Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Holy Brownies

I admit it, I love box brownies. I grew up on them like most of us did, and I feel like brownies are supposed to be chewy around the edges, with a crisp little edge at the top, and a flaky lighter brown top that crumbles like the top layer of a croissant. (Is your mouth watering yet?) So a few years ago I set out to create that kind of brownie from scratch. I made brownies every night for a week (my 7 roommates at the time didn't mind taste testing), and made the Perfect brownies. Then promptly lost the recipe. Two years later I got over it and tried again, and this recipe is the result. It stands up to my roomie's brownie scrutiny, so it's gotta be pretty good.

Not to toot my own horn or anything, of course. But. These brownies will blow your mind. Well, maybe not, but they will melt in your mouth. Theyliterally dissolve on your tongue, if you eat them when they've cooled just enough not to burn you. You can leave off the coconut, or replace it with chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or marshmallow creme, or flecks of sea salt. There are so many ways to dress up a brownie, though I assure you these need no dressing up. If you don't have brown sugar handy, just use granulated sugar for all of it.

The Holy Brownies

1 1/4 sticks butter
4 1-oz squares of baking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ. Spray a 9" pan with cooking spray or lightly butter it.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. If it gets too hot, the brownies will be grainy and taste burnt. It should take at least 5 minutes to melt.
Remove the sauce pot from heat and whisk in the cocoa until fully blended, then whisk in the sugar, then eggs one at a time, then vanilla, and finally the flour.
Pour into the pan and sprinkle an even coating of coconut on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the edges are solid and the middle is still a little gooey. In my oven, the brownies puff up a full inch but settle back down flat when they cool. Do not be alarmed if it starts to look like cake while it's baking.
Let cool at least ten minutes before cutting, longer is better.