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Name:Basic Chocolate Brownies Contributor:Ellen Carrico
Description:This is the basic, create-anything-from-here brownie: Posted:1994-11-13
Key words:brownies, chocolate Category:Desserts
ID:440 Updated:2017-02-06 11:18:04
Ingredients:2-1/2 squares of any kind of *unsweetened* baking chocolate (such as
Bakers or Hersheys) - this is 2.5 oz
5 Tbsp of unsalted butter (reduce salt in recipe if using salted butter).
2 large (or medium large) eggs
1 c of sugar
2/3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt (not required but you shouldn't be eating these anyway if you have heart or blood pressure problems, now should you?)
1 tsp of real vanilla extract
Optional ingredients:
1/3 cup mini chips or 1/3 to 1/2 cup regular chips (see notes)
Preparation:Oven Temp:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or whatever your country of origin considers 350. I think this is about gasmark 3 or 4.
This will fill an 8X8" or 9X9" square pan or a 9" round cake pan.
Spray with non-stick cooking spray OR smear with a bit of butter or shortening OR line with non-stick foil.
The foil works very well - when they are done you can just lift the whole thing out of the pan, wrap, and carry off to the party.

Making Them:
Break the chocolate pieces along the score marks and put them in a microwave safe bowl. A 4 cup glass measuring cup works well.
Slice the butter up into about 4 hunks and add to the chocolate.
Cover the dish, place in the microwave, and cook 1 minute on high.

Remove the bowl and stir the chocolate and butter mixture. Chocolate melts and then burns at a very low temperature, so you don't want to overcook it. It also melts slowly. Stir it until the chocolate is melted (about 1 minute). If it seems as if it simply will not completely melt, you may microwave it again for 30 seconds. Stir again. If it isn't completely melted, leave it for about 2 or 3 minutes, and try again. The chocolate mixture should be smooth and shiny.

Stovetop method:
Cook over low heat in a heavy pan, stirring *constantly* until this is melted. Heat only until the butter is melted. Then remove from the burner and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Combine ingredients
Stir in the 1 cup of sugar.
You will have a very dark brown grainy mass. You may taste this if you like, but do not consume more than a tablespoonful or you won't have enough left to make brownies.

Beat in the 2 eggs and the vanilla. Now you have a thick, dark brown mass.

Dump in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Incorporate this into the brownie mixture until it is very thick and nothing white shows. Stir in the walnuts for boy brownies. Stir in any optional ingredients you want.

Scrape the batter into the pan and shove it around until it is a relatively even layer.

Cook in the middle of the oven for about 18 minutes, and check to see if they are done - the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and look cooked. You can also poke the center of the brownies with a toothpick or some other thin long object such as a skewer. This object should come out with only a few particles clinging to it.

If they aren't done, put them back in the oven, and check again at 3 to 4 minute intervals until they are finished.

It is easy to overcook these. If that happens and they are hard, serve them warm with ice cream on them to soften. If they are undercooked, eat them with a fork or spoon.
Notes:These are lovely with about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (use good quality) or white chips, or peanut butter chips tossed in before baking.
Equipment:You could use an electric mixer I suppose, but it seems like overkill. A big old wooden spoon works great.

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