A Christmas Gift To You Readers: THE Brownies

Monday, December 13, 2010

Living back in California I used to make this brownie recipe for the holidays and give them out, or for any special occasion like parties or birthdays. To say there are a success is an understatement. Everyone knows these brownies. So much so, that their official name is The Brownies as in there can only be one kind.

In the spirit of giving now this holiday season, my gift to you all is the secret recipe. It's not so much a secret, as it's largely based on Ina Garten's recipe. But I added a couple of tricks here to make them just perfection with a little bit more depth. I like subtle differences, so for me it makes a difference.

So without further adieu, here's the recipe for the famous brownies with my notes to help you along. Merry Christmas!

The Brownies
1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks)

1 pound semisweet chocolate chips + 6 ounces*
12 ounces milk chocolate chips
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules or 3 Tbsp strongly brewed coffee
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Set a pot with about 1 inch deep water to boil. Add a large glass bowl on top of it so it sits on top of the pot, but the bowl doesn't touch the boil water. This is called a double-boiler. Add the butter and all of the semisweet chocolate chips together in the bowl, and let melt together. Use a spatula or large whisk to help the butter and chocolate melt -- you want one even and thick melted chocolate with no lumps so stirring it will help stir out those lumps.

Once chocolate has melted completely, remove the glass bowl with the chocolate in it from the heat and let stand to cool about 5 minutes.

While the chocolate cools, prepare the wet ingredients for your brownies. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, coffee granultes/or prepared coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Use a whisk to stir the mixture -- do not beat the mixture. About 10 turns around the bowl should get everything combined just right.

Slowly add the cooled melted chocolate-butter mixture into the egg mixture, stirring while you add. This will help prevent the eggs from cooking! Stir to combine everything well. Sift together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt to the chocolate mixture; you can do this directly into the chocolate mixture or in a separate bowl, and then add it to the chocolate mixture.

In a small bowl, toss the remaining 1/4 cup flour with the nuts and milk chocolate chips -- the flour will prevent the nuts and milk chocolate from sinking to the bottom of the brownies when cooking. Then add them to the brownie batter, using a spatula to fold them in. Pour the brownie batter into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting.

The Brownies served my favotie way - with an ice-cold shot of milk!
To cut, use a very sharp knife and have a glass of water next to you. By dipping the knife into the water, you help prevent the knife from sticking to the brownies and dragging it along to break up the pieces. You'll get a cleaner cut this way. Cut the brownies into desired amounts. Serve at room temperature or rewarmed with a cold glass of milk!

*If you use the standard sized chip bags from the market, they come in 11.5-12 oz bags. You'll need a total of 2 full 12-oz bags of the semisweet and 1 full 12-oz bag of the milk chocolate chips for this recipe.

I've also used some sprinkled sea salt on top of the brownies for added salty crunch that is amazing. If you do this, sprinkle only a little right on top of the batter before baking.


The Hubsters said...

One of my favorite dessert items. Ever.

Virginia said...

These are, in fact, the best brownies EVER people. Take my word for it. i am a brownie connoseur. Yes, i know i spelled taht incorrectly. But it doesn't matter - the brownies are still the best you will ever eat.

Mishy said...

Thanks guys! It's a pleasure to make them for you guys!