Friday, November 23, 2012

Brownies from scratch

For many years, my mother has told me that no one liked her homemade brownies any better than the box kind so she just stopped making them.  She told me it wasn't worth the effort if people weren't going to appreciate them.  Therefore, I always made boxed brownies.  See how it is that we follow in our mothers footsteps whether we want to or not (or are even aware of it).  In my list of recipes that I wanted to try, I added homemade brownies in my quest to use less boxed products and because I was out of all of the boxes that I had.

I finally got around to making some and it was super easy!!  I found a blog that made plain brownies with cocca powder and had a link to her inspiration so I went to the original recipe and decided to try it since I had the unsweetened baker's chocolate.  I pulled out all the ingredients and got ready and I had a brand new box of baker's chocolate so why not try that first.


I started by chopping the Baker's chocolate which was a little messy but not too hard because it mostly just broke apart.


Then, I put the butter and chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  I was going to use a smaller measuing cup but then I thought about scrapping out the chocolatey goodness and I decided to only dirty one bowl.


Melted by microwaving for short bursts per the recipe and stirring in between to get a liquid where you can see the reflection of my cabinets.


Then I added the sugar which mixed right into the liquid goodness!


Stirring in all of the ingredients including eggs, flour, salt and vanilla and you get a very brownie like substance with bubbles and everything.  It looked like the box mix to me.


I normally make a 9 x 13 pan but this recipe called for a little smaller pan since there was less batter.  I put it in an 8 x 8 pan.  It was a little harder to spread than the box mix.


I baked the brownies and since the directions said to undercook and not overcook.  I took them out after 25 minutes, when the recipe called for, which was seconds before I had to leave to pick up my little man at school.


I grabbed my brownie to take on the road and packed some to bribe my son to eat his lunch while we were doing errands in the car.  I know, I know!!  Not the way to deal with kids but I was having a busy day so I wanted to make sure he ate and it seemed like the easiest way to get it done.  This one might have been eaten before I made it to the door.


See all the missing brownies from the pan :)  They were super chocolatey and gooey.  I like them to be a little chewier so I would like to try another recipe or this one again but they were super good.  Can I tell you the funniest part of the story?  I brought some with me to give to my mother when we met up with her.  I offered her one which she promptly devored and said it was great!!  She ate the other one later on in the evening and my little man saw her finishing it and asked for one.... umm, grandma ate all of the brownies!!!  There was a little anger but it was quickly resolved with hugs and kisses (and a little distraction).


Here is the recipe in case you want to try them out for yourself.  I highly recommend it!!!  I promise you won't be disappointed...not even my mother was :)

Brownies

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus a little more for greasing the pan
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a square baking pan with butter or line it by overlapping 2 pieces of parchment paper or aluminum foil crosswise and grease the lining.
2. Combine the stick of butter and the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring occasionally. (Or microwave them in a large microwave-safe bowl on medium for 10-second intervals, stirring after each.) When the chocolate is just about melted, remove the saucepan from the heat (or bowl from the microwave) and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl (or use the bowl you put in the microwave) and stir in the sugar. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Gently stir in the flour, salt, and the vanilla if you’re using it.
4. Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just barely set in the middle. Cool on a rack until set. If you used parchment, lift it out to remove the brownies. If not, cut them in squares right in the pan. Store, covered, at room temperature, for no more than a day.

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