Well, maybe that’s a bit subjective. But I thought they were pretty good, and since other people seemed to like them, I figured I’d share the recipe here!
The other sad truth is that I have lots of other things to write about – weird fruit/vegetables given to me by the intrepid Smalerie, a garden update, and edible flowers! However, I need pictures of these things, or in some cases MORE pictures of them, or a bit more research done than I have time for today, and I really wanted to get a post up! Besides, it seems like forever since I wrote about something other than vegetables, and while I love vegetables (I wouldn’t keep writing about them, otherwise!) I thought it was time for a change.
So, brownies! I will never forget the first time my sister Kate and I made brownies, when we were kids. My mother was away, I think in the hospital, actually, although why that was escapes me. It’s entirely possible she was busy having one of our other sisters, since we have two more. In any case, our Papa was coming over for a visit, and my dad let us “bake” a batch of brownies. In reality, of course, this mostly involved pouring the mix out of a box and stirring all of the ingredients together – we were too young to actually operate the oven. Unfortunately, the timer must not have gone off, and we lost track of time, because when we took the brownies out they were as hard as rocks! We were crushed – what would we serve to Papa now? Luckily, Dad had a solution – he told us they were “dunking brownies” and would go well with a cup of coffee. I’m not sure whether they were actually even edible – if we’d made some sort of chocolate biscotti or just straight up paving stones – but everyone was very polite about them, and it was good enough.
So those were the WORST brownies I’d ever made – though I’ll have to admit they were far from the only duds. For some reason brownies, a very simple bar cookie indeed, eluded me for years. I kept wanting them to taste like my mother’s – she always made them out of a box but they were PERFECT – shiny on the top, with a fudgy center, but since I insisted on NOT using box mix mine kept coming out cakey and frankly, not all that chocolatey – acceptable as a dessert, but not RIGHT. Not BROWNIES.
And then I found this recipe.
Go ahead, click the link – I’ll wait. You’ll see the answer to my dilemma in the note above the recipe.
Oh, what the heck, I’ll quote it for ya:
Cocoa brownies have the softest center and chewiest candylike top “crust” of all because all of the fat in the recipe (except for a small amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa) is butter, and all of the sugar is granulated sugar rather than the finely milled sugar used in chocolate.
My problem all those years, with all of those recipes, is that they had called for actual chocolate!
In addition, I’ve learned over the years that it’s important to under-bake, with brownies. Cooking all the way to done will get you those “dunking” brownies of my youth, or at the very least a dry, unappealing brownie.
Most recently, I adjusted this recipe for a cook-out some fabulous friends threw, adding a few goodies like a tablespoon of instant coffee, for greater richness, and replacing some of the regular cocoa powder with Mexican hot chocolate from Dagoba. Mexican hot chocolate is made with cinnamon and chili powder, so it adds just the right amount of kick – brownies that go to 11! (I just replace those extra 2 tablespoons) Finally, those walnuts are NOT optional in my book – they are necessary to break up the sweetness of brownies!
That batch was a winner – deep and fudgy and just a tiny bit spicy!
Do any of you have a simple dessert that eludes you? Did you conquer it?