Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School Brownies

Dear Kate,

August 1 and school is back in session.  After a summer of playing, swimming, movie watching, hanging out with friends and a trip to Maine, it is time to get back to our routine, including my routine of cooking.  I started things off right, with bread dough rising by 7am and fresh bread on the counter cooling by 11am.  Shortly thereafter, your brother's beloved dog, newly adopted, informed me that he could reach anything left on the counter and is particularly fond of bread.

The thief.

Kayton's punishment was suffering with a stomachache and mine was worrying about having killed the dog with my bread on his third day living with us.  The good news is Kayton is fine and my kitchen counters have never been so free of anything edible.

As a reward for surviving your first day of school, I made Triple-Chocolate Brownies to welcome you home.  (Cooled in the laundry room with the door shut for reasons that by now should be obvious.)
You melt the chocolate and butter together over the stove as part of this recipe and I prefer to use a double boiler for that job.  If you don't have a double boiler, you can use a medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Just don't make the mistake I made once of having a bowl that fitted a little to snugly in the saucepan and expanded when heated to completely suction onto the saucepan. (Should you disregard this and end of up with this problem, cool the bowl with icy water so it will contract and release from the saucepan.

These brownies are so rich and fudgy, I wish everyday was the first day of school.  I cut these into small squares as a few bites are all you really need.  Then I proceed to eat more than one piece because they are so delicious. Since we have to keep these out of dog reach, I stored them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and I think I like them even better chilled.  Guess I have to thank Kayton for that, but it doesn't make us even for the loss of the loaf of bread!

Triple-Chocolate Brownies
(Adapted from The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook)

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into quarters
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 Cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1.  Melt the chocolate and the butter over simmering water, stirring occasionally, and melted and smooth.  Whisk in the cocoa and set aside to cool.
2.  While the chocolate mixture cools, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
3.  Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl until combined.  Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture (the chocolate can be warm, but you don't want it hot enough to cook the eggs.  Whisk as you pour in the chocolate to help avoid cooking the eggs.) 
4.  Using a spoon, stir in the flour until just combined.  You don't want to overmix. 
5.  Pour into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
6.  Cool for two hours in the pan on a wire rack.  You can lift out the brownies by the foil and cut into small pieces. 

No comments:

Post a Comment