Sunday, April 10, 2011

First and Foremost Brownies

First and Foremost Brownies - made April 9, 2011 from Brownie Points by Lisa Slater (book #81)

That's what these are officially called in the Brownie Points baking book so that's what I'm putting down.  Not that they're necessarily my first and foremost brownies but that's mostly because it's hard for me to play favorites.  People always ask me what my favorite brownie recipe is.  That's like asking me to look at my hair and pick a favorite strand. The main reason I don't have a favorite is I don't like to limit myself to just one.  There's a whole world of brownie recipes out there and I feel the need to try them all.  I won't necessarily love them all but I do love trying out new recipes for them.

I have a chance to donate to another bake sale where the proceeds are going for Japan earthquake relief.  My cousin Christine's son Jason is in kindergarten and his school is hosting the bake sale on Tuesday in Cupertino.  If there's one thing I love more than baking, it's baking for a purpose.  Most people assume that if I didn't have to work for a living, I'd open a bakery and bake all day.  Not so.  While I wouldn't mind baking all day, baking for my own business and/or a bakery feels like work.  My dream, "post-retirement" job would be to bake for charitable organizations and events: like providing baked goods as snacks after races to benefit the American Cancer Society or the Susan G. Komen Foundation or any other good cause. Baking for volunteers working on a Habitat for Humanity project or an environmental clean-up project.  Baking for after-school programs, soup kitchens, shelters for battered women and children, homeless shelters and the like.  I can't do it full-time as of yet since I still have a mortgage to pay and something has to pay for the baking ingredients but that would be my goal for down the road.  In the meantime, looks like I'm baking for bake sales for a good cause.

I changed the directions slightly for this recipe.  The original recipe called for browning the butter and letting it cool for 10 minutes before pouring it over the bittersweet chocolate, letting the chocolate melt and blending them together.  I tried that.  Didn't work.  The browned butter wasn't hot enough to melt all that chocolate, even though I had chopped it into small pieces for easier melting.  Instead, I would recommend that after browning the butter in a saucepan, transfer it and the bittersweet chocolate to the top half of a double boiler and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is combined.

This is a nice fudgy brownie, like a moist slab of chocolate goodness.  Adding the salt at the end brings out the saltiness a bit more so if you're one of those people who like sweet and salty together, this is a good brownie to try.  I frosted it to make it a little more eye-catching for a bake sale but I think I would actually prefer these plain.

8 tablespoons butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1.     Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2.     Melt the butter and cook until it becomes light brown and smells wonderful.  
3.     Pour over the chopped chocolate in the top half of a double boiler set over hot water and stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
4.     Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add the sugars and mix well.  The mixture will be grainy.
5.     Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the batter is glossy and thick.
6.     Add the vanilla, then the flour, mixing only enough to incorporate the flour.
7.     Add the salt and mix briefly.
8.     Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  The edges will be firm but the center will be slightly soft, yet puffed.  Remove from the oven and chill completely.
9.     Slice into bars, wrap well and store in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for up to 6 months. (I recommend the freezer even for short periods as refrigerating tends to dry out most baked goods.)


  1. I'm loving your blog!! Another recipe I'd love to try. These brownies look incredibly delicious!

  2. That brownie with the shiny frosting looks sinfully delicious! It is similar to my recipe for banana you get a shiny crust on top?

  3. Thanks for stopping by! Baking Ribbons, this didn't have too much of a shiny crust. That usually happens when the batter is beaten more after the eggs are added - it gets that meringue influence happening (according to Shirley Corriher of Bakewise).

  4. I'm craving for these!! they're simply irresistible

  5. oh this looks great! i love brownies. i am just starting to explore the world of blondies, so tasty! you have a great blog!

  6. That glaze alone looks amazing, but pair it with a brownie and this is one fab combination. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.