August 15, 2009

And now a break from job hunting woes to bring you a recipe

These are dark chocolate brownies that perfect for those of us who don't like our chocolate too sweet. The base recipe came from King Arthur's flour; I modified it to make this. Since they are nearly black in color, I call them...

Blackout Brownies

1 c. unsalted butter (about 2 sticks)
2 1/4 c. white sugar
1 1/4 c. dark chocolate or semi-sweet cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract (use artificial and I will haunt you to your grave)
4 large eggs
2 1/2 c. white flour, preferably unbleached
1 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips or morsels.

1 pot
1 stove top
1 13x9 baking pan, preferably stoneware
1 oven preheated to 350 F

In the pot, melt the butter over low heat on your stove top.

Add the sugar and heat slowly over low heat until hot but not bubbling. Stir frequently and pay attention to it because the line between hot and scorched is a thin one--if you burn it you'll taste it in the brownies.

When hot, remove from heat. Stir in cocoa, baking powder, salt and vanilla, and mix until smooth.

Add in all four eggs, and mix until smooth.

Stir in the flour, and mix until smooth.

Stir in the chips...and yes, mix until smooth.

Spread the mixture into a greased 13x9 pan.

Place in oven. Cook for 28-33 minutes at 350 F, or until knife stuck in the center comes out clean or nearly so. It's better to slightly undercook them than overcook them, so a few clinging crumbs are OK.

Remove and cool somewhat before serving. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Serves 1 to 12, depending on how much you like brownies.

For a richer flavor, substitute brown sugar for white.

For a different flavor, replace some/all of the vanilla extract with the flavored extract of your choice (almond, mint, etc.). I've experimented over the years with various flavors, and whatever flavor you choose, I do recommend you keep some vanilla in--it's OK if you add a little extra extract(s) than the 1 tbsp listed. 1.5 or even 2 tbsp will not kill the recipe.

If you prefer more sweetness, replace chips and/or cocoa with regular instead of semi-sweet.

You can also stir about 1/2 c. to 1 c. nuts with the chips.

Do NOT make this in a 9x9 or 8x8 pan. The problem here is that those pans results in it taking a lot longer for the brownies to cook in the center, with the outside brownies coming out tougher. So keep that in mind if you really want to use a 9x9 or smaller. On the other hand, if you use a larger pan (e.g. 13x17) instead, your brownies will be thinner and cooking time will be less so adjust accordingly.

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