Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brownies To-Die-For

For my brother-in-law's birthday party, I was charged with baking something that would feed 30 people. Easier said than done! I didn't think you could cut a cake into that many slices without resorting to a boring sheet cake, and cookies wouldn't allow for the whole blow-out-the-candle thing. So at the last second I went with brownies.

I chose this recipe on Food Network's website based on the rave reviews. Some suggested leaving out the coffee, but I thought that sounded like a delicious way to vary from the standard issue brownie. I wasn't disappointed! These brownies were oh so rich and delicious. I'm not a huge fan of nuts in brownies, but they worked here, and provided a good counterpoint to the otherwise densely rich chocolate.

I accidentally left out 4 ozs of chocolate, but good lord, these have so much chocolate in them, that I cannot imagine why they'd need to be any more chocolaty!

Someone else (dared!) to bring brownies to the party, and perhaps it was my rather aggressive cajoling that enticed people to prefer mine, but I'd like to think it was just the face that these were divine!

The boyfriend and I literally turned the tupperware up over our faces to make sure we got every last crumb once the last brownie was gone a few days later.

Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies
Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
This was adapted from a recipe for chocolate globs in the Soho Charcuterie Cookbook.
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Serves: 20 large brownies
  • Ingredients
    • 1 pound unsalted butter
    • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
    • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    • 6 extra-large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
    • 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 cups diced walnut pieces


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

    Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

    Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

    Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.



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