Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fudgy Brownies

We got new neighbors today. It's a local move and they're doing it themselves, with the help of U-Haul truck and a brother-in-law. They have a 19-month-old baby and if that weren't enough, the wife is 7 months pregnant. She's moving for two!

Since I'm unwilling to carry boxes for them, I thought I'd do the next best thing, and make them some lunch as a housewarming gift. I put together a bowl of Magic Salad and then, because they really deserve chocolate, a pan of fudgy brownies from the Epicurious Web site. I included the link if you want to check out the reviews but here is the recipe, typed all pretty like.

Best Cocoa Brownies
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (I did not use these)

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

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. 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 dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

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 (plunged?!) into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. 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.

The recipe says, "If you underbake your brownies to get a fudgy texture,
these are for you." These are for me.


  1. There's a house for sale on my street... wouldn't you like to be MY neighbor? I think our next cook-out needs those brownies... :)

  2. You might be the best neighbor ever, nothing like homemade brownies!