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the quintessential(sp?) brownie

4633 Views 37 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  isa
what makes the quintessential brownie? as in the very chocolately fudgy kind- i have seen recipes using white sugar, brown sugar,
bittersweet choc. unsweetened choc. similar recipes that call for 1/2 to 1 c. flour - help- any opinions or favorite recipes out there?!
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Thanks Anneke, I printed out your recipe and will try it asap.

I have a good recipe also. It goes like this, but I could be off a bit...I can't seem to wake-up.....

1 c. butter
1/4 c. h2o
1 1/2 c. sugar

Heat together to dissolve the sugar. Pour it into

12 oz. semi sweet (chopped)

stir and cool for a minute, then add

3 eggs
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
12 (more) oz. of mini chocolate chips
Nuts, optional

bake in a 9" x 13" greased pan. I line it with foil to remove and cut easier.

In answer to breadster my thoughts are white sugar and semi-sweet chocolate taste the best in chocolate brownies. Bittersweet is to dark for my clients tastes (but you can interchange or 50/50 it with semisweet in all recipes). There are good recipes using unsweetened but I prefer my recipe using semi, (as I recall theres one on the box of unsweetened chocolate, thats good).

I read an article from Marthas' magazine question area where someone asked about brownies. They wanted to know why their brownies formed a light thin crust ontop. The response was: it's due to the large amount of sugar present in brownie recipes and that it is considered very desirable on a good brownie. I never knew that it was the sugar creating this, I thought that was interesting....

The flour amount will vary depending on how big the recipe it for a 9" square or a 9"x13" so you can't compare with-out posting the whole recipe? So long as the flour and soda are minimal for fudgie brownies it will be fine. I also think you must be careful not to over mix you flour, just incorporate and bake and don't over bake either. Sometimes you just have to work the recipe to know if it's good, 1/2 c. flour could be fine depending on the recipe.

Brown sugar...only in blonde brownies not chocolate!

P.S. I add peppermint extract in my brownies at christmas time. Frost them with ganche and cut them into petite fours and's a big hit at my work.
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I don't have to book smarts to explain exactly what I know in my mind, I go on instincts and experience.....which tells me brown sugar isn't right with dark chocolate desserts (unless your playing that angle). I can't think of any chocolate recipes for brownies, chocolate cookies, chocolate cakes, molton cakes, puddings, chocolate pastry creams, etc...that used brown sugar with a mainly chocolate dessert. White sugar lets the chocolate shine through.

Don't the brown sugars contain molasses still? It's totally for cookies like chocolate chip (which is blonde) or blonde brownies.

Also you don't have to worry about shelf life with brownies. They do last in the cooler, on the shelf or in the freezer longer than alot of items but seriously, who ever has them around long enough to think about storage?
Thebighat I have several really good brownie and blonde recipes if they'd be of help to you I'd gladly post them? My reg. brownies take seconds to assemble can be sized up or down and get pretty good reviews from my clients.....(it's the one mentioned above)

You should check out Debbie Fields books. She has a couple cookie bars that are really GREAT! She's not just a pretty face I have alot of respect for her baking, I've come across many good recipes from her!
Huh, the s.b. pie recipe I posted is from Cook's magazine (that everyone loves so dearly?)like the only recipe from them I oozed everywhere? I didn't experience that, not sure I comprehend what happened to you. It turns out like a soft gel consistancy, you cool it and toss your berries with it to coat. I never picked up a slice to see how well it served, I just slice and they serve.......sorry!

I never made it with-out the exact sure gel so maybe that does effect it, the recipe is clearly labeled you must use the low sugar pectin, so?????? I'd guess that was the problem.

Truthfully fruit pies can be a bitc*! Everyone thinks there so simple, but their harder to hit just right than any pastry I can think of. The fruits texture, sweetness and moisture are such varibles....uurh! I'm never thrilled to see them on the menu......making a couple at home is fine, but making twenty at work with old dry apples ruins my day.

Hey, I've never heard of Steve's put your hot brownies in a freezer right away? HUH? I'm not getting that....please explain?
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I have to keep brownies on hand always so I always have them in the freezer. The other day I made some mint ones to use on a mini pastry tray and I had to use them a couple hours fresh. They were hard to handle even though they were cool. They didn't cut cleanly and they tended to mash down a bit, the texture was too soft and I put them on my mental list of not doing them so fresh again.

Here's my recipe:

2/3 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 tbsp. h2o

Melt together to disolve sugar. Then pour into:

12 oz. ground semi sweet

to melt. Then I add the rest of the ingred. while it's still pretty hot and never had a problem.

2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2c. ap. flour
12 oz. mini chocolate chips
1 c. nuts (opt.)

