One of the items that I crave during the winter, believe it or not, is brownies. It seems like around the first few months of the year – when it’s insanely cold, I really, really want a piece of intensely dark, fudgy, chocolatey, and perfect brownies. I wanted something simple, that doesn’t have extra of anything – just a big chunk of brownie that can be put together pretty quick, and doesn’t produce two dozens pieces. Apparently everyone around me in the office is having some sort of diet or exercise goals – so I feel that I probably shouldn’t tempt them with any leftover of my baked goods.
This one turned out to be as good as it promised. And I may even venture out to say that probably by far, the best brownies that I have produced in my kitchen. My biggest challenge was to wait until it cooled off. As you can see from the first picture, I dived into it probably within 30 minutes after I took it out of the oven, and it created goey mess of chocolate heaven that was perfect with vanilla ice-cream. But after I let it cooled off overnight and set appropriately: it cut beautifully and was a little less messy, thus easier to eat. But I like them both versions
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons finely ground instant coffee
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup broken or chopped walnuts or pecans
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, cinnamon, if you’re using it, and salt together.
Put the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and place the pan over low heat. When the butter starts to melt, sift the cocoa over it and add the instant coffee. Continue to cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the cocoa and coffee are blended into it. Remove from the heat and cool for about 3 minutes.
Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the eggs into the saucepan one at a time. Next, stir in the sugar and vanilla (don’t beat anything too vigorously — you don’t want to add air to the batter), followed by the dry ingredients, nuts and chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, at which point the brownies will still be gooey but the top will have a dry papery crust. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you’d like.) Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side.
Storing suggestion: Wrapped well, the brownies will keep for 3 days at room temperature or frozen for up to 2 months.
Yield: (16) 2 inch x 2 inch brownies
Recipe printed from Baking: From my Home to Yours