Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rosie's Award-Winning Brownies

Rosie's Award-Winning Brownies - December 5, 2009

When I went to Boston for vacation back in October, my friend Hildy told me I had to try Rosie's Bakery. Obliging - and sucker for bakeries that I am, especially when traveling, I visited one of the Rosie's Bakeries in Boston, this one located in Cambridge (see post on Boston baked goods). Since then, I've been looking up the 3 baking books published by Judy Rosenberg who started Rosie's Bakery. Yeah, I was supposed to be on a cookbook buying ban through the end of 2009 but I lasted a year already. No need to go for sainthood.

Anyway, I found one of her baking books, Rosie's All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed Baking Book on eBay for a Buy It Now price of $1 and a reasonable shipping charge so one click of the mouse later, that sucker was mine. I got it in the mail last week and immediately tried a few recipes from it. This was one of the first and yowza, it was good. Now bear in mind, over the course of my baking life, I've tried literally hundreds of different brownie recipes. Not because I was searching for the perfect "one" (unlike men and the idea of a Mr. Right, there's no harm in having more than one brownie favorite....really), but because I love brownies and like trying new recipes.

When I made this one, I tried the taste test piece when it was still barely lukewarm and I had frosted it with another one of Rosie's recipes (she called it a Chocolate Orgasm which is basically the brownie recipe plus frosting). Best.Brownie.Ever. Maybe I was just in the mood at the moment for something rich and chocolatey. Maybe nothing beats a very fresh brownie. The texture was fudgy without being overly mushy. The chocolate was a dark chocolate offset by the sweeter frosting. Much as I dislike Rachel Ray's mannerisms, I have to admit it was a "yumm-o" moment. I had another piece the next day to see if it was as good. Unfortunately I might've come down from my brownie high by then. It was still good but not as orgasmic as something called a Chocolate Orgasm might be. But remember, I've been told I'm overly picky (and I'll cop to it). So give them a whirl and see what you think.

Rosie's Award-Winning Brownies
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan with butter or vegetable oil.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water. Cool the mixture for 5 minutes.
3. Place the sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and pour in the chocolate mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix until blended, about 25 seconds. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition until the yolk is broken and dispersed, about 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl after the last egg and blend until velvety, about 15 more seconds.
5. Add the flour on low speed and mix for 20 seconds; finish the mixing by hand, being certain to mix in any flour at the bottom of the bowl. Stir in ½ cup of the nuts.
6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of nuts over the top.
7. Bake the brownies on the center oven rack until a thin crust forms on top and a tester inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb, about 35 minutes. (The center of the brownies should never quite rise to the height of the edges.)
8. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for 1 hour before cutting the brownies. Serve the next day (it takes a day for the flavor to set).

Chocolate Orgasms

1 recipe Rosie’s Award-Winning Brownies
1 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
¼ cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar

1. Prepare brownies and allow them to cool completely. Don’t cut them yet.
2. To prepare the frosting, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering water.
3. Pour the evaporated milk into an electric blended and add the sugar and the melted chocolate. Blend the frosting on medium-low speed until it thickens, about 50 seconds (the sound of the machine will change when this process occurs.
4. Using a frosting spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the cooled brownie and allow them to sit for 1 hour before cutting.

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