Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

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One of my dear friends is convinced she is a lost cause in the kitchen. “I burn water!” she insists, and she is only half kidding.

A few days ago, she asked if I could help her make brownies with M&Ms for her brother’s Independence Day party.

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Brownies are actually pretty foolproof as long as you remember the golden rule: don’t overbake.

We threw in some M&Ms, but other add-ins might include nuts, chocolate chips, maybe even caramel.

Happy Independence Day!

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

From Fine Cooking

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 9 pieces; more softened for the pan
1 1/4 cups (3 3/4 oz.) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
5 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups (7 3/4 oz.) all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch straight-sided metal baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on the short sides. Lightly butter the foil.

Put the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until melted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth, 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk until well blended. Use your fingertip to check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm, not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a minute or two before continuing.

Whisk in the eggs, two and then three at a time, until just blended. Whisk in the vanilla until the batter is well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and stir with a rubber spatula until just blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small bits of brownie sticking to it, 35 to 45 minutes. For fudgy brownies, do not overbake. Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack, about 3 hours.

When the brownies are cool, use the foil overhang to lift them from the pan. Invert onto a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil. Flip again and cut into 24 squares. (RHRW tip: use a plastic knife) Serve immediately or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 1 month.

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