Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mom's Brownies My Way

Growing up, brownies were one of my family's favorite desserts.  Not just any brownies, but as the recipe declared, "Mom's Best Brownies".  Easy, fast, more yummy than any box mix; it was my dad who often mixed up this one bowl recipe.  He liked to change things around, adding extras such as peanut butter, chocolate or butterscotch chips.  Now I'm the one changing things around - replacing refined ingredients with those I prefer to use in my kitchen.

Preheat your oven to 350*.  Grease & flour a 9x13" baking dish.  With brownies & chocolate cakes, I like to use cocoa powder to flour my pan.  Adds extra flavor and prevents any unsightly white dots on the bottom.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Make a depression or well in the middle of the bowl.
I prefer to use coconut oil in my baking.  My parents always used canola or vegetable oil - why I choose not to is a topic for another day.  :)  It is definitely still early spring where I live, and the coconut oil is still solid.  I try to just warm it enough to melt on the stove - fast & easy to do, since it melts at 76*.  This time I got distracted with my girls (who would have thought?) and the oil got hot.  I let it cool for a few minutes, but was  impatient and did not wait long enough.  You'll see what that caused soon enough.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and room temperature oil to the bowl containing the flour mixture.  Gently mix together, being careful not to over mix.  Stop when the flour is just incorporated, too much stirring will cause a cake-like texture.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently spread it out.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven and on how gooey you like your brownies.  This time I left the brownies in a few minutes too long - that combined with the oil being hot still, caused more of a cake like crumb.  Below, you can see how this batch of brownies rose too much.  They still tasted good, but weren't the dense moist brownies I desired.  They should have looked like the first picture in this post.  Guess I need to try again...
update 9/9/11 - I have made these *afew* more times and discovered my error - the day I photographed this recipe I was a little skimpy measuring my flour.  I was measuring like I was making a cake, which resulted in a cake like crumb.  Brownies are to be dense, don't be scared of the flour.  I hope to make a post about different methods of measuring flour... soon.

1/2 c cocoa
1 1/2c + 2Tbsp flour
2c sugar
1tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
1c oil
4 eggs
2tsp vanilla
*chopped nuts, peanut butter, chocolate or flavored chips optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Grease & flour 9x13" baking dish
  3. Stir dry ingredients together with spoon and then add wet ingredients.  Mix together just until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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