Friday, June 14, 2013

Best Brownies Ever

For those of you who don't know my dad, he is the biggest fan that chocolate desserts will ever have.  My amazing mother bakes a fresh batch of brownies or chocolate chip cookies every other day so that he never has to eat dried-out desserts. 

The other important characteristic to know about my dad, is he is a perfectionist and he's picky! It's very hard to ever top his favorite things, but for a while now, he has been on the hunt for the world's perfect brownie.  He's gone to pretty much every restaurant in corvallis, paying upwards of $8 for a brownie, in hopes that the quality would match the price. Nothing so far, has beat Mom's ability to perfectly cook a box of Ghiradeli brownie mix.

 I came across this recipe on Pinterest and just had to give it a shot.  I figured if The Today Show and America's Test Kitchen claim it's their favorite brownie, it had to be worth it.  This recipe is from the cookbook "Baked" which is a collection of recipes from a NYC bakery/coffeehouse with the same name.  They were fairly easy to make (though not too cheap). The outcome? Dad's words verbatim:  "These are the best brownies I've ever had." Win!!!


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.