Saturday, July 3, 2010

Perfect Brownies

Sometimes it seems as though all the good food comes from Europe. France has its beignets, eclairs and crepes, Italy has its tiramisu and gelato, Belgium has its chocolate and waffles. 

And America has what? Fast food burgers and delivery pizza? 

With America's birthday a day away, it is fitting that our country should get more credit for its culinary contributions. Take the brownie for example. This tasty confection originally appeared at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and since then the recipe has been reproduced thousands, (shall I say millions?) of times since, both domestically and abroad. 

This recipe, found on the fantastic blog, Smitten Kitchen, creates fudge-like, dense and delectable brownies, laden with chopped walnuts. While some people are fond of cake-like brownies, I say, if you are going to have a brownie, have a brownie. 

So try Perfect Brownies for a stellar ending to a July 4th barbecue. Serve with strawberries and blueberries if you are feeling patriotic. But frankly, there is nothing more American than a brownie. 

Perfect Brownies
From Smitten Kitchen

10 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, cold

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cups walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a brownie pan with parchment paper
Combine the cocoa, sugar, butter and salt into a medium sized bowl. Using a double-boiler, melt the ingredients together, stirring constantly. 
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and eggs, beating after each one. 
Stir in flour. 
Stir in walnut pieces. 
Pour the mixture into the brownie pan and bake for around 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

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