Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brownie Sundae

Classic Chewy Brownies - made September 10, 2012, recipe adapted from Cookies for Kids' Cancer Best Bake Sale Cookbook

When I blogged earlier this summer about Zoe, a blog poster let me know about a nonprofit org called Cookies for Kids' Cancer which raises funds for pediatric cancer research.  Since then, I've ordered cookies from their website to give as a birthday gift and I was delighted to discover they have a cookbook out.  Naturally I had to order it to show support for a good cause.  Several of my friends will also likely be getting it as part of their Christmas gift this year.  If you like baking books or need a gift for a baker friend, please consider giving this book for them and raising awareness for a good cause.

Earlier this week, we had some major org announcements at work that would impact me and my team.  Not necessarily in a bad way if you believe change creates opportunity but it was certainly enough for my boss to half-jokingly ask me if the changes were going to drive me to update my contacts on LinkedIn and start trolling through my network.  Ha.  No because I've worked in high tech long enough to know how to roll with the punches and also because my coping mechanism of choice was to head to my kitchen and do some comfort baking as soon as I got home from work.  Hence, the brownie sundae.

I pulled the brownie recipe from the Cookies for Kids Cancer Bake Sale cookbook as it seemed simple, easy and fudgy.  And it was all three of those things.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to bake it in a smaller pan rather than the 9 x 13" pan in the original directions.  Just from eyeballing the list of ingredients, it didn't seem to me that it would make that much batter so I made it in a 9 x 9" pan instead.  Which turned out to be the right  thing to do as the brownie in the smaller pan still wasn't overly thick and might've even been a bit on the thin side if you like your brownies thicker.  But this thickness made a good base for the ice cream.  If you do need enough brownies for a 9 x 13 pan, I would recommend doubling the recipe.

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups walnuts or pecans, optional

1.     Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line a 9 x 9” baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. 
2.     Place the butter and chocolate in the top half of a double boiler over hot water and melt, stirring until smooth.  Set aside to cool for 3-5 minutes.
3.     Combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir just until combined.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.  Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined.  Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the nuts, if using.
4.     Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.  Top with ice cream, hot fudge sauce and sprinkle with toasted chopped almonds if desired.

What's cooking, love?

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