Getting to be that baking time of year…


It was overcast today, and cool, after weeks of sunny days.  I have a new kitchen I’m trying to sort out, and making my favorite tried-n-true recipes is an excellent way of figuring out the oven.  A friend is coming over tomorrow so I can sharpen her knives, and it would be nice to have some treats in the house.  My giant cast iron pan really really needs reseasoning, and if I’m going to heat the oven up anyway….

So many reasons to bake brownies.  (Like I needed more than 1.)

These are the richest, fudgiest brownies ever, adapted from Ruth Reichl’s Artpark Brownies recipe in Tender at the Bone.  Having a stand mixer is essential on this one.

1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1 c. less 1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla
4 medium to large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
1 c. sifted flour


I use salted butter.  If you don’t, you might want to increase the salt by a pinch.

If you’re inclined to measurement, that’s 15 tbsp of cocoa.  You can use either dutch processed or natural cocoa, or a mixture.  I tend to use the dutch process from Penzey’s.

If you use double-strength vanilla, you can reduce the amount to 1 tsp.  I use more than than, like 1.5 tsp, but 2 tsp does seem too much.

Extra large or jumbo eggs are just too large.  Stick to medium or large for this one.

It doesn’t matter much if you use granulated or superfine baker’s sugar.  I’m tempted to try this with  1 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. of demarra or dark brown sugar, for the rich molasses undertones.  Not sure what that might do to the texture of the brownies though.

1 c. of sifted flour is a short cup of unsifted flour (1 c. less 1 tbsp again), if you’d rather measure the flour straight into the sifter.

Preheat oven to 400 deg. F.

Generously butter a 9-inch square baking pan, then completely dust with cocoa powder (as if you were flouring the pan, but with tasty tasty chocolate dust).

Just melt the butter in a microwaveable bowl (I use a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup), then fully stir in the cocoa powder.  Make sure to smooth out all the lumps and scrape the sides and bottom well.  Or, melt butter and chocolate in double boiler, over boiling water.  Either way, be sure it doesn’t get too hot; you don’t need to cook it, just get it liquid and smooth.  Add the vanilla and set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs and salt together in the mixer. Add the sugar and beat at high speed for at least 10 minutes, or until the mixture is quite white and sticky.  (This is essential.)  It will become thick and gooey, like melted marshmallow.  The air being whipped into this mixture is what will make these brownies rise.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg/sugar mixture, just until mixed.  Add the sifted flour and combine quickly until there are no white streaks.  Don’t stir too much – you don’t want the gluten to develop.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and put in the oven. Immediately turn the oven down to 350 deg. F and bake for 40 minutes. (The normal toothpick test will not work on these brownies.)  Do not overbake; these brownies should be fudgy.

Cool before cutting.

Makes 12 brownies. (Or 4 really big ones)




One Response to “Getting to be that baking time of year…”

  1. boxofbirds Says:

    oh, I just made brownies last night. I’ll try this recipe next.

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