This is another brownie book I've had for years, probably since my undergrad days when my baking was almost exclusively focused on brownies and cookies. This unpretentious book offers a variety of brownie recipes. I chose to try a simple one for plain chocolate brownies, originally supposed to be embellished with chocolate chips and pecans. I chose to add neither. Instead, I went with what has now become my favorite way of eating plain brownies, by adding not-so-plain nutella crunch topping. I loved how these turned out. The brownies were nicely fudgy and were the perfect base for the topping. Once the topping cools, it sets so these brownies can be stacked if need be. I prefer to cut them in squares and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Incidentally, these are also brownies that are great to send in a care package.
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans, divided
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the chocolate and vanilla until blended. Beat in the flour and salt just until combined. Stir in ½ cup of the pecans and ½ cup of the chocolate chips.
3. Scrape batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle it evenly with remaining ¼ cup of the pecans and remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted 2 inches from the center comes out almost clean.
4. Cover the brownies immediately with foil and refrigerate. Cut the brownies into 16 bars. Store the brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.