Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Mother's Brownies

There will be many cookies, pies, cobblers, and cakes to come, but first I give you a staple of the American sweet tooth: the brownie.  This is my mother’s recipe, probably adapted long ago from some Junior League cookbook.  They are the perfect balance of cakey and fudgey, and they taste even better the day after baking.
homemade brownies warm from the oven, dusted with powdered sugar
I don’t think I had ever tasted ‘brownies from a box’ until I went to high school, where friends brought brownies that they had ‘made’ (added an egg and some oil to a mix) at home to share with the girls. I was always sorely disappointed with the flavor and consistency of those imposter brownies. Once you try these you’ll understand why.
moist, cakey-fudgey brownies
I find that a metal baking pan works best to make these, as a glass pan creates edges too crispy for my liking.  Pull the brownies out of the oven just when they look ‘set’; when you slightly shake the pan the middle shouldn't wobble.  The typical ‘stick a knife/toothpick in to see if it comes out clean’ won’t work here, you want them to be somewhat fudgey when you take them out of the oven.  Cut into smallish rectangles– they’re rich. Great served with ice cream.
homemade brownies + vanilla ice cream
makes 20 small brownies
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar (sometimes I use 1/2 cup raw sugar and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup butter
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar (to garnish)
Melt the butter and cocoa in a pan over medium heat, stir together and remove from heat when melted.  Cream the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the melted butter and cocoa mixture.  Add the vanilla and flour, stir till just combined.
Pour batter into a greased 8×8 inch metal pan, and bake at 325F (160C) for 18-25 minutes, or just until the middle of the brownies are ‘set’ and don’t wiggle when you give the pan a slight shake. Do not overbake or the brownies will be too dry.

Cool for at least 20 minutes, then dust with sifted powdered sugar.  Cut into small rectangles.  Serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Add 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter when you’re stirring in the vanilla and flour; proceed as directed.

No comments:

Post a Comment

love hearing from fellow bloggers, readers, cooks: leave a message