What can one say about brownies? They’re something most of us in America grew up with, those devilishly fudgy, rich chocolate squares. Brownies are practically a staple of any large gathering, which is why I baked a batch of warm brownies yesterday. My boyfriend,Tyrus, works with his church’s youth group every Sunday and asked me a few days ago if I would want to bring something to the potluck for the youth group.
I said yes, of course. I figured brownies would be a solid potluck item. The brownie recipe that I always use is from The Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, and it’s the best brownie recipe ever. Once again, I make a bold claim for “the best” of something, but I wouldn’t say something like that unless I was prepared to defend it with my life. These brownies are perfect; I’ve baked them almost 20 times now, and never once have they come out badly.
These brownies come from simple ingredients and no fuss, which is why I love them. I especially love making these all by hand, it doesn’t call for beating anything. Ty always pokes fun at me for making most things with my mixer, he says that those aren’t made with as much love. I resist punching him every time.
I began with chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl and microwaved it at 1-minute intervals for a total of 3 minutes. I stirred it all around between intervals.
Then I whisked in 5 eggs and and some vanilla…
…until it mixed together nicely like this.
This can be a little rough because the eggs slide around over the chocolate, but I’ve figured out a way to make it easier. Use the whisk to stab the eggs into the chocolate mixture and fold the eggs into it.
Then I sifted flour, salt, and baking powder together into a big bowl.
Then I poured the chocolate mixture into the bowl as well.
The recipe actually says to add the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture in two parts, so shame on me. But what I was saying above about these brownies never turning out badly is that even when I miss little things like mixing ingredients at once instead of in two different parts, they still turn out perfect and delicious.
Next, I spread the batter into an aluminum-lined pan…
…and kept it in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The recipe calls for 30; my oven is pretty old and doesn’t have the firepower it once had.
After those 40 minutes, I pulled my pan out of the oven.
I let the brownies cool in the pan for a few hours (about 3), then pulled the aluminum out of the pan and cut the brownies into 3 inch squares.
The youth group loved the brownies! I felt pretty cool and I hope that I can cook for the youth group more often. All but one of the brownies were gone, which I brought home to my roommate who had to smell the brownies and stare at them all afternoon. My favorite thing about these brownies is the crunchy top. The center of the brownie stays fudgy while the top gets superbly crunchy; I’ve been known to pull of the top layer and leave the rest of the brownie! So, enjoy these perfect brownies for your potlucks and gatherings and you will be the coolest person in the room!
Recipe for Brownies from the Clinton-Saint Bakery Company Cookbook;
2 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, cubed
5 large eggs
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (minus 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×12 inch pan, then line the pan with parchment paper (or in my case, aluminum foil) to prevent sticking, and grease the paper.
Melt the chocolate, sugar and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave on high heat. Stir at 1-minute intervals. The total time to melt this mixture will be 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Or melt the chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler. Let cool.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract into the warm chocolate mixture.
Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl.
In two stages, gently fold the dry ingredients int the wet batter until combined.
Evenly distribute the batter into prepared pan.
Bake the brownies for 25 minutes,until the top is cracked and the center is still fudgy.
Allow the brownies to cool in the refrigerator overnight and cut into approximately 3-inch squares once cooled.
Remove the brownies from the pan and trim the edges.