Ok, no actual attack. I’m just shamelessly making headlines. You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, because I’m sharing my not at all secret favorite brownie recipe. It comes from here, and I love it not just because people have a tendency to let their eyes roll into the back of their head and exclaim praise for my confection when they eat them, but also because they’re pretty easy to make.
You’ll note that instead of the nuts called for in the recipe, I have a bag of butterscotch chips here. I generally leave nuts out of brownie recipes – I don’t like what they do to the texture, and when I’m baking for a large group of people (which I usually am if I do brownies) nuts are a good way to run afoul of dietary restrictions. I don’t always mix something else in instead, but peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and mint candies also make good choices.
The recipe says to melt the chocolate and butter together over the stove. You can do this. I usually just slap them into a bowl and microwave them on a low power setting instead. I’m less worried about the chocolate burning if I don’t keep my eye on it in the microwave than I am on the stove top. Which means I can set that to go, then prep the eggs and sugar and thereby maximize my efficiency. I like efficient baking.
The recipe isn’t kidding when it says to let the eggs and sugar go for ten minutes. It really does make the difference. You incorporate a ton of air into the eggs by doing this which makes them fluffy and leads to the height and texture that makes these brownies so good. True story: I own a stand mixer because I burned out three hand mixers in three months when I went through a phase of making these brownies nearly every weekend. It was worth it.
Once you add the chocolate-butter mixture, then stir in whatever thing you’re using as the nuts, toss it into a pan. I never, ever, manage to butter the pan well enough for the brownies to come out clean. This is more feature than bug, since scraping brownie off the pan is kinda awesome. I should probably switch to using parchment paper when I make these brownies for readings, though, since scraping the brownies out is also slow and messy.And if you were at my reading at WisCon last Saturday, this is what you got the chance to eat. Now isn’t everybody who wasn’t there jealous? You should be. I’m sure you’ll do better next time.
(P.S. Thanks to Keffy, Liz, and Grá for letting me share their reading slot, and for forgiving the general mayhem I inflicted on the reading by being late, and slow and whatnot)