My friend Stephanie called this morning from Vegas to tell me they were talking about the Jif contest on a radio morning show. I quickly dialed in and they put poor, shy West on the air. He's even timid on the telephone, in his pajamas before breakfast. Hey- he didn't have a heart attack and maybe he'll even get a few more votes! Thanks Stephanie!
Two brownies diverged in Dorie's cookbook,
And sorry I was that I could not make them both.
I chose the wrong one,
And that has made all the difference.
Maybe it's not quite as poetic as Frost, but it's true. This week's assignment for my weekly baking club was for "Brownie's for Julia." But unfortunately, it sat plainfaced in the cookbook, side by side with another brownie recipe: "Bittersweet Brownies." I didn't realize I was making the wrong recipe until they were already in the oven. (It didn't help that the ingredient list was practically identical.) And when they came out of the oven, I was overjoyed at my error. I'm a picky, picky brownie biter. They have to be fudgy, rich, chocolatey, without being too gooey, or cakey, or sweet. I've made dozens of brownie recipes over the years, and I only like a handful, and there are even fewer that I can say that I love.
This is my new number two go-to brownie. (Here's the link for my number one.) Dense, without being gooey. Sweet, without being cloying. Chocolatey, without being bitter.
I made them on Sunday night.... then I woke up and made them on Monday morning again. And that alone is evidence of their endearing and addictive nature. I think I'm in love. And isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about?
Money Saving tips: I used Baker's chocolate (in the red box) with great results here. Since the recipe calls for 4 and 1/2 ounces of chocolate, I used four squares of Bakers and a generous tablespoon of chocolate chips. You can use a pricier chocolate, if you are so inclined, but you don't need to! When Baker's goes on sale for $1 a box, I load up my cart with bittersweet, unsweetened, and white chocolate for baking.
Slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan
Estimated Cost: $3.00 for 12 brownies
1 stick butter
4 and 1/2 ounces bittersweet (or semi-sweet) chocolate, NOT UNSWEETENED
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspon salt
1/2 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon, divided use
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil. Butter foil and set aside. In a medium microwaveable bowl, melt butter and chocolate, stirring often. Mix in sugar. Add eggs and mix well, until combined. Add vanilla and salt. Stir in 1/2 flour. In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips and remaining 1 tablespoon flour; fold gently into batter. Pour into prepared foil-lined baking pan. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean, but with fudgy crumbs. Let cool completely before removing foil and slicing, or using a cookie-cutter.
My sister Leslie's Red and White Pasta for Valentine's Day
PS Four more days to vote for West's More Rockin' Moroccan Peanutty Pitas. The contest ends Friday, so help us get West that $25,000 scholarship and a chance to compete in the NYC cook-off.