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Classic Brownies

No TWD for me this week, but I wanted to post on Tuesday anyway!  I’ve been experimenting with different brownie recipes lately. I’ve been trying a few of the fancier ones, but this time I just wanted a plain old classic brownie. I turned to Cook’s Illustrated for a good recipe because they have not let me down yet. I was not disappointed with these brownies. They were nice and chocolaty, perfectly fudgy, and rich but not too rich. One of the differences between this brownie recipe and others is that it uses cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. I think this made a huge difference in its texture. I brought these to our church group dinner and they were eaten up pretty quickly. If you want a basic brownie, this is a great recipe to make. It would also be good with some ice cream or some strawberries. I was very pleased with how these came out!

Classic Brownies

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts)
1 ½ cups plain cake flour
½ teaspoon table salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons butter (1 ½ sticks), cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 ¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13- by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost–simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Makes 24 2-inch square brownies

Source: Cook’s Illustrated March 2004


6 Responses

  1. I absolutely love this brownie recipe. It’s so rich and chocolately, but still fairly light and delicate.

  2. Mmm….I have been craving brownies for the past couple days, so I’m going to have to try these!

  3. I recently just tried these as well. They really are incredible.

    from Occasional Baker

  4. Everyone seems to really love Cook’s Illustrated recipes! I’ve never tried one. This brownie sounds and looks perfect though. I’d love one right now.

  5. These look tasty!

  6. Another great brownie recipe from Cooks Illustrated!

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