Monday, June 14, 2010

Liz's Dump-it-in-a-Pan, Quick and Dirty Brownies

We went to a lovely cocktail reception last night in memory of a wonderful man, Ken C., whom we all affectionately called "Daddy."  Daddy recently passed away from a number of illnesses but it was peaceful, he was with his family and he managed to beat the odds for a very long time.  Godspeed, sweet Daddy.  You will be missed and always remembered.....

On the upside, we saw good friends there whom we never see often enough.  Heck, we never see them, period.  Before I knew it, we finessed an invitation for dinner at their house tonight and I offered to bring dessert.  Of course.

But then I got up early this morning and realized I had a jam-packed day ahead of me.  No complaints, but I needed to figure a way to get something baked.  Cake mix, anyone?

Uh ... no.  Not just no, but HELL NO!  Sorry if I offend anyone out there, but you will never find a box of the stuff in my house.  It's bad enough that I have to send canned frosting along with those homemade mason jar chocolate cakes I send to our troops every month in Afghanistan.  Apart from that, I categorically refuse to make anything from a mix.

I did the next easiest thing.  Yeah, brownies once again (are you sick of them yet?) but not the kind that require a lot of work.  These require practically no work.  You don't even have to be precise in cutting them, like with those peanut butter bars. 

These are very similar to the ones we made at Star Provisions, they are soooooooo easy and they will blow your socks off.  Rich, dense, chewy and melt-in-your-mouth.  AND they will keep for a week or so in your fridge (although that isn't necessarily a good thing). 

So I am sharing my favorite, tried and true recipe here and you will probably think I"m a big fraud because these are so ridiculously easy and after all, shouldn't a former pastry chef  have a more complicated recipe?

Not necessarily.  Less is more.  Let me repeat that.  Less is more.  Just watch your baking time.  It would be criminal to overbake these.


1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1/2 good cocoa powder (preferably Droste or Vahlrona)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with heavy duty foil.  Allow foil to overhange edges and grease well with softened butter.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients.  Stir well with a spatula or wooden spoon to blend.  Do not use an electric mixer.

Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.  DO NOT OVERBAKE.  (If the surface cracks, then you have baked it too much).  It will not look completely done when you take it out of the oven.

Cool on a baking rack then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Remove from pan, remove foil and cut into bars or squares.  Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to one week.

Serves 10-12

Now really, how bad could this be?  Chocolate, sugar, butter and vanilla.  Basic food group, if you ask me.

Leftover scraps.  I wanted to eat them, but I restrained myself.

Garbage disposal gets the chocolate high instead of me.

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