Mmm, I love brownies. Without nuts. Nuts do not belong in brownies. It's like nuts are the party crasher that people throw into brownies. Ick. **not a fan of nuts in the first place, though** Enough about nuts!
So, I like brownies a lot. Too much, probably. I stumbled upon a recipe for the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies a few years ago, and have been tweaking it ever since, adding a little more chocolate here and there, a little more coffee, and so on. They are rich, decadent, and they scream for a glass of milk to go with them. They also make an awesome base for a brownie sundae (which is the way Husband likes them).
I am such a giving person, I've decided to make my Outrageous Brownies for my book club meeting tonight (of course, I'll get to keep the leftovers, and since it's a small group, surely there will be leftovers...). And, not only that, but I'm sharing the recipe with the blogosphere!!
Now, a word to the wise: the brand of chocolate you use does make a difference. I can taste the difference when I use Baker's brand chocolate versus Ghiradelli. I'd love to use something like Schaffer-Bergen or Valhrona or one of the other snooty chocolates, but they are hard to come by around here, so Ghiradelli is as high brow as it gets for me. Another word of caution: you will make a very large mess. But if you're fortunate enough to have a husband who loves doing dishes like mine does, you'll be okay. And the final warning: let your eggs come to room temperature before using them. I can't quite explain what difference this makes (it's something scientific and chemical-y), but it's important. The brownies seem to go stale faster if the eggs are cold. Go figure. Enough warnings, here's the recipe!
Type A Mommy's Super Outrageous Brownies
1 lb unsalted butter (does not need to be room temp)
1 lb (16 oz) semisweet chocolate chips or squares
5 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
4 Tbsp instant coffee powder or 2 Tbsp espresso powder
2 Tbsp good vanilla extract
2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
Optional, but yummy twist: 2 c Heath bar pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 13"x18"x1 1/2" sheet pan.
2. Melt butter, 1 lb chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. This may take a bit of a while. Stir to make sure all chocolate melts. Once all melty, take the mixture off heat and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
3. In your mixing bowl, stir eggs, instant coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Stir in slightly cooled chocolate mixture, and let the whole thing come to room temperature. (I usually set a timer for 15-20 minutes.)
4. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. In yet another bowl, toss your 4 cups of chocolate chips with 1 Tbsp of flour to coat (this will keep the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom and will ensure an even distribution amongst in your batter). Pour in floured chips and mix well.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and use spatula to spread around evenly. Tap pan lightly on countertop to get rid of bubbles in the batter and place in oven for 30 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, rap pan against oven shelf to get rid of any other bubbles, and turn pan around. Do not overbake!!!! Brownies will look a little underdone when you take them out. Cool thoroughly before cutting into squares.
** These brownies refrigerate well to keep fresh.**
**** UPDATE: I forgot, it's good to refrigerate the brownies in the pan before you cut them for about an hour - it solidifies them, and prevents the brownies from cracking and coming apart when you slice them up. ****