November 16, 2009

Recipe: Chunky Chocolate Brownies

For years I was content with box brownies even though I refused to use most boxes because pure, natural scratch ingredients have a superior taste. The brownies I had eaten that were made from scratch were too cakey and not fudgy, and so many recipes call for baking chocolate that I don't always have on hand. And then I discovered what a brownie from scratch should be with this Southern Living recipe

The brownie is thick, rich and gooey and perfectly chocolatey, almost as good as the ones my dad brings home from the former-bakery-owner that just so happens to be his boss' wife. Better yet, the recipe calls for chocolate chips (semi-sweet, of course) and a few other basic ingredients and wasn't too involved to make. I can still enjoy a good box brownie, but the greater concentration of chocolate makes these far richer and more satisfying for a craving for a decadent dessert. The only way up from there is serving it a la mode and maybe adding a little peppermint extract for minty brownies the next time.

Chunky Chocolate Brownies

2  tablespoons  water

3/4  cup  granulated sugar

1/3  cup  butter

1  (11.5-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chunks, divided

2  large eggs

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

3/4  cup  all-purpose flour

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1/2  cup  chopped hazelnuts or pecans, toasted (I leave the nuts out and go for the pure chocolate.)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 3 1/2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 cup chocolate chunks until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring just until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Combine flour and salt; stir in remaining chocolate chunks and hazelnuts. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture in saucepan. Spread into a lightly greased 9-inch square pan.

Bake at 325° for 23 to 28 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.

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