WHEN DEVELOPING AN OLD-FASHIONED, CHEWY CHOCOLATE BROWNIE RECIPE, WE FOUND THAT SUCCESS LAY IN THE DETAILS. SUBSTITUTING CAKE FLOUR FOR ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR MADE OUR BROWNIES TENDER, WITH A DELICATE CHEW. PLENTY OF UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE GAVE OUR BROWNIE RECIPE GREAT FLAVOR WITHOUT MAKING THEM OVERLY SWEET. DETERMINING THE PROPER BAKING TIME WAS ALSO IMPORTANT: TOO SHORT A TIME IN THE OVEN, AND THE BROWNIES WERE GUMMY; TOO LONG, AND THEY DRIED OUT. FINALLY, TOASTING THE NUTS BEFORE SPRINKLING THEM OVER...(more)
MAKES TWENTY-FOUR 2-INCH-SQUARE BROWNIES
Be sure to test for doneness before removing the brownies from the oven. If underbaked (the toothpick has batter clinging to it), the texture of the brownies will be dense and gummy; if overbaked (the toothpick comes out completely clean), the brownies will be dry and cakey.
cup pecans or walnuts (4 ounces), chopped medium (optional)
tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into six 1-inch pieces
cups sugar (15 3/4 ounces)
tablespoon vanilla extract
1. 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.
2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
4. 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.
5. 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.)
LINING AND LIFTING
1. Line the baking pan with two sheets of foil placed perpendicular.
2. Use the foil handles to lift the cooked brownies or bar cookies from the pan.