Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Best-Ever Brownies

I have hunted for years for the perfect brownie recipe, and I have finally hit on it.  I got the original recipe for these brownies from Martha Stewart--not personally, mind you, but from her webpage.  Martha's brownies call for the best-quality unsweetened chocolate you can find, i.e. Callebaut or Valrhona, some chocolate chips, instant espresso, and walnuts.  Well, some problems there.  I don't know what a Callebaut or a Valrhona is and found plain old Baker's unsweetened chocolate delicious and quite rich, so much so that the chocolate chips would have been overkill.  (And believe you me, if I say adding more chocolate is overkill, it's overkill.)  Also, as I don't have any instant espresso in the house, I just used instant coffee, Maxwell House, if you must know.  And, because my son has a tree-nut allergy, I left out the walnuts, which Martha says are optional anyway.  A few tweaks and I do believe I've improved on the master.  Martha says you can store these in an airtight container for up to two days.  Go ahead and do so...if you have any left.

Chocolate Brownies

2 sticks of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
8 ounces of Baker's unsweetened chocolate
5 large eggs
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon instant coffee
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Butter a 9x13" baking pan.

In a micro-safe bowl melt the chocolate and butter together.  (Alternately, I have melted them in the oven as it heats up, but that requires a close eye on them, so that they are only in the oven long enough to melt, but not long enough to begin cooking.)  Set aside to cool.

With the paddle attachment of the mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and coffee for ten minutes at high speed.  Reduce to low speed and add the slightly cooled chocolate and vanilla.  Slowly incorporate the flour and salt.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes.  When cool, cut into 3" squares, or whatever-size your appetite dictates.

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