12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 5
Things have been a tad bit hectic here in the Pacific Northwest. We had a wind storm here on Thursday night that knocked out power to over one million homes. At our home we lost a gutter to the 70 mph winds, which resulted in some rain water being misdirected into our basement. Which would be okay if it weren’t for the pesky fact that my bedroom is in said basement.
Ah well. If anything can can improve my mood, it would be good brownies. The following recipe creates a brownie that I believe typifies was a brownie should be. This would include:
- a dense cake
- a glossy top
Anything else seems…well…less than a brownie.
And yes, this is the recipe that kicked off the whole “Is a brownie a cookie or a cake” debate. My conclusion? Both cookies and brownies are subsets of the larger “cake” set.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 324 degrees F.
In a medium sized metal bowl, blend together the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat together until the butter has softened and has been whipped together with the dry ingredients. Place a large skillet filled with water over medium heat.
When the water starts to simmer, place the metal bowl into the water, and whisk the batter until smooth. This should take between 10-15 minutes, depending upon how well your bowl conducts heat.
Once the batter is smooth, add in the vanilla and stir in thoroughly. Add each egg, one at a time, also mixing in thoroughly before adding the second egg. Once the batter becomes shiny, stir in the flour and mix until all of it has been incorporated into the batter. Stir in the nuts and pour into a lined 8″ x 8″ pan. (Typically, I line my brownie pan with aluminum foil, one sheet placed horizontal, another vertically. This way I can pull the brownies out with the foil, rather than with a spatula).
Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cut into 16 pieces.