Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bittersweet Brownies for your Valentine

Post Edit:
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.
Bittersweet Brownies
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
2 eggs
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.
Next Up:
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.


The Japanese Redneck said...

I'm glad you've found a recipe that fits exactly what you like.

Yup, they must have been good to make 2 batches like that.

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gigi said...

Yum! I could be in love too.

cindy said...

Looks like I better try this recipe too. I love the heart! I was very impressed with this weeks recipe. I made it in muffin tins so I could have more 'edges'!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Dear Prudence (I'm singing this part).

What do we do with the remaining chocolate chips in the flour? Fold it into the brownies? Sprinkle on top?

Prudy said...

Yikes, Sandy! I forgot to write it in. I'm getting more scatter-brained by the day. Make that hour. Fold them in. I'll correct it right away. Thanks for letting me know and I hope you love the brownies.

Jacque said...

Aaah, a heart shaped brownie... so cute!

I know, there are a lot of brownie recipes in Dorie's book, I can see where it would be easy to pick the wrong ones. Now I'm anxious to try the bittersweet brownies. Yours look delish!

Erickson Family said...

So much fun to talk with you this morning! I had a nice chat with your Mom this afternoon too. It was so good to hear her voice. Your niece is in my ward!!! What a small world we live in! Hope all is well and I'm so glad I was able to barge in on you this morning. Good luck to West!!

Prudy said...

You are so fun! I'm so glad you called me this morning, and I'm extra glad you are in my niece's ward. You will love her, she is right up your alley. Thanks again!

CB said...

Aawww I'm a sucker for heart shaped desserts. Love the Frost-inspired poem about brownies. You're so cute getting the 2 recipes mixed up. I could see myself doing the same thing.

Megan said...

I too am very particular about my brownies - and these were definitely worth the time.

However, that won't stop me from checking out your favorite recipe - anything with buttermilk has to be good!

The Crayon Chronicles said...

I heard you on the radio on my way to work! I was like its the blog lady!!! Awwwesome!

Prudy said...

Thanks, Crayon! Wow, small world!

Flourchild said...

That side by side threw me off too!
Your brownies look so good. I messed up on the directions..but my brownies came out tasting very good!

Mimzy said...

I have Baker's Select Bittersweet chocolate, It's not in a red box. Will it work?

Prudy said...

YES! It'll work wonderfully.

Catherine said...

/these brownies look delicious and since the have your stamp of approval, I'm sure the taste delicios, too!

Catherine said...

And poor Westy! I wish I could have heard him.

Chef Aimee said...

Oh how lovely that this is in a heart shape! These look so decadent. Mmm!

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