Saturday, August 15, 2009

Brownies! How could you go wrong?

Don't worry--nothing did go wrong!
This was a great brownie recipe--simple, straightforward, super yummy. There have been a lot of brownie recipes on the Internet lately with a *lot* of fancy chocolate and technique (I like Bridget's comparison of some of them). This is just a straightforward brownie recipe with unsweetened chocolate and "only" 1 stick of butter. Not that there's anything wrong about that!
My go-to brownie recipe is Maida's All-American Brownie recipe, which is a one-bowl recipe. Actually, the recipe on the box of Baker's unsweetened chocolate is pretty similar to that. In a one-bowl recipe, you melt the chocolate and butter together in a big microwave-proof bowl, then add vanilla, sugar, eggs, and flour (and nuts/chocolate chips/whatever). So easy, it's hard to understand why people use mixes.
So I was a little peeved to see that the "Brownie Schrumpf's" recipe involves one extra bowl--the one used for melting the chocolate. The recipe also takes somewhat longer because you cream the butter, sugar, and eggs. I was worried that this would lead to the brownies being cakey and dry, but no worries. They were moist and fudgy and yummy.
Note that I use the past tense. I believe we have two more brownies on a plate, but I sent the rest with our exchange student as she moved into the dorms today. If it's true that brownies are, as Maida says, "the best way to win friends and influence people," then Marjorie should have a lot of good friends very soon. Were you able to influence people with your brownies, Alicia?

Here's the recipe I made:
Brownie Schrumpf's Brownies

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped coarsely
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
scant 2 cups sugar (13 oz.)
4 large eggs (I used 5 small)
1 c. (4 oz.) sifted flour
1 c. (4 oz.) coarsely chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13-inch pan. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (2 blasts of 30 seconds). Cream the butter with vanilla and salt until it's soft and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat that for 2-3 minutes (this won't get that fluffy due to the high sugar-to-butter ratio). Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down the bowl in between each egg. Beat in the chocolate, and then beat in the flour just until everything is incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle nuts on top of half the brownies (this gives people a choice between nuts and no nuts, and it also gets the walnuts nice and toasted). Bake for about 25 minutes, but check after 20 minutes. The toothpick you put in the brownies should come out with a few crumbs attached to it. Mine came out dry after 22 minutes, but my brownies were not. Whew! Cool the brownies, and if you have patience and you want the brownies to look perfect, freeze them for a while before you cut them into perfect little squares. If you're like me, wait for the brownies to be barely firm enough to cut, and then go to it. I made a lot of little brownies--probably more than 32. And now they're all gone. I hope they perform their social function!


  1. yeah... i wonder why people buy brownie mix. i mean... it's not like there's a giant box of brownie mix in our shed or anything haha

  2. Okay, just reading this blog is adding to my waistline. The next thing you know I'll have to bake brownies TOO. I can see this going to be most challenging!

  3. Yes, yes - fresh brownies! Just what I need! Love your writing style; keep it up. What is wrong with your camera?

  4. There's something wrong with my chip; Sami's camera, which actually takes *good* pictures, has a battery problem. So no photos until we can resolve these issues :-(