11 October 2006

Stress Reducing Brownies

Sometimes when I’m stressed and restless, I bake to try to relieve my nervous energy. I like this brownie recipe because it uses a few simple ingredients, yet the divine combination of butter, chocolate, and sugar creates a dense brownie with enough fudgy goodness to soothe any bad mood.

I work from a recipe from Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book with a couple caveats. It’s a nuts optional recipe, but I’m firmly anti-nuts when it comes to brownies. Nothing should interfere with the fudge-like texture of a brownie—I feel strongly about this, a nut-studded brownie won’t pass through my lips. And I fold a cup of mini-chocolate chips into the mix after the flour is incorporated to increase the chocolate richness that defines a classic fudge brownie.



My New Brownie

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350º degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter or oil. I also flour my pan.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Place sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl, add the chocolate mixture, and mix with an electric mixer until blended. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, blending until incorporated after each addition. Then scrape the bowl and blend mixture until velvety.

Add flour on low speed. I like to fold in the flour with a spatula and I add a pinch of salt to the flour before I mix it. Stir in nuts, if desired.

Pour batter in pan and spread evenly. Bake brownies in the middle rack until the center rises and cracks, and tester inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs, about 35 minutes.

Remove the pan from oven and place on a rack to cool before cutting into even squares. I prefer to invert the brownie out of the pan and cut on a flat surface.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Jasmine said...

Love the brownies...I think all brownies are stress-reducing...I'm sure it's a scientific fact somewhere...

j

10/13/2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger Blue Plate said...

i'll back you up on that—a good brownie can brighten any day.

: ) b p

10/16/2006 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmmmmmm, yummmmy

10/23/2006 1:30 PM  

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