Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Them are some good eats, right there

I'm talking about chocolate, of course. Brownies, to be more specific. Who doesn't love a good brownie? Rich, moist, chocolaty. If they're made well, they've got to be one of the yummiest desserts.

I have been on the quest to find the perfect brownie recipe for quite some time. I wanted something that used cocoa instead of chocolate squares because I love cocoa, it's easy to keep on hand, and I always have it. It seems like a lot of recipes out there call for the squares. That's just not my "thang".

I tried a ton of recipes. Either the brownies came out too gooey, too dry, too flour-y or too something else that wasn't quite what I was after.

Then I picked up a little recipe booklet of my mom's (you know the kind - the ones that just BEG you to buy them while you're trying to put your groceries on the checkout thingamabop) and found it. The recipe. The brownie recipe to end all brownie recipes.

It's easy. It's rich. It's yummy. My husband says they're the best brownies we've ever made, and I tend to agree with him. They actually taste better than the box mix, which to me is difficult to achieve because box mix brownies are actually good (as opposed to most other boxed food - Amy's organic macaroni and cheese notwithstanding, which just so happened to be my dinner last night, thank you!).

The recipe is originally designed to make a dry mix (equivalent to 4 pans of brownies) you make up and keep in your pantry, ready to add to your wet ingredients whenever you are ready. I have not done that yet. I've just been quartering the recipe and making one batch at a time. They're good enough though, that I'm thinking that making the mix would not be such a bad idea. I'll give you the whole recipe, then give it to you quartered so you don't have to do the math.

Here it is, the recipe for The Best Brownies EvAR.
Try them. They're good.

4 cups all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour if you're a freak like me)
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder (NOT baking soda, Crystal... NOT BAKING SODA)
1 tablespoon salt
5 cups sugar
2 cups cocoa (we love the Special Dark cocoa for these - yumm!)
2 cups shortening (or organic virgin coconut oil if you're afraid of shortening like me - plus it just tastes gooood)

Mix all but the shortening/coconut oil in a large bowl (or your Kitchenaid mixer if you're cool like me). Cut in the shortening with two knives or pastry blender or a fork or whatever other kitchen device you have that you think might work here (Or if you're using coconut oil, the Kitchenaid does a fine job all by itself - I have no clue if it will work with shortening as well because, well, it's scary bad for you and I just don't buy it!) until mixture is crumbly. You can store this for up to six weeks in an airtight container... it should make 12 cups of mix.

To make brownies:

3 cups brownie mix
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I like double strength - because, well, it's just good stuff)
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, unless you're in my house where they're not allowed in brownies... *big, loud sigh*)
1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients and pour (though it's sort of thick to "pour" - shmear would be a better word here) into a greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. (I think my square pan is 8 inches, so I have to cook it a little longer than it says unless I want brownie soup. I'm sure that appeals to some people, but not to this salmonella-fearing-germ-freak.) Cool and, well, eat. Or don't cool and eat warm. Or package them up and send them to me (so long as they don't have shortening, you know). The choice is yours, really. I'll leave it up to you since I'm a nice person. But to be honest, I think your best bet is to just send them to me.

If you want to make just one pan at a time, mix the following amounts of the "mix" ingredients and then add in the rest of the stuff from the above list.

1 cup flour
1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup shortening (coconut oil!!!)

I'd show you a photo of these luscious (sorry, Bethany, but they are) goods, but alas, they are so good that they are so gone. Maybe I'll catch one next time. I know I'll be making these often.


Barb Macy said...

Mmmmmmmmmm. I like the idea of having the mix on hand. I do that for cookies - I keep chocolate chip cookie dough balls in the freezer for quick and easy treats! Thanks!

Erin said...

I too have been on a quest for the "better or as good as packaged" brownie. I will be trying this soon.... Thanks! =)

Stacy said...

My favorite brownie recipe is the one I found on the back of the Hershey's cocoa container, but this one looks like it could be a close second. I'll have to try it out.

r8chel said...

Do they have a shiny, flaky top? I'm a from-scratch kind of gal, so I've been trying to find a recipe for flaky-top brownies that taste just as good as brownies from a box. Maybe this one will be the brownie recipe that ends my search...

The Rock Chick said...

Oh, I love brownies! I don't cook or bake but I'm passing this to the hubby who does!