Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Day Brownies

Snowy Perfection
Let me begin by saying I do not completely trust weather reports. I feel rather jaded by all of the false reports of inclement weather over the years. Perhaps that is just the nature of meteorology in the good ole Pacific Northwest. It goes without saying that I was feeling rather doubtful about the prediction for snow this Thursday. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I woke up Thursday morning and peeked through the blinds of my bedroom window to see powdery white stuff everywhere. It had snowed! As predicted!

Granted, I live in a bit of a weather vortex, so snow was not covering the entire metro area, but my metro area was covered in snow. And it was pretty. My dog, Lucy, seemed a little skeptical. It was her first legitimate snow, so she didn't know what to make of it. When chunks of snow came off of her fur when we got inside, she decided snow was quite tasty.

Anyway, snow meant I was not going in to work. I had a bad experience last year when my car stalled and ran me into a curb and then I was stranded at the library for an hour before being rescued, so I just do not take any risks with the weather. My life is worth more than a day's work, if you ask me. So, since I did not go into work, I stayed in and got some cleaning done, watched this week's Glee, and made brownies. I've been needing brownies for awhile, so it was good to finally satisfy my craving.

Boy, am I satisfied. These brownies are bomb. Really. They have that indescribable quality that only really good fudgy brownies have. I am of the belief that if it is not fudgy, it is not a brownie. I'm in fudgy heaven as we speak. Perfect for a cold white day like today. :)


The Baked Brownie
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 lrg eggs, at room temp
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.

Tea and brownies!

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