One of the few things I can remember “baking” as a kid was a big 9 by 13 pan of brownies from a mix. And the best kind was the box that had the little packet of syrup. I love to cut off the top and sqquueeze every last little bit out into the bowl. My Mom used to buy them in a 3 pack from Sam’s Club so there was always a box in the pantry if I had a craving. I don’t have the craving for chocolate often, but when I do, nothing else will satisfy. Even though on Thursday night I was already making a big batch of soup, I also decided to make a plate full of brownies. When I first started getting into scratch baking, this was my trusty recipe, and it is a winner but I felt like trying something new. I open up my Baking recipe book and Dorie has a whopping 14 different recipes to choose from. After reading through a few, I decided to stick with the “classic brownie” recipe.
I used a good bar of Valrhona to make them extra special and toasted up the chopped walnuts since they were currently in the freezer. This recipe made for some truly wonderful, intensely chocolate with just that little bit of melty in the middle batch of brownies. Definitely a step up from the box brownies of my youth, but they only made the memory that much sweeter. They were perfect with a big glass of cold milk.
From Baking: My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (the better the bar, the better the brownie)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (get some good stuff)
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (Dorie’s says optional but I used it)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt (according to taste, I went with little under 1/2)
1/2 cup AP Flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat to 325. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil (I used spray) and place the pan on a baking sheet.
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.
With a whisk, stir in the sugar. One by one, whisk in the eggs. Add the vanilla and give the ingredients a vigorous whisking before gently stirring in the espresso, salt and flour; stir only until incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the chopped walnuts. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 30 to 33 mins, or until the top is dull and thin knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the brownies to room temp. When the brownies are completely cool (or as long as you can possibly wait) turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares (2 by 2). Enjoy with a glass of milk.