Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Where Bittman's elegant brownie has an almost bittersweet adult taste, this dense brownie is more conventional, definitely American. Even packed with nuts, it's a good gift brownie because it cuts well.

Super Brownie

16 tbls unsalted butter
8 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate cut into big pieces
4 eggs*
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
(2 cups walnut or pecan pieces)
 * I buy x-large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in middle. Butter (generously) a 9- by 13-inch pan, line the bottom and sides with waxed or parchment paper and butter again.

2. Heat water to boil in a big saucepan then turn burner to lowest heat. Put chocolate and butter in a ceramic bowl and sit bowl in the saucepan. When chocolate is nearly melted, remove pot (with bowl still sitting on it) off the heat and whisk until smooth.

3. In a big bowl whisk the eggs until they look entirely blended, then add salt, sugars and vanilla. Using a big spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture and fold in the flour. (Add the nuts here if using them.)

4. Pour batter into the pan and even it out if needed. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack then wrap the entire pan and leave it, in the fridge or on the counter, overnight (or all day).

Brownies should be at room temp before you cut them. Gently loosen the pan sides and corners with a knife. Place a cookie sheet on top of the pan, flip the pan over and unmold. Remove the parchment paper, put another cookie sheet on the brownies and flip them back to right side up.

Trim the edges. Don't be alarmed - they will be crisp. For  24 two-inch square brownies make 3 cuts lengthwise and 5 across. For boxed gift-giving, wrap each brownie individually.

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