and making them again. Think tomorrow is too soon?
Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Walnuts
Bon Appetit, February 2011

Nonstick oil spray
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (*NOT Dutch Process!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp flour
1 cup walnut pieces

Position rack in bottom third of over; preheat to 325. Line 8 x 8 baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at the bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add to sugar, cocoa, 2 tbsp water, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously after each addition. When mixture looks think and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.  Using foil overhand, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. 

Pour yourself a glass of milk and get to it!

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