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.
Yield: Two dozen 2-inch brownies
Baking temperature: 325 degrees
Baking time: 29 to 32 minutes
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1 cup (4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup (4-1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (optional)*
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 (about 110 degrees to 120 degrees), but not bubbling; it'll 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 optional nuts and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan.
Bake the brownies in a preheated 325-degree oven 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.
*Chocolate chips will provide tiny molten pockets of chocolate within the greater brownie landscape. Add them if your desire for fudginess knows no bounds.
Nutrition information per serving (one 2-inch square, without nuts or chocolate chips, 39g): 154 cal, 4g fat, 2g protein, 4g complex carbohydrates, 16g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 43mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, 68RE vitamin A, 2mg iron, 16mg calcium, 50mg phosphorus, 9mg caffeine.
The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
The Essential Cookie Cookbook
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created December 2004
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