O.k., so actually these are MY favorite brownies, but they might just be yours too. Over the years I’ve tried my fair share of brownie recipes. Martha Stewart has a pretty good one, but this one is even better. Besides, she loses points for telling me to melt 8 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. I probably should, but never seem to have that stuff in the cupboard.
But let me tell you, those people at King Arthur Flour really know what they’re doing. I have never gone wrong or been disappointed with one of their recipes. The brownies, oh, the brownies are no exception.
King Arthur actually has three variations of this recipe: fudgy, cakey, and somewhere in the middle. All three are richly delicious and pretty much only vary in texture. I’m immediately drawn to just about anything labeled ‘fudgy’ so that’s the recipe I usually make.
If you’re looking for a little Valentine’s treat, turn the entire tray of brownies out on to a flat surface and use a heart shaped cutter to make brownie hearts. The recipients will l-o-v-e you for sharing such chocolately goodness! Or, cut into squares and share a few, and then freeze the rest for those days when you just need a little chocolate therapy for yourself.
adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
From King Arthur Flour: Many of us here at King Arthur decided that our perfect brownie should be fudgy, but not gooey, and rich enough to satisfy on its own. It should also be assertively flavored and able to stand up to hot fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream. Also, it needs to have a crisp top layer-as one of the kids said, “Just like ones from a box.” The following recipe fills the bill.
I totally agree!
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup Dutch-process cocoa*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional..but so good. You know I love ‘em toasted!)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional…but you’d be crazy to leave them out!)
Heat the oven to 325. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot but not bubbling.
It will become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth. Then add the flour and stir. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan.
Bake the brownies for 29 to 32 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a tiny amount of crumb clinging to it. The edges of the brownies should be set, but the middle still soft. Remove the brownies from the oven, and cool them completely before cutting and serving.
One note: there’s a difference between Dutch processed cocoa and the regular cocoa powder (like Hershey’s). Winco shoppers, I know there’s Dutch processed cocoa in the bulk foods section for a much cheaper price. Otherwise it can probably be found in the baking isle at your grocery store.