VA Egg Council's search for the perfect brownies.
In Search of the perfect BROWNIES (Compiled by the VA Egg Council – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Taken from Pattio-Daddy-o Cook’s Illustrated Mg. Gourmet Magazine
Butter 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter 2 sticks unsalted butter
Chocolate 4 oz. unsweetened 6 oz. unsweetened 8 oz. Bittersweet
Chocolate (4 squares) Chocolate (6 squares) Chocolate (8 squares)
Sugar 2 cups sugar 2 ¼ cups sugar 2 cups sugar
Eggs 4 eggs 4 eggs 5 eggs
Flavorings 2 tablespoons Vanilla 1 tablespoon Vanilla 1 teaspoon Vanilla
Flour 2/3 cup unbleached 1 ¼ cup cake flour 2/3 cup all-purpose
Other ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch
process Cocoa powder
Nuts 2 cups coarsely chopped 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped None suggested
Pecans, folded in & pre-baked, placed on top
Pan size/bake temp/time 9x13”, 350°, 45 min. 9x13”, 325°, 30 – 35 min. 9x13”, 350°, 25 – 35 min.
Tips for perfect brownies: Cooks Illustrated Magazine suggests toasting nuts in a 325° oven for 5 – 8 min. This enhances the flavor and keeps them dry and crunchy. They also suggest sprinkling the nuts on top rather then mixing them in, to keep them really crunchy.
For easy combining: Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave – starting with one minute, then in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until chocolate and butter are silky smooth. Then beat in the sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Then fold in flavorings and add flour and other ingredients. Nuts can be folded in or sprinkled on top (see tip above) or no nuts can be added at all. Use powdered sugar for garnish or lay Peppermint Patties on hot, plain brownies, bake 1 min. more, then spread evenly for a mint topping.
For ease in cutting brownies: Cut 2 pieces of parchment or foil, one 9x17” and one 13x13”. Fit paper criss-cross in the empty pan, the 13x13” one going cross-wise and the other going length-wise. Grease or spray the paper. After baking and cooling completely, lift paper out of pan, lay on counter and you can cut brownies easily.
Don’t over-bake brownies: A pick should come out with a few moist crumbs of brownie (not liquid batter) attached. They’ll continue to cook a bit as they cool.