Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Basic Brownies with White Chocolate and Peppermint Frosting

This is a favorite to make around Christmas time.


3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 T. butter (1 stick), unsalted, cut into chunks
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purp. flour

heat oven to 350. oven rack in middle. Line 8 in. baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Melt chocolate and butter in small bowl (micro. or stove) Cool for a few min. Whisk sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla together in bowl until combined. Whisk in chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in flour until no flour streaks remain. Scrape batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. 22 to 27 min. Cool brownies on wire rack to room temp., about 2 hours. Using foil, lift brownies from pan to cutting board. Slide foil out from under brownies and but brownies into 2 inch squares.

Knowing when Brownies are Done

The toothpick test is only moderately reliable. If you stick a toothpick in the center of a pan of brownies and it comes out completely free of crumbs or batter, you've probably overcooked the brownies. Try sticking the toothpick halfway between the center and the edges of the pan. Here's where the toothpick should come out clean. When stuck in the center the toothpick should come out with some moist batter or crumbs. Better to undercook brownies than to overcook them. Not only are overcooked brownies dry, but they have less chocolate flavor.

White Chocolate and Peppermint Brownies
make sure to use chips rather than bar chocolate in this recipe. Use a food processer to chop the peppermint candies (or in a ziploc with the back of the spoon)

Basic Brownies
6 oz. white chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped candies

Prepare brownies as directed. When brownies come out of the oven, sprinkle white chocolate chips over the brownies and let sit until they are softened but not melted, about 5 min. Using spatula or table knife, smooth chocolate evenly over top of brownies. Sprinkle with peppermint. Cool brownies on wire rack until topping firms up, about 2 hours. Cut as directed.

I made these brownies recently. After they were finished and cut I tasted one. It was good, but not just the most incredible thing I had ever tasted. Les also tried it. That night Les took them to a party. When he came home he said they had tasted even better and yummier than earlier and that people were asking who had made them. Make them a day ahead and they will be even better.

From Cooks Country from the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine

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