Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Best Fudgy Brownies

I've tried dozens of brownie recipes. The perfect brownie is fudgy and moist, but not underdone, heavy on the chocolate but not overly sweet. This recipe brings it: a perfect balance of flavors, studded with nuts and a crackly top. While it's perfect without icing, I added a thin layer of frosting just to gild the lily.

This recipe calls for heating the sugar and butter together. This step dissolves more sugar and yields a shiny top crust on your brownies. I like to include a sprinkle of walnuts, pecans or peanuts in the batter. If you don't like nuts, just omit.

While brownies are a casual dessert, well executed they can be just as satisfying as an upscale treat. They're a perfect ending to a tailgate or pizza party, a fun lunchbox treat or dinner party dessert dressed with a scoop of ice cream.

Add sugar to melted butter, reheat just until hot
(110-120 degrees). The mixture will become shiny as you stir. 

Add cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla.

Mix in eggs, flour and nuts, stirring until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 29-32 minutes.

The perfect brownie top: shiny and crackly. Let cool completely before frosting.

Make the icing. Super smooth and creamy!

Spread frosting over cooled brownies.

I need a big glass of milk!

Fudgy Brownies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes a dozen 3-inch brownies

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add sugar, stir to combine and reheat just until hot - 110-120 degrees. Stir in cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Add eggs stirring until smooth then stir in flour and nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 29 to 32 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, melt butter in a microwave safe bowl. Whisk in cocoa. Mix in powdered sugar and milk alternately. Stir in vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies.