Chewy Chocolate Brownies

Chewy Chocolate BrowniesBrownie Brain
Labor Day weekend is almost here…which is awesome because, Hey!, a three day weekend! Tradition suggests that I am supposed to be thinking about barbecue but truth be told, I’m kind of sick of grilling. With as hot as it has been lately, I haven’t even looked twice at my oven. Everything we’ve eaten in the past two weeks has been hot off the outdoor grill. Needless to say, I am finding it hard to get too excited about a barbecue for Labor Day.

That being said, I will be going to a barbecue on Sunday. The good news is the decision to figure out what to throw on the grill rests entirely on my sister’s shoulders. I have a feeling that I will be in charge of bringing something sweet to the party. And, for some reason lately, I have had brownies on the brain.

I can’t tell you how long it has been since I have made a batch of brownies. I love brownies and because of that love I just can’t have them lying around. I will simply end up eating them. Hence, I have not made them in over a year. As a general rule, I am a brownie purist but I am not above swirling in a little peanut butter before they go in the oven or even mixing some espresso into the batter. There are never any nuts in my brownies. Not because I don’t like nuts—but I just don’t want anything to interfere with my chocolate intake. And, no nuts means there is more room for chocolate in each bite.

Brownies, or chocolate anything really, are a great way to end a barbecue because chocolate just goes well with grilled meats. Even better, you can serve them with the ice cream of your choice on the top for a sundae. Or, take it a step further and use the brownies as the base for an ice cream cake!

Chewy Chocolate Brownies

Adapted from Ina Garden and the Food Network
Yields about 20 large brownies

Ingredients
1 pound unsalted butter (we use Kerrygold)
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (we use Guittard)
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant espresso granules (we use Medaglia D’oro)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (we use Nielsen-Massey)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (we use King Arthur)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350º F.

Butter and flour a 12″ x 18″ x 1″ baking sheet.

In a double boiler (or a medium bowl over simmering water) melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate. Set aside and allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly.

With a wooden spoon in a large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow it to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of the flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake the brownies for 20 minutes on a rack in the center of the oven. Then tap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake!

Remove from the oven and allow the brownies to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

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