Wednesday, February 25, 2009

amazing brownies

i usually leave brownie making to my friend nancy or my sister rebecca: both of them are brownie baking queens, and why mess with brownie making perfection? besides, you know how it goes: people who are good at baking things also like being complimented on baking their speciality. therefore, if you ever say, "i LOVE your (fill in the blank yummy treat item)," you are likely to receive said baked item shortly. it's just how it goes. bakers are good people and they like to make your treat dreams come true.

anyway, last week i kind of was in the baking mood. we had just gotten some flour, so i was pouring the big flour bags into our canisters, when i spotted the recipe for "best ever brownies"on the bag of the king arthur flour bag. um, hello, best ever? on the back of a flour bag? hmm. now, the thing is, about 10 years ago, my brother aaron and i baked a chocolate chip recipe of of the back of a competing flour company's bag and they were amazing (but needing a few tweaks, which i have since made, and those cookies ROCK.) 

so, since brownies and chocolate chip cookies are both things that far too many people bake poorly, i was dubious, but craving yumminess and remembering the successful flour bag chocolate chip recipe. (ok, maybe not poorly, but how many just average cc cookies or brownies have you had? i've had far too many in my lifetime. just saying. it's crazy how butter, sugar, and chocolate can fail so miserably when combined, but i've had enough so-so baked goods to admit that there are a lot of lame recipes out in the world.) 

and yet somehow, the flour companies get it right...these brownies were (in my opinion) perfect. so good. so. freaking. good.

now, go forth and bake, my friends; and then share your bounty with someone you love:

1 1/4 c Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 c king arther unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (1 tsp if using unsalted butter)
1 c butter
2 c chocolate chips
4 large eggs
2 1/4 c sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat, then add the sugar & stir this to mix. Return the mixture to the heat or microwave briefly, just until it's hot but not bubbling. It will become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter & sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies. (I didn't do that part and hey turned out fine; I just melted and mixed) Transfer the mix to a mixing bowl. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, & vanilla. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour & chips. Beat until well mixed. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 28-30 mins, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it. (I baked for 24 minutes, because I hate dry overcooked brownies. I just waited til the batter looked like it had set.) The brownies should feel set both around the edges & in the center. Remove from the oven, & after 5 mins loosen the edges with a table knife, this will help prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Cool completely before cutting & serving. Call me and invite me over to share. yum!


  1. it's my fav brownie recipe too, coming from someone who is loathe to bake...

  2. Huzzah! Glad you like them. Try adding a teaspoon of espresso powder sometime, too. This is definitely my fallback, never-fail position for potluck desserts... thanks for the kind words. PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour baker/blogger


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