Thursday, January 29, 2009

Plain Old Brownies

For this week's PLTI class, I made a batch of regular old brownies. For the zillions of brownie recipes I probably have access to, both in cookbooks at home and from Web sites, I have got to admit that my favorite fallback recipe is the one on the box of Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate. It's a straight-ahead, fudgy brownie that does well with a cup of something added. (Their recipe calls for a cup of chopped pecans, but in this version, I used a cup of white-chocolate chips.) The big tweak that I make is that I add salt; just a small amount of salt (I've settled on 3/8 teaspoon) really enlivens the chocolate flavor.

If you don't want to click through to the Kraft Web site, here's the recipe:

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted and cooled to room temperature (or substitute 1 cup of some other mix-in: chocolate chips, peanuts, chopped-up peanut-butter cups)

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line 13x9 baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and pecans; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

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