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[Comments] (3) Brownie Mania: More generally, recipe mania. Sumana asked me to type up this recipe for a friend at work, so I might as well share it with you. This is my the brownie recipe that lives in my head and makes pretty good brownies. In its composition it is based on recipes on the backs of baking chocolate boxes and in my box of family recipes. The procedure for baking them so you don't have to cut them in the pan comes from Alton Brown. In its combination of disparate parts it is my own invention.



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut some parchment paper to fix a 9x13 pan including up the sides. Put the parchment paper inside the pan; I use butter spray on the pan to make the paper stick.

Sift together the dry ingredients and set them aside.

In a large bowl over a pot of boiling water (double boiler style), melt the butter and baking chocolate. Once it's melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugars. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and the mystery ingredient (about which more anon).

Finally, fold in the dry ingredients. Add a batch of half to a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, and mix to combine. Repeat until it's all in there. Don't stir this more than you have to or the flour will get glutinous and you'll have a cake. If you want nuts, put them in now.

Pour the batter into the paper-lined pan, spread it out, and bake it for 30 minutes (use toothpick test to see when it's done). Once it's done you can grab the parchment paper and just pull it out of the pan and put it on a cooling rack. Once it cools you can cut it up with a knife or pizza cutter, without having to worry about cutting within the pan.

These are good as is, but if you like marshmallows you can do what Alison wrote about, and put mini marshmallows on top of a brownie, then broil it for a minute or two.

So, about the mystery ingredient. This is where you can turn "brownies" into "x brownies" by adding to the batter a small amount of something strongly flavored. I like a teaspoon of mint extract, or a couple tablespoons of peanut butter warmed in the microwave, or some espresso powder. When I was much younger I liked to put chocolate chips in the brownies I made, but now that seems kind of gauche.


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