Recipes for Bake Alongs » Brownies & Blondies

Brownies & Blondies

Fudgy Brownies

 

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher if you have it

12 ounces chocolate - any kind!  If you use milk or semisweet, your brownies will be very sweet, but you can use any chocolate chips, bars, etc., you have. If you have bars or larger pieces, chop into chocolate chip sized pieces {12 ounces = 2 cups once the chocolate is chopped}

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, each stick cut into 8 pieces

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, and fit into corners of pan.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. 

 

Place butter and chocolate in large, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for one minute.  Stir well, then microwave for another minute.  Whisk until smooth - do not microwave until all the chocolate pieces melt.  Whisking will melt the remaining chocolate into the butter. 

 

{NOTE:  Microwaves vary wildly in power and heat output, so it might take a little longer (or not as long) for your chocolate and butter to melt.  It is better to take it out of the microwave before it’s completely melted and whisk well to melt or place back in the microwave for 10 second intervals at a time.  If you make this recipe over and over (and you should; brownies are delicious), you’ll get a sense of how long it takes in your microwave.}

 

Whisk in both sugars.  Whisk in 3 eggs until they are well combined; whisk in remaining 2 eggs and vanilla.  Whisk until mixture is smooth and grainy appearance smooths out.  Sprinkle flour/cocoa/salt mixture into bowl, whisk just until dry ingredients disappear, and mixture is smooth and glossy.  Scrape into prepared plan and smooth top.  Bake until brownies lightly puff in center and toothpick inserted into center comes out mostly clean with only a few crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes.  Let cool in pan, then lift out by foil and cut into squares. Cold brownies cut much easier than warm or room temperature brownies; you can put the whole pan in the fridge to cool them, cut them into squares, and then store in an airtight container on the counter or return them to the fridge (cold brownies are fantastic; try them some time!), or go big and top with ice cream, hot fudge…mmmm!   

 

 

Blondies

 

3 sticks butter

3 cups (570 grams) light or dark brown sugar (or a mixture of both - just as long as it totals 3 cups)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, kosher or coarse salt if you happen to have it

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour

3 cups of mix ins, optional*

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, and fit into corners of pan.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. 

 

Option #1 (the quickest way to blondies):  melt butter in large, microwave safe bowl.  Whisk in sugar.  Mixture will be buttery and grainy - that’s okay!  Add eggs, one at at time, whisking well after each addition.  Whisk in vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and whisk just until flour disappears into mixture.  Stir with spatula to ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated and sides of bowl is scraped down well.

 

Option #2 (takes at little longer but has a bigger flavor payoff):  brown the butter first!  If you joined the brown butter rice crispy treat lesson a couple of weeks ago, we will use the same method to brown the butter.  Place the brown sugar in a large, heatproof bowl; set aside.  Add butter to a large sauce pan or very wide saute pan.  Place over medium to low heat and let it start popping and sizzling (if it’s popping too much, turn heat down; don’t let it burn you or pop all over your stove top.  No one wants to clean that up.).  That sound is the water in the butter evaporating.  Stir occasionally with a rubber spatula, but don’t walk away!  Keep an eye on the little brown bits that start to form on the sides and bottom of the pan - scrape those into the liquid butter.  When it goes ninja silent on you, it’s done!  Remove from heat immediately and scrape the butter and all those golden brown bits into the bowl containing the brown sugar.  Whisk well - mixture will be grainy and buttery.  Add eggs one at a time, whisking well between additions.  Whisk in vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and whisk just until flour disappears into mixture.  Stir with spatula to ensure all dry ingredients are incorporated and sides of bowl is scraped down well.

 

Either method:  once dry ingredients are incorporated, stir in any optional mix ins - see below for ideas - and spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes - don’t over bake these!  Cool, lift out the foil, and cut into squares.  They will cut easier if they are cold - but also taste delicious warm.  If you want perfectly cut squares, chill the whole pan, cut them, then you can store at room temperature or return to fridge. 

 

*Mix in ideas - here’s your chance to go big because this recipe can be adapted so many ways!  You can stir in anything in the chip family - chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, white chocolate, etc.  You can toast some nuts (toast nuts at 300 degrees on a dry baking sheet - no need for foil or parchment or cooking spray - for 8-12 minutes), then cool and chop if using whole nuts.  Almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios would all be delicious!  Add dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or cherries or add pretzels or even some crushed potato chips.  Add caramels or any leftover Halloween or Easter candy - anything that goes well with butter, caramel-y flavors will go well here.  If you want to continue your creativity, change up the vanilla extract in the recipe to match your mix ins - for example, use almond extract and add chopped, toasted almonds.  Or replace the vanilla with bourbon for a grown up treat!

 

 

 

NOTES

 

What if I don’t want to eat all these brownies/blondies in a day?

You can refrigerate or freeze them!  You can store them in an airtight container or wrap them in plastic wrap then toss them in a gallon ziploc bag. 

 

What if I have time to mix up the brownies/blondies today, but I want to serve them warm & fresh tomorrow (or later this week)?

You can!  Make the brownies/blondies, pour them into the pan, and then cover the pan and put it in the fridge.  Leave it in there for up to two days before baking - they will be even fudgier this way!

 

What if I want to bake them in a month?

You can do that, too!  Take that pan of unbaked brownies/blondies, cover it, and put it in the freezer.  It’ll be frozen solid in a couple of hours.  Lift it out by the foil, and then wrap the whole shebang (foil and all) in plastic wrap twice, then wrap in additional foil.  File it back in your freezer for a rainy day.  When ready to bake, unwrap the plastic wrap but leave the original foil that lined the pan.  Drop it back into the 9x13 pan - you can bake from frozen (keep an eye on baking times - you’ll need to add at least a few minutes or more to the total baking time, but don’t over bake - take them out of the oven when they are set and no longer jiggly) or you can thaw on the counter for 15-20 minutes (in the pan).  If you are really good planner, pull the brownies out of the freezer the night before and let thaw in the pan in the fridge overnight.