Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fudge Brownies with Mint Chips and a Don't Overmix, Don't Overbake Mini-Lecture

Brownies! I have made so many versions. And probably more than once have I found the recipe that is the recipe to destroy (mwahahahaha) all other recipes (ahem, Tartine Brownies, how I love thee!). Yet here I am again, baking up a batch of some new variety. Because it's just plain fun to try new recipes! It never gets old. Or I'm easily amused.

The key to making these fudge brownies fudgy is twofold, actually. Don't overmix, and don't overbake! I must sound like a broken record at this point. In so many of my blog posts, I warn that overmixing or overbaking will ruin an otherwise perfectly good recipe. But it can't be stressed enough. It makes all the difference. Heed my advice or succumb to dry, rock-hard baking disgustingness. Your choice.

I added green mint chips for a more festive, colorful brownie. Chopped up peanut butter cups would be another yummy addition. I was excited to see brown sugar in the recipe because many brownie recipes use white sugar, and I'm a huge fan of brown sugar baked goods. Linda Collister is a great baker, and so I look forward to trying more recipes out of her Chocolate cookbook.

Fudge Brownies
Adapted from a recipe by Linda Collister in Chocolate
Makes 16

1 1/4 sticks (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sweet butter
4 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
a good pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 1/2 oz. walnut or pecan pieces, chopped white or bittersweet chocolate, or a combination

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil so that there's an overhang on all sides (for pulling the foil up later).

Melt the butter in a sauce pan or the microwave and set aside to cool.

Resist the temptation to use a mixer. With a bowl and wooden spoon, gently beat the eggs with the sugar, just until combined. Add the cooled butter and the vanilla and stir to combine. Then sift the dry ingredients directly into the batter (salt, cocoa, and flour). Stir just until combined (hardly at all). The more you stir, the more cake-like and less fudge-like your brownies will be...so beware of overmixing!

If using nuts, chocolate, or any other mix-in (I added mint chips), gently fold those in now. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the top.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. I prefer to slightly underbake mine for more goo and less cakiness so I watch the clock and check my brownies a good 10 minutes before they're supposed to be done.

Put the pan on a damp cloth to cool completely.

Lift the brownies out of the pan using the handy dandy foil lining that you have hanging over the edges of the pan. Place on a cutting board, and then cut into squares.

Store in an airtight container and eat within 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Beat the eggs with the sugar, then add the melted (but cooled) butter and vanilla...

Sift together the salt, cocoa, and flour...
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir just until combined...

Gently fold in your mix-ins (here I'm using mint and semi-sweet chocolate chips)...

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top...

Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes...

Let cool completely before lifting the foil up to remove the brownies...


Mom said...

I want this so much! I just ate a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie from the freezer but I would have preferred your very chocolatey brownies! I love the green chips, too. Soo perfect for a diehard Oakland A's fan!!

Katelin said...

oh man those look delicious! mint and brownies! how have i never had that before??

Carolyn Jung said...

Very good advice. The same goes for scones and muffins. Don't overmix or you'll end up with tough ones. And that would be a crying shame.

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