Sunday, April 1, 2012

Brownies, Two Ways

This weekend I went to a bridal shower for my brother-in-law's fiancee.  I volunteered to bring some desserts.  My mother-in-law suggested something in the chocolate family, but said that the most important thing to bring is her grandson.  Colin was all ready to visit, so I got to baking.  I couldn't decide between two brownie recipes, so I made them both.  The first are vegan low-fat brownies that are more cake-like, and also more conducive to wearing formal gowns in a few weeks.  The others are extra fudgy, extra chocolatey, bites of heaven.

Double Chocolate Single Chin Brownies
recipe from Peas and Thank You

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (vegan if you are strict)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl (or your two cup measuring cup), stir together applesauce, sugar and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk to combine.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into a prepared 8x8 pan or mini muffin cups.
If baking in 8x8 pan, bake for 18-20 minutes.  Bake for 10-15 minutes in the mini muffin cups.  

I made a test batch of these last weekend to decide whether I wanted to bring them to the party.  I underbaked them a bit so the middle brownies were extra gooey.  I tweeted Mama Pea herself to tell her how good they were and that the undercooked batch was like eating batter.  She probably thought I was a complete moron for alerting her to the groundbreaking discovery that undercooked brownies taste like brownie batter.  She was very nice about it, though.

In any case, these are more cake-like brownies, as you would expect since they have applesauce in place of butter and eggs.  They are almost like little mini chocolate cupcakes.  The chocolate chips are a nice addition. 

If you are looking for a more classic brownie recipe that's dense, intensely chocolatey, and fudgy, then this next one is for you.  There are few things in cooking that smell as good or look as pretty as chocolate and butter melting in a double boiler.  

Classic Brownies
recipe based on 500 Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 oz. bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate
1 cup light brown sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a barely simmering pot of water.  Whisk to combine.
Stir in sugar, salt and vanilla.
Remove from heat.  Using a hand mixer, and beat in the eggs one at a time.
On low speed, slowly mix in the flour.  Beat until smooth.
Pour batter into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes and then lift out using the parchment.
Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


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