Thursday, December 15, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Confections - Day 2 OUTRAGEOUS Brownies

Day 2 - Outrageous Brownies

I have spent a good portion of my years trying to find the perfect brownie recipe. I had given up several times over after making brownies that were too dry, too thin, bland, or any other given kitchen catastrophe one can imagine. I have seen it all with bad brownies, until the day a friend recommended Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownie recipe. I immediately tried the recipe, I had a good feeling when half way through the recipe I realized, these brownies are mostly melted chocolate, how could one go wrong? I also am aware of Ina Garten's special link to brownies. The story is that she met her husband while visiting her brother at Dartmouth when she was only 15 years old. They exchanged letters for a year while her husband was in college, then they started dating, she ended up attending Syracuse, more years of distance from her love. Mr. Barefoot Contessa has a special love for brownies, during these years Ina would fill up old shoe boxes full of her homemade brownies and send them to her future husband to be in the 1960's (I'll note, they are still married). I know that love inspires the best recipes, so I fully trust any brownie recipe from Ina Garten, but I will vouch, this one, is the best. Delight your holiday guests and feed them a love inspired rich, decadent, delight.

Outrageous Brownies - Ina Garten

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.
    Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
    In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
    Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

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