Thursday, November 8, 2012

Outrageous Brownies

Reading through hundreds of recipes entitled, “The World’s Best Pie,” “Greatest Pancakes Ever,” “Nation’s Best Hamburger,” gets a bit tedious.  Honestly, everyone thinks their recipes are the greatest in the galaxy. So what! Just because Wisconsin Joan thinks she’s the craftiest cook since Child does not mean I’m going to adore her smoked, aged triple-cream Gouda. (Well, ok, now that I’ve typed it I’m pretty sure I would adore it.)

But occasionally, you stumble upon a recipe that makes you pause. Calling a recipe “outrageous” will get my attention – I’m always on the lookout for recipes utilizing ridiculous amounts of bacon, chocolate or cheese. As I scanned this recipe’s ingredients I started to ohhh and ahhh; saw the picture and started to drool. Then I pondered how bad it would be to spend an afternoon tasting something so dense with calories it should wield a warning label. Yep, I was in. And after tasting them, everyone I bestowed these brownies upon was hooked, too. (Dear reader, a few words of caution – do not indulge before bedtime. The combination of sugar and caffeine will make sleep a tad elusive.)

Outrageous Brownies
Courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 lb unsalted butter
1 lb plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2¼ cups sugar
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups chopped walnuts (We didn’t add these but in hindsight I’d recommend them.)

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Butter and flour a 12x18x1-inch baking sheet.* (We used a 13x2-inch oven-proof Pyrex dish for thicker brownies.)

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour 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. (If making thicker brownies, bake for 25 minutes and then an additional 25. Then proceed to check for doneness in five minute intervals.) Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

* We have found baking sprays with flour work wonderfully and cut down on time and mess. Our preferred brand - simply because it's easily accessible and tastes great - is Pam. Tried others that you think are better? Let us know!

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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