April 22, 2010

Perfect brownies

We have been on the hunt for perfect brownies. For some reason, Allyson is constantly asking for brownies right now. We haven't really been brownie eaters, but Allyson seems to want them now. So we tried out a few different recipes.

This recipe used melted chocolate chips. It looked really promising.

And the girls worked well together making the brownies.

It looked ok in the pan, however the girls used a pan that was too small and didn't cook the brownies long enough. So we had brownie soup. Not what we were looking for.

During Ashley's ballet class one week, Allyson and I went to a thrift store to kill some time. I started looking in the cookbook section and came across a sample issue of Cooks Illustrated. The cover promised

Classic Brownies, Not Cakey, Not Fudgy, Just right!

So I happily paid the 25 cents for the issue and told Allyson we would try again. And this is what we made..

They have a crunchy top and soft middle. The edges were crisp and soft. Really a perfect brownie.

Classic Brownies

From Cooks Illustrated

1 Cup pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (I didn't use any since Allyson doesn't like nuts)
1 1/4 cups cake flour (I used all purpose)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 325. Fit foil to lie in 13 by 9 inch baking dish, allow foil to hang over the edges so it is easy to remove brownies after they bake. Spray foil lined dish with cooking spray. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water. Stir until smooth. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time mixing after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture in three batches. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. If using nuts, sprinkle over batter. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack until room temperature. Remove from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut into squares and store in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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