The Husband and I have never really see eye to eye on brownies. His mother, who is a very good cook, would surprisingly use box mixes--such as Duncan Hines--for her brownies. My mother, Queen of All Things Made From Scratch, would always make her own brownies. As pointed out by the Husband while were still dating, his mother's brownies--despite the box nature of them--were perfectly undercooked. Unfortunately, for my mother, hers were not.
Of course, I didn't know any better. My mother's were delicious, albeit a little hard. Herein, lie the big debate of our marriage--which is better: homemade and dry, or box and moist?
So, in the early years of our 13+ years of marriage, I dutifully tried baking from the dreaded Duncan Hines box. But, I could just taste the chemicals and preservatives, so I stopped. However, I feared making brownies from scratch and not having them underbaked to the Husband's preference.
I tried brownie after brownie recipe, to see if I could change the Husband's mind about the virtues of homemade vs. box brownies. Finally, I found this recipe. The first time I made them was two years ago for the Husband's birthday. He still talks about them using God-like adjectives. Perfection. Supreme. Unrivaled.
So on the eve of his 39th birthday, I'd like to share this recipe with you all, as a thanks for waiting for me to get my blog up and running again. Oh, an don't forget to underbake them. You won't be sorry! As a side note, I'm having 16 4-ounce brownies delivered to his office tomorrow from The Fat Witch Bakery, which luckily, is just downstairs from his office.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup best-quality unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line and 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Coat with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Melt together butter, chocolate, and cocoa in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (I know that it's a no-no, but I usually use the microwave for this). Remove from heat. Stir until smooth; let cool slightly.
3. Whisk together four, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put eggs, sugar, and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until pale, about 4 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
4. Transfer batter to prepared pan, an smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownie between edge and center comes out with a few crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. (Do not overbake--I start testing at 25 minutes.) Let cool 15 minutes; left out of pan, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely. Cut into 8 rectangles. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.