Sunday 12 February 2012

Afternoon Treat

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and it's time to bake some goodies. I just finished baking these goodies with my little munchkin and wow, was he happy when they were ready to munch on.

I don't know if you are a fan of brownies, but we sure are. I have tried many (and I mean many) brownies recipes and did not have too much success. This recipe, on the other hand, is amazing. The brownies are super easy to make, moist and they taste delicious. The other great thing about this recipe is that you only need cocoa to make it and won't need any chocolate.  This is great since it is most likely that you will have some cocoa laying around (chocolate disappears for some reason) and you can still whip up a super easy and tasty treat for your love ones this Valentine's Day.
I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen. Are you familiar with the site? Deb is the amazing creator of this recipe and many, many more and shares her anecdotal stories too (makes it more interesting than a boring recipe, don't you think?)

Deb has also been hard at work on her book which will be released this fall. I cannot wait to buy it. But in the meantime, you can check out her site for some fabulous recipes and delicious treats.

Here is the brownies recipe.

Best Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet

Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies (the size you see pictured yielded 25)

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces or 141 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (9 7/8 ounces, 280 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 7/8 ounces, 82 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (66 grams, 2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. 

Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added. [Note, many people who have tried this recipe have found that this step works just fine in the microwave. Couldn't test this because we don't have one, but it sounds like it would work.]

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. (I go further and throw mine in the fridge or freezer for a while; it’s the only way I can get them to cut with clean lines.)
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Thank you so much Deb for this awesome recipe. My family has been enjoying this and many more recipes from your site. And you can check out all her fabulous recipes at Smitten Kitchen.

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon!


  1. These sound great and look so cute and Valentiney! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Dana,
    They are really easy to make and so yummy. Had to hide them from my guys!

  3. Oh my goodness those brownies look sooooooooooooo good.

    I'll take five, k?



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