Last night, M. and I hung out with friends and neighbors here in Brooklyn. It was a wonderfully low-key evening, a chance to re-connect with friends after busy summers and a chance to go out for a drink at several local establishments. We enjoyed the evening thoroughly. But, in my sudden burst of kitchen energy yesterday morning, I decided to make brownies to take along. I love to bake, but when its just M. and myself to eat the baked goods, the portions can escalate quickly. So an event, like the one last night, to which I can bring something baked, taste a piece but leave the leftovers for my hosts to enjoy is really an ideal opportunity for me to try a new recipe.
I flipped through a couple books, and found the recipe for Fudge Brownies Supreme in The All-American Cookie book, a book which I've used but not recently. I had all the ingredients on hand, and the description of these densely fudgy brownies sounded irresistable. These brownies were really good, and one of the guests declared them the "best brownies ever". I do think, as I mention in my notes, that I undercooked them slightly. They were especially fudgy, and needed chilling to hold their shape. But, undercooked or not, they were definitely rich, chocolatey and delicious. And the author's description of "A friend commented that if great fudge were baked, it might taste like these brownies," was certainly apt. While I will keep trying brownie recipes to see which ones I like, this was a quick and easy recipe that I will make again. Since the recipe is plain and simple with few ingredients to dislike, I think this recipe will be great for taking to potlucks or as a host/hostess gift when the recipients' tastes might be unknown.
Fudge Brownies Supreme
The All-American Cookie Book
Nancy Baggett's Notes- These are the ones! The moistest, fudgiest, most succulent brownies ever. No frosting, no fruit, no crunchy munchies of any sort to distract from the mousse-like texture and the deep, full-blown chocolate flavor. A friend commented that if great fudge were baked, it might taste like these brownies. If you feel strongly that brownies should have nuts, you could add some walnuts to these. However, the effect will be similar to eating nuts in a chocolate mousse.
My notes - I used dark brown sugar since it was what I had on hand. I also used half a block of semi-sweet chocolate, again because it was what was on hand. I also slightly underbaked these, despite giving them 38 minutes in the oven. They still received glowing reviews, but remained a bit too moist.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
5 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semi-sweet chocolate, broken up or coarsely chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose white flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened American-style cocoa powder, sifted after measuring
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking pan, or coat with nonstick spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, letting the foil overhang two opposing sides of the pan by about 2 inches. Grease or spray foil with cooking spray.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and chocolate on 100-percent power for one minute. Stir well. Continue microwaving on 50-percent power, stirring at 30 second intervals. Stop microwaving before the chocolate completely melts, and let the residual heat finish the job. (Alternatively, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over lowest heat, stirring frequently being very careful not to burn. Immediately remove from heat.) Let cool to warm.
In a small bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and set aside. Stir the sugar and brown sugar into the chocolate-butter mixture until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir until sugar dissolves and the mixture is well blended and smooth. Stir in the flour mixture just until evenly incorporated. Turn out the batter into the baking pan, spreading to the edges.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 28-33 minutes, or until the center is almost firm when tapped and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean except for the bottom 1/4 inch which should still look moist. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand until brownie is completely cooled. Refrigerate until well chilled.
Using the overhanging foil as handles, transfer the brownie to a cutting board. Carefully peel off and discard foil. If desired, cut away and discard any overbaked edges. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the brownie into 12 bars, wiping knife clean between cuts.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze for up to a month. If freezing, leave brownie slab whole and cut into bars when partially thawed.