Friday, April 4, 2014

Back with brownies

My counters are filthy, my sink is full of dirty dishes, I haven't posted in a year (?) and I took this poorly composed picture with my iPhone. 

There. All of my reasons to hold off on posting this.

But, I haven't posted in a year, and I really want to start again. I am still trying to figure out in what kind of capacity I want our newest addition to be featured, so I won't hit on that yet. 
But, I have been thinking and talking and talking and talking about homemade brownies lately and wanted to share my favorite recipe. Despite trying different types of "favorites" from my favorite blogs, I ended up going back to an old standby in my recipe book; the brownie recipe that I use to make brownie cupcakes, only to find that even in a bar form, this is an amazing recipe! 

For those of you that still use and love the boxes...they're great, right? But let me just make the case for homemade, from-scratch brownies for you.

They are: 
quick (I would contend that they are almost as quick as the box mix)
made with pantry staples
so, so tasty

So, without further ado:

My Favorite Brownies

yield: 1-8"x8" pan 

4oz dark chocolate*
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c (8oz) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 c (2.7oz) all purpose flour
1/2 c chocolate chips** (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° (325° if you have a convection oven)

1. Using a serrated knife, chop the chocolate
2. Over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl while stirring
3. Whisk the sugar, then the eggs, and finally, the vanilla and salt in to the chocolate and butter
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in flour and chocolate chips. 
5. Grease and line an 8"x8" pan with a strip of parchment paper that covers the bottom and goes up two sides then grease the parchment
6. Pour batter in the pan, smooth, and bake for 20-30 minutes
7. Pull from the oven when a toothpick comes out allllmost clean (there will be just a few crumbs that stick) and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before pulling them out with the help of the parchment handles

*Use a good quality here with a high cocoa content -- but, you don't have to break the bank; my go-to baking chocolate is the 72% dark chocolate pound plus bar from Trader Joe's. You can't beat $7.99 for 17.6 oz of chocolate.
**Mint chocolate chips is a favorite to add in our household.