I am on a mission to find the perfect brownie recipe. My husband is a brownie fanatic. He loves fudgy, extra chewy brownies, and his favorite ones come from a local bakery. Here’s the thing, I want to make him the perfect homemade brownie. So at midnight last night, I started my quest. Before I start, I must admit my sad secret……I have never in my life made brownies from scratch. Crazy, I know, coming from a girl who loves to bake.
Having recently discovered Rose Levy Beranbaum, I decided to try out her Cocoa Brownie recipe. (I am an avid visitor of her blog and website.) I followed her recipe to the T, even whisking the batter by hand and not using my trusty KitchenAid mixer. The only thing omitted was the pecans, because I did not have any in the house and I was not about to head out and get some at midnight. To add my own little flare, I added some Carmel Bits to half of the pan of brownies.
These brownies turned out wonderfully. They were very fudgy, cakey and moist. The brownies were not overly sweet or rich. Were they the exact match to my husband’s perfect brownie? No, but he still ate his fair share. These Cocoa Brownies are wonderful and will definitely fill your chocolate craving. However, I am still on the mission in finding the perfect chewy brownie.
(Rose Levy Beranbaum, Rose’s Christmas Cookies)
1 ½ cups-coarsely chopped pecans
14 tablespoons-unsalted butter
½ cup + 2 teaspoons –unsweetened cocoa (preferably Dutch-processed)
1 cup + 3 tablespoons-sugar
2 teaspoons- pure vanilla extract
½ cup- bleached all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Equipment: 8 x 8 x2 inch baking pan, preferably metal (if using a glass pan, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F.), bottom lined with parchment or wax paper, sprayed with nonstick vegetable spray or butter.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
-Place pecans on a cookie sheet and toast them, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
-In a medium saucepan or in a microwave-proof bowl, melt the butter. Remove from the heat source and whisk in the cocoa. Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour, salt, and nuts and stir into the mixture using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
-Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
-Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. A wooden pick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs still clinging to it. Do not over bake.
-Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Use a small metal spatula to loosen the brownie from the sides of the pan and invert onto the back of a cookie sheet. Peel off the liner and reinvert the brownie onto a cutting surface. Use a serrated knife to cut 2 inch squares.