Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Baking: Fudge Brownies

Paul was getting majorly irritated with Matthew last night. I had been running some errands and walked back into the house only to be greeted by Paul pointing accusingly at Matthew and saying: "He's driving me crazy." Apparently, Matthew had been going to the diaper wipe container, removing a single wipe, rubbing it about his nose while making blowing sounds, and then promptly rushing into the kitchen to throw it into the garbage can. And then he would repeat this same routine - over and over again. By the time Paul saw what he was up to, he had gone through nearly half the package of diaper wipes. I thought it was pretty funny and think Paul was just lacking in a bit of humor that evening.

Although I shouldn't be so quick to judge Paul. Earlier in the day, I was getting pretty peeved myself at the little munchkin. Matthew is a major pain when it comes to wrapping gifts. Holy cow. I thought he would enjoy perhaps putting pieces of tape onto the seam. He's normally pretty good about helping out with little things like that. But no. He just wanted to stick the pieces of tape all over his forehead, cheeks, and tummy. Then, when I had finished wrapping a gift and put it aside to begin wrapping a new one, he would toddle over to it and begin removing the pieces of tape from himself and sticking them randomly all over the entire package. Needless to say, my wrapping job this year looks less than stellar. Then he got all mad at me because I refused to let him hold the sharp scissors. Forgive me son, but I would like to see you reach your 2nd birthday.

A lot of you are probably thinking that brownies are not a Christmas cookie. They're really not...but I don't care. I love brownies and will use any excuse to make them.

Especially these brownies.

These, at least to me, are the ultimate brownies. They are dark, rich, and intensely chocolaty. They are almost like fudge - although not quite that rich (I really don't like fudge all that much). I made a whole bunch of cookies and brownies for my brother's wedding in June and used that baking project as an opportunity to test out a lot of different brownie recipes to determine which made the best batch. These won my heart hands down. I hosted a blind taste test for Paul of all the different brownies and he chose this one as well. I have since had the opportunity to cater a couple different parties/events through my parish and these proved to be very popular.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised I loved this brownie recipe so much. It came from the same Brooklyn bakery that conceived my beloved Root Beer Float cake. Everything I have tried from their cookbook has been incredible.

Brownies are very difficult to photograph - they definitely do not win any baked goods beauty contest. So don't be turned off by my crappy pictures. Give these a try! They might become your new favorite brownie recipe!

The Baked Brownie
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey's Special Dark)
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

1 comment:

  1. These look incredible! I too have loved every recipe I have tried so far from Baked. I forgot to say on the TWD brownie post that your oatmeal with carmelized apples looks wonderful too!