October 10, 2011

my very own brownies

These are indeed my very own brownies, but I do want to give credit where credit's due:  I started out using Irma Rombauer's "Brownies Cockaigne" recipe in The Joy of Cooking.

But you know me, I had to substitute cocoa and butter for the baking chocolate, because that's what I usually have on hand, and then I had to mess around with the flour a little to get a consistency I liked, and then I experimented with different brands of cocoa and started using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose because why not make it "healthy" since you can't even taste the whole wheat under all that chocolate!  Oh yeah, and the peanut butter chips and optional Wilbur buds are the finishing touch.

So here they are, made so often I don't even have to look it up (yay, me):

My Very Own Brownies

Grease (I use butter wrappers saved for this express purpose) a 9x13" pan.  I use glass but I assume that is not a crucial point.  You can also set your oven for 350 degrees if you like to preheat.

3/4 cup butter (need I say, not margarine?)
3/4 cup Wilbur brand cocoa (it really does make a difference, trust me)

Melt the butter and stir in the cocoa.  Set aside, off the heat.

4 eggs, room temp
1/4 tsp. salt

Beat the eggs & salt until "lemon-colored and frothy" (courtesy of Irma)

2 cups raw sugar (a.k.a. demerara sugar)
1 tsp vanilla

Keep beating, and slowing add the sugar and vanilla till so that it gets smooth.  (I hope you're using an electric mixer for this.  I do.)

Now, abandon the electric mixer and fold in the cocoa/butter mixture, which has partially cooled by now.  Then, before that's entirely incorporated, also fold in:

1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur's is what I tend to have around for bread-making)
1 cup Reese's brand peanut butter chips (no imitation comes close)
[optional:  a handful of Wilbur buds / Hershey kisses stuck in upside-down, pre-baking, one per brownie]

Once all the goodies are folded in, coax it out of the bowl into your prepared pan and slip it into the oven to fill your home with intoxicating aroma.  Check it around 25 minutes but it may take as long as 30 - it's done when it's dry to the touch in the middle and has begun to pull away a bit at the edges - but before the edges shrivel and turn hard.

Take it out and let the pan cool on a rack.  (The stovetop always worked well for me until the day I turned the wrong burner on.  Let's just say we did not have to use the fire extinguisher, but there are scorch marks on my vinyl flooring and I am now short a glass cake pan.)

Now, from personal experience, I happen to know that you can actually eat these right out of the pan, but it's a lot less messy after they've cooled.


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