by Alice Medrich
2/3 cup walnut or pecan halves or large pieces, optional
6 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 ounces Scharffen Berger 99% (unsweetened) Chocolate, cut into small pieces
3 ounces Scharffen Berger 62% (semi sweet) Chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
8 x 8 inch pan, lined across the bottom and up two opposite sides with parchment paper or foil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. With a rack positioned in the center.
If using the nuts, spread them on a cookie sheet and toast them for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly colored and fragrant. Allow the nuts to cool. Chop them coarsely.
Melt butter with both chocolates in the top of a double boiler or in a medium sized heat proof bowl set in a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove the top of the double boiler (or the bowl) from the heat. Stir in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan, about one minute. Stir in the nuts if you are using them. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter just begins to pull away from the edges of the pan (It will still be very gooey on the inside). Cool on a rack, at least 1 hour in the pan. Slide a knife between the pan and the brownies on the unlined sides. Lift the ends of the parchment or foil and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares, or more (these are very rich!). Brownies may be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
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