Tag Archive for brownies

The Best Brownie Recipe

All three of my regular blog readers will know that I am on a life-long quest for the best recipes. Some of the recipes I’m looking for include: banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, waffles and brownies. Hmmm… those are all sweet items. What does that say about me?

I’ve successfully knocked a few off of my list, but it’s safe to say I’ve tried hundreds of different recipes in my pursuit for perfection (still on the lookout for the ultimate peanut butter cookie, if you have one, send it my way).

the best brownie recipe

I love brownies. And I am a brownie purist. I do not like them with frosting. I do not like them with smarties. I do not like them with cream cheese. I like a simple, fudgy, warm, moist brownie (maybe with a scoop of ice cream on top).

For a really long time, when the brownie craving hit, I would head to the store for a box mix. There are very few, if any things that come out of my kitchen that start with a box mix, so you understand how this was bugging me. But I just couldn’t find a recipe I liked better than the boxed mix.

And then I did.

I was thumbing through a magazine, looking for ideas to make for a friend’s birthday, and came across this recipe by Rachael Ray. I’m not her biggest fan (she cooks A LOT with meat), but I do own some of her cookbooks, and I like her easy-breezy attitude in the kitchen.

The other thing I liked about this recipe is that it doesn’t require melting chocolate. I melt chocolate lots, but I prefer a brownie recipe that uses dark cocoa as its base, because I know I always have it in the house. Additionally, this recipe minimizes the amount of bowls and things you need to use to make it. Less stuff to have to wash = winning in my books.

The original magazine article featured a ton of different ways to dress this base brownie recipe up. You can do that if you like. I’ll just be over here savouring my plain one.

the best brownie recipe

The Best Brownie Recipe

(adapted from Rachael Ray)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup, butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • eggs
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup flour

Method: 

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the sugar, and whisk it in well, until it’s all incorporated. Add the vanilla and salt, and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  2. In the meantime, whisk together the eggs in a separate bowl. Slowly add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture, whisking all the time, so the eggs don’t cook. You can temper the eggs with a little of the warm butter first, if you like.
  3. Sift the cocoa and add it in, mixing well. Finally, add the flour and mix until incorporated.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs clinging. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S’Mores

There are birthdays, and then there are milestone birthdays. My friend Michelle recently celebrated a milestone birthday (I won’t tell you which one), and I wanted to make her something special.

Now, I realize most people would have picked up a card or a bottle of wine. But I’m not most people. As much as I love the written word, I’m not a huge fan of cards, and bottles of wine… well, I’d rather drink them myself. Or at least with my friend who’s celebrating.

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S'mores

 

This recipe is inspired by something that Michelle and I saw while having coffee one fine sunny morning at Butter Baked Goods. It’s a riff on a S’more, but this version ain’t for the kids.

If you’ve never made marshmallows, they aren’t particularly difficult, although they are a little fiddly. Ideally, you want to have a large stand-mixer for this. My wee food processor was overwhelmed. I dream of having a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer to call my own.

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S’Mores

Bourbon Marshmallow Brownie S'mores

Any day I get to use my brulee torch is a good day!

For the crust: 

  • 1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsps melted butter.

Mix both ingredients well together, and press into the bottom of an 8″ by 8″ pan you’ve lined with parchment. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.

For the brownies (adapted from Rachael Ray):

  • 3/4 cup, butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • eggs
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup flour
  1. In a bowl, whisk the sugar and butter together with the vanilla and salt until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each one.
  2. Sift the cocoa and add it in, mixing well. Finally, add the flour and mix until incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter over top of your prepared graham cracker crust. You can decide how deep of a layer you want your brownies to be. I used about half of the mix in my brownie s’mores, and baked up the other half as plain brownies.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs clinging. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

For the marshmallow (adapted from Epicurious):

  • 1 cup water
  • 7 1/2 tsps or 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, put 1/2 cup of water. Sprinkle the gelatin on top, and allow to sit for a few minutes.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring it up to boiling, stirring and allowing the sugars to all dissolve. Using a candy thermometer, cook until the syrup registers 240 degrees. Place to the side just for a few moments to allow it to stop bubbling.
  3. Scrape the jellied-gelatin into the bowl of your mixer. Start the mixer on low speed. With the mixer running, slowly add the syrup in a slow stream. When all the syrup has been added, slowly start to increase the speed on the mixer until it is high. Allow to beat for 5-10 minutes, or until the marshmallow looks like glossy, beaten egg whites. You should get a ribbon of marshmallow streaming off of the beaters when  you lift them up. Finally, add in the bourbon and the vanilla beans, and give it one last whirl.
  4. Pour the marshmallow on top of the brownies in a layer. Carefully spread it so that it is even. It will be very sticky! You can try a moistened spatula or wet fingers.
  5. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

To finish: 

  1. Remove the brownies by pulling them out by the parchment paper. Cut into squares.
  2. Finish by torching each one (the marshmallow part) with a brulee torch.
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