Brownies are definitely America's favorite bar cookie. It is hard to believe that they began their life in a Sears, Roebuck
and Co. catalog over 100 years ago (1897). Brownies are so named because of
their dark brown color, not because they contain chocolate. In fact, the first
brownie recipes didn't even contain chocolate. In Fannie Farmer's
'Boston Cooking School Cook Book' the Brownie recipe calls for butter, sugar,
Porto Rico molasses, an egg, flour, and pecan meat. So, I think we can safely
say that our Brownie has evolved over the last century. This Brownie recipe does
contain chocolate, lots of chocolate, both semi sweet (or bittersweet) chocolate
and unsweetened cocoa powder. So it has a deep chocolate flavor with a wonderfully moist
They are wonderful plain or I often serve them for dessert with a scoop of
vanilla ice cream.
Brownies are made using just one bowl. First the chocolate
and butter are melted and then, one by one, you whisk in the rest of the ingredients. The
deep chocolate flavor of these brownies comes from using semisweet or
bittersweet chocolate and
powder (either natural or Dutch-processed). As always, the quality
of the chocolate you use will affect the taste of your brownies. So buy the best you can
afford. When choosing a chocolate, always buy one that you enjoy eating
out-of-hand. Look for chocolate that has a lovely shiny finish (a sign that the
chocolate was cooked at the right temperature for the right amount of time) and
one that has that wonderful 'snap' when you break it into pieces. Although this
recipe calls for adding chocolate chips to the batter, you could substitute nuts
(chopped walnuts or pecans) for the chocolate
chips or just leave them out altogether.
Now, the challenge with all
Brownies is how long they should be baked. It is amazing how just a minute or
two will turn a moist brownie into one that is too dry. So use the
stated baking time as a guide only and test the brownies a few minutes before
the end of the stated baking time. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of
the brownies. These brownies are done when the toothpick still has a little
batter clinging to it and a few moist clumps. You do not want the toothpick to
be clean as this means the brownies have been over baked.
your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center
of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan
with foil. Butter the foil.
Melt the chocolate and
butter in a large heatproof bowl (I use stainless steel), placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
Remove from heat and stir (or whisk) in the cocoa powder and sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract
and coffee extract (if using). Then, whisk in the
eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt, and
chocolate chips (if using).
the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in
the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Remove from oven
and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
These Brownies freeze very well.
cited may include a link to purchase the referenced book or item on Amazon.com.
Joyofbaking.com receives a commission on any purchases resulting from these
website and the contents are not endorsed or sponsored by the owner of the
"Joy of Cooking" series of books or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc.
and is not related to the "Joy the Baker" books and website.
Video icons by Asher.
Content in any form may
not be copied or used without written permission of Stephanie Jaworski,
Joyofbaking.com. Students and non profit educators may use content without
permission with proper credit.