November 30, 2013

homemade brownies & the first snowfall

This morning we woke up and saw that a blanket of white snow had been spread across everything outside.  It wasn't a heavy blanket, but more of the couch throw variety.  Still, it was snow and the year's first.  I don't know about you but the first snow fall of the year always makes me feel like staying in and baking.

So that's what I did.  I made brownies.

I have to admit that these brownies aren't as easy as I thought they would be, but that's because I baked them in a 8x8 pan instead of a 8x12 pan which basically meant that I had to double the baking time (I should have known, since that meant I had a thicker brownie than the recipe).  But, notwithstanding the pan/cook-time issue, the recipe is fairy straight-forward which I always appreciate.

dark chocolate ready to be melted down

whisking the eggs

eggs and sugar, whisked

toasted walnuts

chopped walnuts

slowly adding the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture

folding in the walnuts

the brownies, baked and ready to eat

Here's the recipe!

Homemade Brownies
adapted from Meat-Free Mondays

8 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
11 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup walnuts
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Toast the walnuts in the oven for 5 mins.  Remove from the oven and roughly chop the walnuts; set aside.  Prepare a 8x8 baking dish by spraying it with Pam and then placing a parchment paper on top, taking care to get the parchment paper into the corners.
2) On a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate.  Remove from heat and stir until the mixture is smooth and fully melted.
3) In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Once the chocolate mixture is reasonably cooled (about 5 minutes), temper the egg mixture by slowing adding some of the chocolate mixture and then stirring a bit.  Do this 2-3 times, then fold all of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. (If you add the chocolate all at once, it might end up cooking the eggs and you definitely don't want that.)
4) Sift the flour into the chocolate mixture and combine.  Fold in the walnuts into the batter, then pour the batter into your prepared dish.
5) Bake in the oven for 50 mins, or when the top of the brownie has a light crust and a knife inserted into the brownie comes out relatively clean (it's ok if it's a little stuck because you don't want to dry out the brownie).  Let cool for 30 mins and then enjoy with a cold glass of milk. :)

Happy Wintertime!

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