Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cakey Brownies

By now I think you know that I don't like to skimp when it comes to dessert. I don't drop cookies by the tablespoon; I drop them by the quarter cup. Instead of trying one flavor when I go to Cupcake Royale, I try three. Let's face it--I make chocolate chip cookies with brownies inside them! However, there is something to be said for keeping things simple.

Today I made chocolate brownies. I didn't frost them. I didn't add nuts or chocolate chips. I didn't swirl peanut butter or cream cheese into them. I just let them be.

Actually that's not entirely true. After my "plain" brownies came out of the oven, I completely ignored Alton Brown's instructions to let them cool completely before cutting. I cut them while they were still warm, and I ate one immediately. It was delicious.

But, as I'm sure you suspected, I didn't just eat that one brownie. Oh, no. I made a brownie sundae. With Ben & Jerry's Peanut Brittle Ice Cream. And caramel. And hot fudge. Now that sounds more like me.

The sundae was good. But it wasn't as good as that simple brownie, fresh from the oven. And that brings me to the conclusion that sometimes less is more. Sometimes.

Plain Ole Brownies
1-1/3 cups cocoa powder
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square aluminum baking pan.

2. Sift together the dry ingredients in the food processor.

3. In an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs at medium speed until light (both in texture and color). Add the vanilla.

4. Mix the sugars together, reduce the mixer speed to 30-percent power, and add the sugars to the eggs, incorporating thoroughly.

5. Add the butter and remaining dry ingredients in three alternating doses starting with the wet and finishing with the dry. Fold in the nuts.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean.

7. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and resist the temptation to cut until the brownies are completely cool. When ready, cut into squares with a pizza cutter.
Brown, Alton. "Plain Ole Brownies." Recipe. I'm Just Here for More Food. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2004. 188-89.


  1. YUM! Usually icecream makes all things good so am really surprised B&J's didn't kick the brownie up a notch. Must be one amazing brownie - am sooo trying it out! What about this: this brownie hot straight out of the oven AND icecream?? :)

  2. I always check your blog first before I go to find a recipe on the net. I am trying these today!

  3. Can we live next to each other??? Just move your house to the property next to us. That way Carver and I can come by and sample everything. :)