I feel like I haven't tried out new brownie recipes in awhile but that's about to change with a vengeance. I needed some to take on a business trip to Minneapolis, some for care packages and some for friends I'm walking with in the Relay for Life walk for Team Zoe. Brownies are the easiest things to make ahead of time, freeze and bring whenever I needed them so my focus goes back to my baking roots, as it were.
This brownie called for Chocolate Frosting in the original recipe but when I was typing it up, I forgot to also type up the frosting recipe and I didn't want to go hunting for the original book on my (embarrassingly overflowing) bookshelves. So I went with my favorite topping for plain brownies: nutella crunch. This brownie recipe is from Elinor Klivans and after her A Really Good Brownie recipe, I'm starting to think she, along with Lisa Yockelson, really knows her brownies. This recipe makes another excellent brownie with the perfect fudgy texture and taste. Even without the nutella crunch topping, this brownie could stand alone on its own merits. As always, the top 2 cardinal rules with brownies: use the good chocolate and don't overbake.
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (I used Scharffenberger)
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Frosting of your choice or Nutella Crunch topping below
Nutella Crunch Topping
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup Nutella
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325˚F. Line a 9 x 9 x 2” baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a double boiler insert or a large metal bowl that fits on the rim of a saucepan, combine the butter and the chocolate. Place the insert or bowl on the saucepan over, but not touching, barely simmering water. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, 3-4 minutes. Gently lift the bowl out of the pan and set aside to cool slightly.
3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar and whisk to blend, about 45 seconds. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and the vanilla and whisk until the mixture is evenly colored. Whisk in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool until the top is room temperature, about 1 hour.
5. Holding the ends of the foil, lift the cooled brownie onto a cutting surface. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the top of the brownie. Use a warmed knife to cut the brownie into 25 squares. Store the brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days,