Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CL's Classic Fudge Brownies

I wasn't planning on posting today.  I was actually planning to bust this out tomorrow.  But then I realized that only a bad person posts about fudgy, chocolaty, dense, gooey goodness on Ash Wednesday.  Cool people, on the other hand, blog about it on Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, aka this day used to mean a chocolate waterfall and bananas fosters in the dining hall and I really miss that.  As it is, my Mardi Gras celebration is looking like a sandwich after some exercising after work.  Don't say I don't lead an exciting life.  Maybe I'll steal some of the chocolate I bought Ben for Valentine's day that he left here... just don't tell him.

The background story here is that this recipe won Cooking Light's Best Chocolate Recipe Ever contest, as seen in their January 2012 issue.  That is 25 years of chocolate recipes my friends, and this here, this was number one.  Those are quite the accolades, and for the most part, it lived up to expectations.  They were intensely chocolaty.  They somehow straddled the line between being immensely dense and gooey, yet somehow ridiculously crumbly.  It probably needed more time to cool in the pan, but this was Valentine's day dessert and dinner was over and we have no patience.  I attempted to cut them into squares and it was a complete failure.  So instead, we ended up fork-fighting over the pan, jabbing dangerously close to each other's fingers to claim clumps of fudgy brownie for ourselves.  And each bite was delicious.

The next morning, once they had cooled, what was left of the brownies cut a little better and maintained their shape, somewhat.  The chunks of dark chocolate were heavenly, extremely hot just out of the oven, but creamy once cooled.  This is where you need to break out some good chocolate, because it is worth it.  Especially if you're giving up chocolate for lent.  Which, in case you forgot, begins tomorrow.

However, despite all my chocolate haze induced praises, I'm not quite sure if they are big green cookbook worthy.  They crumbled a lot, a lot.  Although, the original recipe called for a metal 9x9 pan, which I don't own, so I went with glass and increased the time and temperature, which may have contributed to the crumbliness.  Also, the recipe called for walnuts.  I am a firm believe in the mantra that nuts do not belong in brownies, so I omitted them and you can judge me if you must.  And finally, CL did it's clever little trick to make these brownies healthy.  They call for 20, TWENTY, servings out of a 9x9 pan.  It's like when Pepsi gives you a bottle with 2.5 servings in it.  You know you're drinking the whole thing, don't lie to me.  Just give it to me straight.  Don't expect to get 20 servings out of these, or rather, don't expect to eat only 1 of their servings.  But then remember that today is Fat Tuesday, and that Fat is in the name, and demolishing a pan of brownies is basically to be expected...

CL's Classic Fudge Brownies
Winner in the January 2012 issue

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, divided
1/3 c. 1% milk
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanillas extract
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray 9x9 metal baking pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Chop 3 oz. of chocolate into small chunks.  Toss in flour mixture.  Set aside.  Combine remaining  3 oz of chopped chocolate and milk in small microwave bowl.  Microwave in small bursts of 30 seconds, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Add melted butter, vanilla and beaten eggs.  Beat well.  Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Put into 350°F oven and bake 25-30 minutes.  Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only a few crumbs clinging.  Cool (if you can wait!) in the pan.  Cut into 20 pieces (ha!).  Eat at least 12.  Enjoy!

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