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Monday, February 1, 2016

Brownies - Perfected!

Quite some time ago, I posted a brownie recipe on here that I was pretty fond of. Fond enough that I called them "Devilishly Good." They are. But as time went on, I stopped using the coffee granules; I guess I just wanted that pure chocolate taste. And they are just a tad on the cakey side, and I found that I really was a fudgy brownie girl at heart. And even though I had already reduced the fat in them significantly from the brownies I used as my beginning recipe (Barefoot Contessa's), they still seemed a bit greasy. Lastly, they just never quite seemed dark enough, but just adding more chocolate didn't help them. 

I pondered and pondered this darkness conundrum over the last few years. Then one day, out of the blue, I remembered an interesting accident I had once when making my favorite chocolate cake. I had messed up the leavening, substituting baking powder for baking soda and came out with drastically different results. And I do mean drastic... baking powder cake on right, baking soda cake on left. Interestingly, not only was there a difference in color, but the chocolatey-ness was completely different. It got me to wondering if there was some kind of a special chemical reaction that happens between the acidic cocoa powder and the basic soda that just wasn't happening when using baking powder.

And so there is! Check out these two batches of brownies. On the right is my original "Devilishly Good Brownies" and on the left is my "Brownies - Perfected!" recipe. The recipes really aren't that different, but look at the change in the end result! My new brownie recipe is fudgy and so, so, so chocolatey, they are divine. Hard to imagine that simply changing the type of leavening could make such a big difference in the color and flavor. Adjusting the fat and egg level did the rest. If you prefer cakey brownies, stick with my old recipe, but change to using baking soda. If you want the perfect fudgy brownie, this is the last recipe you will ever need.

The hardest part about this recipe is melting the chocolate and butter together in the microwave... just kidding - it isn't hard at all!

This recipe is a cinch to mix together and the end results are really, truly special.

Brownies - Perfected!
Yield: one 9x13 pan of brownies

1 1/2 stick salted butter
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda

In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt together the butter and chocolate chips. Check regularly and stir until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and mix together. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir again. In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda. Add to the batter and stir just to mix. Dump into a greased 9x13 pan. Smooth out with a spatula and bake in a 325 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Be sure not to over bake or they won't be fudgy. Brownies are ready when the middle does not jiggle much when the pan is gently shaken on oven rack and a tester will come out clean. Let cool before cutting.

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