Bake in a foil lined and greased 9x13" pan in a 350 oven (technically the recipe calls for 325 but I do it on 350). The second addition of chocolate does melt quite abit since the batter is warm, that's problem just makes them richer. Do this x3 for a full sheet pan.

It won't test done until you've killed it because the extra chips melted don't break down totally. Originally the recipe called for reg. chocolate chips but they stayed whole so it's a chocolate chip brownie. I accidentaly used mini's one day into the warm batter and got a better brownie. I watch it rise, then wait until it comes back down, then give it a couple minutes and pull it. Kind of standard baking process.
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As far as brownie cookies I have a couple good ones but they don't work on my cookie tray because of the heat outside at the golf outtings they all mash together.

Here's three excellent brownie recipes from Debbie Fields, a realitively unrecognized baking goddess in the cookbook industry.

Peanut Butter Mississippi bars:

8 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. lt brown sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 c. ap. flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. white chocolate chopped
8 oz. semi sweet chopped
1 c. nuts toasted coursely chopped.

325 oven in a buttered and foiled 9" square. She sets aside 1/2 of each chocolate and after baking melts them ontop of the warm brownie. I accidentally added them all to the batter and the people at work really like them loaded with all the choc. inside.

Toffee Blondies:

12 tbsp. butter
2 1/4c. lt brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 2/3c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. semi sweet chunks

350 oven in a 9x13 foiled and buttered pan. Mix together as usually but DO NOT WHIP butter and sugar, it's just a combining processes like a quick bread. Then she adds a topping when their done baking:

1 1/2tbsp. butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. xxx sugar
1/3 c. lt brown sugar
3/4 c. toffee pieces (from the baking isle like heath bits)

Melt everything together with-out the toffee and let simmer for 5 min. until it thickens a bit. Poke wholes in you blondes with screwers and pour carmel topping over blondes then sprinkle on toffee.

Chocolate Carmel Oat Brownies:

1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. ap flour
1 1/2 c. Dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. butter

350 in a 9x13" foil lined and butter pan. In processor pulse all dry ingred. , cut in butter to peas size. Hold back 2 c. crumbs (for topping) press the rest in pan. Sprinkle bottom with:

12 0z. semi sweet chips
2 c. toasted chopped pecans

In a heavy pan heat 1/2 c. heavy cream with 14 oz. kraft carmels. when melted pour over chips in pan. Sprinkle on remain crumbs and lightly press down before baking.

I promise all three are really excellent!

Anyone else have any excellent recipes to share on this topic, I'd love to hear from you......
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I'm glad to hear the strawberry pie turned out for you. I never had a problem with that recipes, you really had me puzzled. Which brownie did you like?

Try Mrs. Fields recipes...I promise you'll like them! ;)
Thanks for the kind words Henry. Their not my recipes so I don't deserve any credit. It's really fun to have this kind of feed back with others to share experiences, the internet is ausome!

My total fanitasy job would be to author and do the styling for baking books. I'd love to compile a book with sweet tables for professionals. To spark the ideas and simplify how easy it is to do creative work. I also think about teaching, but I don't have a degree or cerification so that's out too. So I do what I love here and hope you all don't think I'm over bearing.

I learn more from everyone else at these sites then I give, totally!

The small world I live in on the outskirts of a major city is so selfish. Cars won't stop for passing children at cross walks. People at work spend their time figuring out how to stab you in the back, and on and on. I get so frustrated with that mentality that I do my best to compensate the other way. Perhaps I go too far, but I'm myself.....
Is there any chance you could post those two recipes?? Please, please.....?
There's something weird that keeps happening to me on this thread (only). Everytime I attempt to print I get thrown off line with the message I've done something illegal. I tried twice yesterday and just this morning and I get booted out totally. Also, if I type a message here, then hit back to read the thread, then go forward to finish typing my message dissapears. Are their little bugs that only effect certain threads or is this my computor only? :eek:
I can't think if I have the right name at this second...Alice Medrich (is that correct, she also wrote Chocolat from her famous bakery in CA?). She also has a small book on Cookies and Brownies and was one of the first Bigger named chefs do write a low fat/calorie baking book.

If your serious about low fat baking I'd definately look thru her book and the magazine Cooking Light (who also has 1 or 2 annual books now). The art of baking low fat isn't an easy topic at all. I tend to think that you could spend alot of time and money experimenting with-out any really good results indefinately.

After those two, I'd check thru Betty Crocker and Pillsbury latest baking books (toward the back of each) I think they both had "special" needs type of recipes...did you do any looking on line at Hersheys or Nestles? They probably have some information for low fat substitutions and recipes too...

This is a hard subject!
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