I’ve been on another quest. (For some reason, my quests usually involve chocolate.) This time I was on a search for the perfect brownie recipe.
The three adjectives most often used with brownies are: chewy, cakey, and fudgy. People have their preference, but I’m guessing we all switch teams in a pinch. While I didn’t want a dry cakey brownie, I didn’t want a gooey fudgy one either. I wanted something in between – chewy.
It’s taken me the past year and MANY batches to get it right, but worth the effort!
CHEWY BROWNIES – made in 8″ x 8″ pan (or the equivalent)
- 1½ oz (1/2 cup) pecans
- 2¼ oz (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 8 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bar, broken (I use Ghirardelli)
- 2+3/8 oz (1/3 cup) butter
- 5+1/8 oz (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 3/8 oz (1 T) water
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 oz (2/3 cup) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Nestles)
- optional: fleur-de-sel to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
Grease and flour an 8″ X 8″ glass baking pan (I use Pyrex).
NOTE: If you want to have neatly sliced brownies (which I never do), then line your baking pan with parchment paper, grease and flour the paper, then pour in the batter. That way, you can lift out the baked brownies and peel down the parchment so a long knife can be used to slice evenly.
Chop pecans and lightly toast them in a toaster oven or dry skillet. Set aside.
Place broken pieces of 60% chocolate bar in a medium sized bowl. (The smaller the pieces, the better for melting quickly.)
In a small saucepan, over very low heat, melt together the butter, sugar, and water, stirring often until bubbles start forming around sides of pan.Immediately pour hot liquid into bowl with chocolate, stirring to melt chocolate completely. Allow to cool 10 minutes, stirring now and then. (You’re going to be adding eggs, and don’t want to cook them.)
In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda – set aside. Beat the eggs in a small bowl. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, stir in approximately half of the eggs and mix in completely. Pour and mix in the remaining egg. Stir in the vanilla.Add in the flour mixture, pecans, and mini chocolate chips. Mix just until all the flour has been incorporated. Pour into prepared baking pan, smoothing batter flat. If desired, sprinkle on fleur-de-sel. Bake at 325º F for about 28 minutes. (They start to look done at around 25 minutes in my oven, but I let them go a few minutes more – otherwise they’ll sink too much as they cool and be a little too gooey for my taste.)Remove from oven and let brownies completely cool several hours before cutting. (This takes a LOT of self-control!!) Note: They’ll still sink a little at 28 minutes, but not as much as they would at 25 minutes.