I’ve come a long way from being a girl who only saw brownies as an “unnecessary evil”. I realise now that my former dislike for them stemmed from how guilty they made me feel after I ate them. 😛 I don’t count brownies as very sweet treats (which I dislike, to be honest) although there’s no denying that their richness makes them rather indulgent, and I can be a bit of a guilty eater most times. But now I can’t seem to resist a good brownie.
I reckon the change had something to do with the discovery of the brownies with the crisp craggy tops. I’ve lived my entire childhood seeing and eating commercial soft brownies– the ones that seem a little sweeter and less chocolatey than they should be, made even sweeter by toppings of melted white chocolate, milk chocolate chips, sprinkles… Definitely not something a person who does not have a sweet tooth would enjoy. But the Internet and this willingness to cook anything under the sun has made me discover so much. Suddenly things I thought I’ve always been familiar with present themselves in a whole new light.
I mean, we’re talking about brownies here. Specifically, these brownies that are probably the best fudgy brownies I’ve ever put in my mouth. I’m not going to feel responsible for ruining anybody’s diets by sharing this recipe with you all, but I still feel like I should say sorry. One bite is all that it will take to make you fall irrevocably head-over-heels in love with these mother-of-fudge brownies.
Everybody has a brownie preference. My mother loves brownies that are fudgy. Me, I’m a fan of slightly denser and chewy ones. Despite these being on the fudgy side, these are just absolutely too brilliant not to love. The chocolate flavour is so intense and deep it’s enough to enamour any chocoholic (me!) regardless of the texture of the brownies. Add to that the crisp from the pecans inside, and of course from that top shell, there’s really nothing else I can do except to keep stuffing bits of these brownies into my mouth. It totally destroyed my willpower haha!
I’ve made a bunch of brownies since I started this blog, but only the top ones have ended up being featured on the blog: the ever-famous Baked brownies, and David Lebovitz’s Chewy-Dense Brownies. (Oh, and I also made some interesting avocado-based brownies.) The Lebovitz recipe is my all-time favourite thanks to their texture, which by my standards are perfect with that lovely crunchy top and just the right amount of chewiness in them. They make amazing add-ons for ice cream too. But boy, this fudgy brownies recipe from Dorie Greenspan sure does make me think twice about my brownie preferences.
So just a little background about these brownies before I finally share the recipe, since you might be wondering about the title at this point. These are originally called “Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies”. She was a famous actress during the 1940’s up to the early 1980’s and apparently she was also known for making some really mean brownies. Her biggest tip as shared by her next-door neighbour during her eulogy? Do not add too much flour! Clearly the lady is a fan of fudgy brownies. This isn’t the original recipe, but Dorie Greenspan’s spin on makes this recipe a real keeper.
And I don’t say that lightly.
Makes 16 brownies
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons finely ground instant coffee
- 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C) and place rack in the middle level. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and butter. (You can also flour if you wish, remembering to tap out the excess.)
- 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
- 3. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, begin to melt the butter. Sift in the cocoa over the melting butter and add the instant coffee. Stir until the butter is completely melted and the cocoa and coffee are blended in. Remove from the heat and cool for about 3 minutes.
- 4. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the eggs into the saucepan one at a time. (Don't beat anything too vigorously to avoid adding air to the batter.)
- 5. Stir in the sugar and vanilla, then the dry ingredients, nuts, and chopped chocolate, just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- 6. Bake for 30 minutes, at which point the brownies will still be gooey but the top will have a dry papery crust. Let the brownies cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares, roughly 2 inches on each side.
- Wrapped well, the brownies will keep for 3 days at room temperature or frozen for up to 2 months.
That sheet of crispilicious chocolate on top is one of my personal marks of an awesome brownie. Every time I pull brownies out of the oven and see it I get such a thrill! I invite you guys to try this recipe this weekend because it’s sooo easy and it’s soooo good! (I’m not even kidding.) Thanks for another great one, Dorie!
I also want to take this opportunity to invite you guys to this fund-raising event organised by one of the orgs from my Alma Mater for the benefit of Mano Amiga Pilipinas. This organization aims to provide education for children, which I think is one of the most crucial things in the life of any person.
DLSU’s Business Management Society promises a night filled with food and music as they bring you UNPLUGGED, a food bazaar and music festival. The best bands and artists in the Metro, up and coming food stalls that will tickle your taste buds, and many more await! So mark your calendars and get ready to #RelaxUnwindUnplug on March 12!
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