Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On the Fence Brownies

On the Fence Brownies - made July 28, 2013 from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
I first made these brownies almost 8 years ago and, according to my notes, they were pretty good so I thought I'd make them again so I could post them on my blog.  I'm single-handedly trying to prove you can't have too many good brownie recipes.  Besides, also according to my notes, when I made these back then, I had run out of Pernigotti cocoa so I had to substitute in Hershey's (eek).  So they deserved to be made properly this time.  Although I did use half Pernigotti and half Scharffenberger for this batch as I've found that if I use that much Pernigotti cocoa in one recipe, the results will be a really dark chocolate flavor.  I prefer something not quite so bittersweet so I subbed in the Scharffenberger for half the cocoa.
For the most part, it worked pretty well although I think next time I would do 2/3 Pernigotti and 1/3 Scharffenberger instead of half-sies as I wanted a little more dark chocolate flavor.  Although the pictures make the brownies appear really fudgy, they're actually a little bit cakey too.  Which is what the name implies because this is supposed to be for people who are "on the fence" over whether they want a fudgy brownie or a cakey brownie.  This is both.  I'm a "give me fudge" kind of brownie girl so I prefer something just a trifle more dense but for your average brownie lover, this is a pretty good compromise.  Actually,  I suspect most people wouldn't notice it's either/or and would like it anyway.  I just happen to be a brownie snob in both taste and texture. Fudgy for me all the way.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional, I left them out)
  1. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.  Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it.  Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
  2. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.  Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth; then add the flour, chips, espresso powder and nuts, again stirring until smooth.  Spoon the batter into a 9 x 13-inch pan lined with foil and lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake the brownies in a preheated 350˚F oven for 28 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.  The brownies should feel set on the edges and in the center (barely).  Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

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