Thursday, February 10, 2011


As if I needed encouragement to each more chocolate! Going through my recipe files yesterday I came across this fabulous recipe for the best cocoa brownies ever!  I don't often keep bar chocolate in the house (mainly because if it's here, I'll eat it) so when I came across this recipe all will power evaporated.  It's an easy, 1 bowl recipe that takes all of 20 min prep time & about 30- 40 min. in the oven to make the perfect brownie.  You know the one... the one with a soft, almost fudge like center and a chewy, candy like top "crust". There really is nothing that a good brownie and a nice cold glass of milk can't fix!

The Best Cocoa Brownies Ever
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (use natural or dutch-process and buy the best cocoa you can afford)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a large heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water.  It's important the that bowl actually sit in the water and not above like with most double boilers. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after testing it.  Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. At this point the sugar may not be completely melted and the mixture may still feel somewhat granular but will soften when the other ingredients are added.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.  When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.  Stir in the nuts if using.  Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 30 - 40 min. Be sure not to overcook or you will loose the soft, fudge like center. Let cool completely on a rack. 

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board.  Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

 Enjoy and please let me know what you think of the recipe!

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