Until recently, I never paid much attention to brownies. I rarely made them. I rarely ate them. Not that I didn't like them. They just didn't pop into my mind when I wanted dessert. I don't even remember eating brownies when I was a child. Cookies were my thing. Sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies. I liked cookies. Anyways....my point is....I didn't realize that there were so many different "kinds" of brownies. Cakey, soft, fudgie. And not all brownies are created equally. Boxed, one bowl, several bowls. Cocoa powder, melted chocolate....etc etc.
Apparently I'm the kind of person who likes soft chewy brownies with crispy edges. Then I discovered that I like them with frosting! Who knew? At my age....I'm just now eating a brownie with frosting for the first time? I'd feel very deprived...but I wouldn't want to seem ungrateful to all those wonderful cookies I enjoyed, growing up.
If I were to confess that these brownies are better than any cookie I've ever had...would you promise not to tell? (My peanut butter cookie recipe might feel slighted)
Chocolate Fudge Brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350' F. Grease and flour a n 8" x 8" baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together, in a medium bowl. You can either do it in the microwave if that's your thing...or you can melt it in the bowl, over a pot with boiling water (double boiler style).
Once melted, whisk in the sugars (brown and granulated) and then whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Add the flour and fold into the chocolate mixture until well incorporated then fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour your batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until you have a fairly clean toothpick when inserted into the middle. I say "fairly" clean....because...if you skewer a melty chocolate chip, there's no way the toothpick is coming out clean.
Allow to cool completely before adding the following frosting...
The Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 TB milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Ovaltine powder
The instructions say to use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. I have a mixer with a stand. It's 20 yrs old. Basically its a hand mixer that slides onto the stand for convenience. I don't have paddles or any other special attachments. If you're in the same boat as me, don't worry. It works out just fine.
Cream together the butter, cocoa powder and salt.
Note: Ummm....I had a cocoa powder dust cloud going here. Next time I think I'll cream the butter first and then add the cocoa powder and salt a little at a time. Just for the sake of having less of a mess to clean up.
Continue to mix for another 3 minutes....which at this point you should have a nice creamy chocolaty mix.
Scrape down the sides and add the powdered sugar, while the mixer is on low speed.
Note: After my cocoa powder dust cloud...I added the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, along with the milk and vanilla.
As the sugar incorporates, increase the mixer speed gradually to medium high, scraping down the sides as needed, until everything's nice and smooth.
Mix together the heavy cream and Ovaltine.
Note: Believe it or not...this was the first time I had ever bought Ovaltine. I may have had some as a child but I honestly can't remember. I know my mom never bought it. Apparently there are a few flavors to choose from. I used the rich chocolate Ovaltine. You can use whichever you prefer.
Turn the mixer to medium and add the cream slowly. Beat until you have a delicious frosting that's your desired consistency. Joy the Baker says to add more powdered sugar to adjust the consistency to your liking. You want something that is smooth, creamy and spreadable.
For the brownies, you're only going to use only half of the frosting.
Save the rest for something else yummy....like finger dipping (or cupcakes).
Cut this one large brownie into more managable sized pieces (cuz no matter how much you want to keep it all to yourself and eat the whole thing as is, cuz if it's not cut up, you can say you only ate ONE brownie....you'll want to see the faces of those who enjoy this and hear them say...mmmmmm.)
I did take the brownies to work so I could share the joy. After a long week, and as Friday came to an end....a rich, chocolately brownie was just what we needed. (Only cuz we're not allowed to have margaritas at work).
But I got to bring a couple home for the weekend. For breakfast. Cuz what could be better than a brownie with your morning coffee on a pretty little plate on a beautiful Saturday morning? (before you go to the gym)
For the next couple of weeks you're going to hear a lot about Joy the Baker around here. She's come out with a cookbook and I'm thrilled to have been asked to participate in the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*
These brownies and frosting are one of the many sinfully delicioius recipes in her cookbook.
I've just realized that she lives here in L.A. I feel like we should be neighbors or something but with traffic and all....it could take hours to get to her end of town (which ever ends that happens to be). Wouldn't it be cool to bump into her at the grocery store?
Then I could invite her over to help me bake all the goodies in my shopping cart.