Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brownies . . . Just Brownies

Some days, a girl gets home from class and just wants to make some brownies. Yesterday, I gave in to that urge. It was awesome.

I love having a life where I have the freedom to just spend my afternoon baking. I just have to keep reminding myself that this shouldn't be at the expense of my actual work. Right now, it kinda is. (Truthfully, I'm avoiding actually beginning to write my dissertation. There seems to be such an awful finality to putting words down on a page, despite the ample opportunity for later revision. Baking just seems easier right now!)

The good thing about procrastinating with brownies (rather than, say, a brioche), is that they're quick, so there may be an opportunity to do real work once they're done. And they also satisfied my craving for something dense and fudgy. When I cut my first test slice, I have to admit I was skeptical - the edges of these brownies baked up a bit cakey, which is not my preference - but the middle proved nice and gooey (perhaps slightly underbaked? But underbaked can be awesome . . .). The next time I come home craving brownies, I'll definitely be turning to this recipe.

Double Chocolate Brownies
From the Southern Living: Secrets of the South Best Barbecue cookbook. My sister-in-law gave this to me for my bridal shower, and it's proved to be an excellent go-to book for all sorts of things, especially dessert. My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe also comes from here!

1 c butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c flour
1 c chocolate chips (I didn't have a full cup of regular-sized chips left, so I used a combo of those and tiny ones, which provided a nice bit of variety)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Beat the butter in a stand mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and cream together. Lower the speed and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended.

Add the cocoa and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 1 minute until blended. Gradually add flour, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a greased 13 x 9" baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes (I put mine in for 35 minutes in the glass dish and got a goopy but stable middle - it might reach this stage more quickly if you use a metal pan). Cool completely before cutting into squares. (I totally sneaked a bite early, but it does pay to let the bulk of them cool, because then they don't stick to the knife.) Happy baking!

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