Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The perfect brownie


For a great while, I considered titling this post "How to Win Friends and Influence People (with brownies)."

The directions go a little something like this: bake a batch of these brownies. Serve them to your friends on a Saturday night. Bring the leftovers down to the show later, and pass them around to whomever you deem deserving. By the end of the night, you will have a new-found admirative following, a glowing reputation, a worshipful band of brownie-groupies. Were they in it for the sweets, or for more?

Let's be honest. There are times when you need to grease the skids a little. Maybe there was a workplace incident. Maybe you need to bribe your mechanic. Maybe the recently melting snows have uncovered the damage done to your neighbor's rose-of-Sharon when you backed over it with your snowblower. Whatever your trouble, when there is a need for divine over-the-top baked goods to win someone over, these are the treats to swear by.

Mexican Brownies with Brown Sugar Topping

4 oz baking chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325. Line an 8 x 8 x 2" baking pan with aluminum foil.

Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a medium saucepan. Whisk together until smooth, remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking constantly. Whisk another two minutes to ensure everything is smooth, then add the flour. Whisk until just combined, then mix in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely in pan on rack.

Topping

1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Whisk butter, heavy cream, and sugar over medium heat. When mixture comes to a boil, immediately remove from heat and whisk ten minutes, until cooled and thickened slightly. Add the vanilla. Pour over the cooled brownies in the pan, spreading with a spatula to make an even layer. Quickly sprinkle the almonds over. The topping sets very quickly once it's poured out of the pan. Let the brownies stand 1 hour at room temperature before cutting into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

Now, sit back and enjoy your new circle of friends.


3 comments:

Stephanie said...

Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing. Peace, Stephanie

karenjane said...

oh my, yep you could deffinately make some friends and get away with a lot of wrong doing with a plate of those on your side! yum!

Natalie said...

I have to admit, the first title for your blog sounds awesome! I am just going to live vicariously through the image of your brownies and your narrative at how yummy they are. Because if I make them, I will for sure eat the entire pan by myself.

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