Eveyone's idea of the perfect brownie is different--but this is one that could possible be all things to all people--fudgy, chewy, cakey---. You can add whatever additions you like, nuts, chocolate chips, caramel, toffee bits, M&Ms, etc.--or enjoy them just the way they are. This recipe is from the 1999 edition of The Best American Recipes.
- 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts or 3⁄4 cup pecans or 3⁄4 cup macadamia nuts or 3⁄4 cup pecans, toasted (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F with rack on the lower-middle level.
- Spray 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray.
- Cut a 16-x-8-inch sheet of foil into the pan and up and over two sides and roll up overhanging sides (you will use this as a handle to remove brownies after they are cooked).
- Spray the foil with non-stick spray as well.
- In small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- In a medium-sized bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together (you can do this in microwave, or over a pan of simmering water).
- After the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
- Continue to stir until the mixture is completely smooth and glossy.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
- Stir in the nuts if you are using them.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with wet crums, 35 to 45 minutes (If the toothpick comes out clean, the brownies are overcooked).
- Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack fo 5 minutes.
- Using the foil handles, pull the cooked brownie from the pan and turn it out on the rack upside down, to cool completely, this will take nearly an hour.
- Cut the brownies into 16 squares.
- (Note: If you are not going to serve immediately, wrap the whole brownie in plastic wrap, then foil and refrigerae for up to 5 days or freeze).