Saturday, February 7, 2009

Brownie Points

I have a confession to make.

My favorites brownies are from a red box. There I said it. Don't judge me.

I prefer to make all my goodies from scratch, not because I think I'm better than Ms. Crocker but because I care about the quality and freshness of ingredients. And there's just something about a homemade product that screams "I love you and I think you're special!" to the person you baked it for. Know what I mean?

BUT, I love Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge brownies and I make no apologies for it. I've made homemade brownies before and they're just not that good. The first ones I made were from an old trusty cookbook and the top crust was so thick and hard and the brownies dry. Others have either been too dense and fudgey, to where you can only eat one and you're done. Some have been too cakey and crumbly. And, to show just how picky I am, I don't like nuts, chocolate chips, cream cheese swirls, peanut butter or caramel in my brownies. And I sure as heck do not like them frosted. I like them plain.

I like them to be chewy, but not too rich and fudgey. I like the top crust to be delicate, crumbly and paper thin. And the edges, have to be crisp, crunchy and chewy. I have seen some really good looking brownies like mascarpone brownies, Ina's outrageous brownies, nutty caramel brownies, peanut butter brownies, cream cheese brownies etc. and have always been tempted, but they're not what I crave.

So while searching for a good brownie recipe (after days of craving chewy wonderful chocolatey brownies...PMSing much?) I found a bunch of people saying good things about their stand-by recipe. Their no-fail, always good, crave satisfying, one-bowl wonder--Baker's One Bowl Brownies. And I'll tell you what they're good. I made a full batch, half with pecans for my hubby and half plain for me. Next time, I might use a better, darker, richer chocolate instead of the Baker's chocolate squares, but it's a good start. I hope you like them too.

One Bowl Brownies from Baker's
  • 4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, with ends extending over sides of pan. Grease foil or paper.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and pecans; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgey crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

NOTE: My husband wanted pecans in his brownies, so I layered half the batter in the pan, then sprinkled 1/2 c. nuts on half the batter. Then I carefully ladled the rest of the batter over the nuts and smoothed it out with the back of a spatula, then sprinkled with a few more nuts.

What are your favorite brownies?


Donna-FFW said...

Yumm.. these look ever soo good. I have tried these also and love them, One of my favorites, and there are many, is Sara Fosters version for a crowd. Rich, chocolatey, they make a huge amount for a gathering.

Sara said...

These look delicious. My favorite brownie recipe is the one in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. The brownies are chewy and fudgy on the inside with a crispy top. So good@

Selba said...

I haven't eaten brownies for quite a long time!

The brownies with pecan looks so delicious... yummm...

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Those do look pretty darn good!!! But I will not lie I have no problems with brownie mixes. They are a great jumping off point for suped up brownies, all the things you don't like. I prefer my brownies with a little something else besides a glass of milk.

Maria said...

I love brownies!! My favorite recipe is on our blog...they are rich and fudgy!! Perfect with ice cream or milk!!

vanillasugarblog said...

Love that last photo! And I love one-bowl anything!
Fav brownies? Hmmm, I'd say those death by chocolate ones...really rich and cures a chocolate craving fast.

jesse said...

Ummm, here's a secret: My favourite brownies are Duncan Hines' fudge brownie mix... yikes! D= That last photo is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you! My favorite brownie is also Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge made in a metal pan for just the right crispy, chewy edge. I've made brownies from scratch, but to me they are just not as good.

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