Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

I first mentioned Smitten Kitchen in April in my Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake post. I admit that I have become completely “smitten” but Smitten Kitchen…. I look through the pages of that site and I want to try everything, I mean everything!!

I decided to start with her “best cocoa brownies”. As a blogger who loves to try new recipes all the time, I agree with this post which says that it is hard to pick a favorite brownie recipe, because if you have found an all-time favorite, than some of the fun in trying new recipes would be lost. It is like we are on a constant search for the “best” recipe, and I am not sure we ever find it?

I guess maybe it is comparable to some girls who cannot settle on one guy and do not want to get married. They have not found the “perfect” guy, not because there is no one interested, but because they cannot give up the quest? or the dating scene? or maybe because it is too hard to commit to one? I am positive I have watched a least one “Sex and the City” episode with this theme?! (I had to throw that in, especially with the recent release of the new movie!) I definitely did not have that thought process when it came to making a commitment to a man, but I am highly guilty when it comes to settling on a recipe!!

These cocoa brownies were good and I added a little something to make them even better. I describe these as “fudgy”, and that man I am marrying, he said these were “phenomenal”.

My changes: I used regular butter and omitted the salt, chose to to add nuts, and added 2 Tbsp. of cocoa to bring the total up to a full cup. But I think the deal breaker for these was the few spoonfuls of my fudge sauce (which is discussed in my last post) that I swirled in after the batter was in the pan.

10 Tbsp. butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Line bottom and sides of 8″ square baking pan with greased parchment paper or foil. Combine butter, sugar, and cocoa in a bowl. Microwave in short segments until the butter is melted. Stir until the mixture is smooth and warm. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool to warm. It is normal for the mixture to appear gritty at this point. Stir in vanilla and beat in eggs one at a time until the batter is thick and shiny. Add flour and stir until just blended in. Add nuts, if desired. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack before pulling out of pan and cutting. It may be even easier to cut clean line if kept int he fridge or freezer for a short time.

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