quote:Found this off AcuraZine, the other forum I frequent. Don't ask what the "special" ingredient is. Anyone care to try it? I just sent it off to some female friends who enjoy baking...lets see if they come up with anything.
Scott recently informed me that, while he appreciates my efforts to create the Perfect Cookie, what he really wants me to bake is brownies. Good, rich, chocolatey brownies with that perfect glistening crust and gooey center. So... I got to work on it. Here's what I came up with: Ultimate Homemade Brownies by Adrienne Tomkins 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter* 5 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate 1 3/4 c granulated sugar 1/2 c brown sugar (dark, preferably) 4 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract 2/3 c flour 1/4 c cocoa powder Melt chocolate and butter over low heat in a saucepan. Pour mixture over sugar and brown sugar into a bowl. Blend until smooth, then add eggs and vanilla together. Blend in flour and cocoa powder together. Do not overbeat. Pour into 11x13 pan greased with cooking spray and cook for 25-40 minutes, until set. Step-by-step explanation: Melt over very low heat in a saucepan on the stove. I like to put the butter in the pan first and let it melt a little bit before I put the chocolate in on top of the butter, so the chocolate doesn't burn. Or you can use my homemade double-boiler method (see the Fonduethread). This will take about 10 minutes total, so go ahead and prepare your dry ingredients, as long as you're careful to stir the chocolate/butter occasionally. Place the sugar and brown sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and once ready, pour your butter/chocolate mixture over top. Gently fold the sugars into the chocolates until well-blended. Meanwhile, beat four eggs with 2 tsp vanilla in a small bowl until well blended, then pour this into the sugar/chocolate bowl. The trick is to get this mixed up really well without any visible air bubbles in the batter. If you have air bubbles, you've pretty much ruined it, so DO NOT BEAT TOO FAST OR HARD!!! Once these ingredients are all mixed in together, sift 2/3 cup flour with 1/4 cup cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is optional but I think it adds that extra "kick" of chocolateyness to the brownies, so I always include it. Slowly add the flour/powder mixture to the existing batter, being careful not to overbeat. Do you catch a theme here? DO NOT OVERBEAT!!! A slow, gentle rotation of the spatula will eventually mix all ingredients together; you just have to be patient! Finally, pour the entire mixture into an 11x13" brownie pan, lightly sprayed with Pam, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-40 minutes. It really depends on your oven and how well you've preheated it, to determine how long they should cook. Also, my oven sucks so I have to start checking my stuff about halfway into the baking time. It's *probably* closer to 35 minutes than 25, but you should play it safe the first time. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with dry-ish crumbs stuck to it. If the toothpick is clean, they're probably overcooked, but you don't want liquid on your toothpick, either. Play it safe! *Now, I know some of you, considering the source, are wondering if these are *special* brownies, and the answer is no. However, if you wanted to make special brownies with this recipe, simply use special butter instead of regular butter, and be sure to add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 cup of sugar to the recipe to help hide the... special.... flavor. Secondly, you may notice that I highlighted "salted" butter and "semi-sweet" chocolate. You can use unsalted butter and/or unsweetened chocolate, but you'll need to alter the other ingredients to keep the flavors accurate. If you use unsalted butter, you'll need to add 1/4 tsp salt to the recipe (mix in with sugars), and if you use unsweetened sugar, add an additional 1/4 c granulated sugar, for a total of 2 cups granulated sugar. Lastly, I highlighted "large" eggs, because some families prefer to purchase Jumbo or Extra Large eggs, etc. If you have these gargantuan eggs instead of Large, alter the recipe as follows: Extra Large=3 eggs, Jumbo=2 1/2 eggs. Since you beat these before adding them to the sugars, it's easiest to go ahead and beat 3 Jumbo eggs, then remove about 2 tbsp of egg from your bowl before adding the rest to the sugars. Enjoy!