Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Brownies

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Makes nine brownie squares

Brownies are a big thing in my family. Everyone loves brownies. Over the years my wife and I have made lots of different kinds of brownies.
That is until we ran into this recipe from Cooks Illustrated (CI). Then the search for the perfect brownie stopped.
This is such an outstanding recipe. These brownies are not cakey. They are not fudge-like.
The recipe used unsweetened chocolate and adds the amount of sugar to make the chocolate taste come through perfectly. They are in between and delicious.
The original recipe calls for a 9×12 baking pan. We like our brownies a little thicker so this recipe uses an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.
Also, CI used aluminum foil to line the pan. I have used that, but I like parchment paper better for this application.
While the directions are long, this is not a hard recipe to put together and the results are wonderful. You should give this a try.

Recipe follows.

Ingredients

1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2-1/4 cups (15¾ ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with vegetable spray (the 8×8 pan will give you thicker brownies).
  3. Cut 14-inch length parchment paper and fold lengthwise to fit the width of the pan you are using. Center the parchment paper into the baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges.
  4. Cut another 14-inch length of parchment paper fold lengthwise to fit the width of the pan you are using; center it into the width of baking pan in same manner as above, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray parchment-paper-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  6. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  7. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.)
  8. When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. This will cool off the chocolate mixture enough so you do not cook the eggs added in the next step.
  9. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined.
  10. Whisk in vanilla.
  11. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  12. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface.
  13. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and press into the batter lightly with your fingertips.
  14. Place pan in the oven and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 35to 40 minutes. Note: This is an important step. If there are a lot of crumbs on the toothpick the brownies will be under done and gummy. If there are no crumbs on the toothpick, the brownies are over done and will be dry.
  15. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours (this is the hardest part of the recipe), then remove brownies from pan by lifting parchment paper overhang.
  16. Cut brownies into squares and serve.

Storage

Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, you could freeze them if there are any left! Seems like there are never any to freeze in our house.

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1 Response to “Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Brownies”


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