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Feb 21, 2018
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Baked: The Best Basic Brownies

September 10th 12:09pm, 2012

I rarely make brownies, but when I was a kid, they were my go-to box mix. I loved eating the chewy edge pieces so much that I’d exclusively eat the edges and give the rest away. Once I got into baking from scratch, I tried three different brownie recipes that all failed on me. I just couldn’t recreate that awesomely chewy brownie texture, with the crackly top that the boxed brownie mix produced. My brownies tasted more like cake, or they were too dense with not much flavor. I had no idea what I did wrong but decided to call it quits on brownies for good. Not until three years later did I work up the nerve to attempt them again. And this time, I did my research on what makes my ideal brownie. After tweaking and playing with this particular recipe, I finally found a brownie recipe that is lovely but easy to make. The brownies are simply delectable with a bowlful of ice cream, or as an afternoon snack on a rainy day. I also love how versatile brownies are – stir in some nuts; experiment with different extracts (like lavender!); or up the salt to enhance the flavor profile. Whatever you do, save some edges for me.

The Best Basic Brownies
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from a recipe originally published on Smitten Kitchen.com
Makes 1 thin 8-by-8-inch pan

4 oz. unsalted butter, cubed
3 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate (60% dark or more)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
½ tsp. flaky sea salt (I used vanilla sea salt.)
2/3 cup (85 g.) all-purpose flour, sifted

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Spray the pan with non-stick spray and lay parchment paper on the pan, pressing it in and leaving an overhang on all four sides.
• In a bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together and stir until combined. Set aside.
• In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and eggs on high for 1 full minute, until the mixture looks satiny and smooth. (This will ensure that the crust on top is crackly.) Add in the vanilla and salt.
• Stir in the chocolate-butter mixture with a spatula.
• Gently fold in the flour until combined.
• Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the batter isn’t wet when tested with a toothpick or knife.
• Use the parchment overhang to immediately lift the brownies out of the pan. Set on a cutting board.
• Let the brownies cool completely before using a knife dipped in hot water to cut clean slices.

By Amrita Song

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