Brownie Perfection

June 30, 2010

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I love reading my friend, Patricia’s blog; Technicolor Kitchen.  Her photos are flawless, her recipes are mouth watering and her content is inspiring.  When she posted the “best cocoa brownies”  I immediately ran into the kitchen to make these.  After reading the ingredients, I knew they were going to be perfection so I decided to double the recipe.

I baked them in a 10″ x 15 pan rather than an 8″ pan.  In my opinion, they were the perfect thickness.  As I was cutting these, they were disappearing.  A single recipe recipe just isn’t enough!

Best Cocoa Brownies
inspired by Technicolor Kitchen

ingredients:
10 Tbls. unsalted butter
1 1/4 (250g) cups sugar – we both used vanilla sugar*
3/4 cup + 2 Tbls (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder (dutch process)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (74g) pecan pieces (optional)

instructions:
• preheat oven to 325*
• line the bottom and sides of an 8″ square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang.  butter the parchment.
• in a medium heatproof bowl, add the butter and set on top of a large sauce pan with barely simmering watter.  melt the butter, then add the sugar and salt, stir until combined.  next, add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test.  remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm.
• stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.  add the eggs one at at time, stirring vigorously after each one.  when the batter is thick, shiny and well blended add the flour until you cannot see it, then beat vigorously  with a wooden spoon.  if using, stir in the nuts.
• bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out slightly moist with batter.  let cool completely
• once cool, set in fridge for an hour (this makes cutting much easier).  lift up the ends of the parchment and transfer the brownies to a cutting board.  cut into 2″ squares on bite size 1″ squares.

hide a few and save for a rainy day.

* to make vanilla sugar: fill a small jar with sugar.  scrape the seeds from 1 vanilla bean and stir seeds into the sugar.  add the pod to the sugar and mix in.  seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place.  vanilla sugar can last indefinitely.
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