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Brownie Bonanza!



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"Hulan found things she wanted to eat, American delicacies, also sent by missionaries from far away. I can admit this: I was curious to try them too,
these foods that had to be sent such a dangerous long ways. So I tried them
all, three kinds of taste. The first was a soft dumpling, named for its color,
brownie - so sweet it made my teeth ache."

~ Amy Tan, in 'The Kitchen God's Wife'

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Melted Chocolate Running from a Whisk Melted Chocolate Running
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Laurie Colwin on Brownies

More Home Cooking:
A Writer Returns to the Kitchen

© 1993 by the Estate of Laurie E. Colwin
HarperCollins, 2000

“There are few citizens of this land who do not like a brownie. Even people
on diets will nibble a small one if it is offered. Brownies are in many ways
the ideal dessert. You can eat as many or as few as you wish. And
brownies go well with many things – ice cream, strawberries. Poached
pears, or whipped cream, for instance.
There are as many brownie recipes as there are flowers in the meadow
[amen!]. Some are fancy, some are plain. Some have nuts, which I con-
sider a bad idea, because children seem to hate them and end up picking
them out and getting brownie crumbs all over everything. I also have
several friends with fatal nut allergies, so I leave nuts out. [We do not,
but could if circumstances warrant…] I have been served brownies with
chocolate chips and brownies with raisins, but what most people want is
plain old brownies. Some people like their brownies on the cakey side,
and some feel they should be more like fudge [yes!]. I myself like
brownies that are what I call ‘slumped’ and the English call ‘squidgy,’
which means slightly undercooked but not quite runny in the center.
The best recipe I have for brownies comes from a friend who got it from
a magazine article about Katharine Hepburn. It is, apparently, her family’s recipe. [Note below.] If there were no other reason to admire Katharine Hepburn, this pan of brownies would be enough to make you worship her."

Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies

1. Melt together 1 stick [1/2 cup] butter and 2 squares [2 ounces]
unsweetened chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat.
2. Stir in 1 cup sugar, add 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and
beat the mixture well.
3. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (In the
original recipe, 1 cup chopped walnuts is added here as well.)
4. Bake the brownies in a buttered and floured 8-inch square pan
at 325 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. 

You can cut these brownies into squares, once they have cooled, and
eat them out of the pan, but it is so much nicer to pile them on a fancy
plate, from which people are going to eat them with their hands anyway.
If you want to smarten up your act, you can put a square of brownie
on a plate with a little blob of crème fraîche and a scattering of shaved chocolate."

Note: from Molly O’Neill’s ‘New York Cookbook:’ (© 1992, Workman)
"About 20 years ago, gossip columnist Liz Smith got her friend Katharine
Hepburn’s brownie recipe and published it in the ‘New York Post.’ Among
brownie intelligentsia, this chewy, dense model is as legendary as the
actress who penned its formula.”


Just in case you are bummed about the fact that Ms. Hepburn's
excellent recipe is baked in an 8-inch-square pan, I submit to you
the following, which appears to be a very similar recipe in larger
proportions. Don't want to risk running out of brownies, do we?

Rich Fudge Brownies
Gourmet Archives

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

In a small heavy saucepan melt chocolate and 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth. Let the mixture cool
In a large bowl with electric mixer cream together the remaining 1/2
cup (1 stick) butter and sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs,
1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and
chocolate mixture. Add flour and salt, stirring until mixture is blended
well. Stir in the nuts.
Pour the batter into a buttered and floured 13x9x2-inch baking pan,
smoothing the top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let the
brownies cool completely before cutting.


Kahlua Fudge Brownies

This recipe is adapted from one published in a treasured
Jackson MS "community" cookbook. In addition to containing
excellent recipes and being extremely well edited, SRO features
narratives by two renowned Jackson, MS natives - Pulitzer Prize
winners Beth Henley and Eudora Welty."

 Standing Room Only – A Cookbook for Entertaining *
Becky McCrillis
1983, New Stage Theatre, Jackson, MS
Barbara Austin, General Editor

* For your sake, I do hope this wonderful cookbook is still available:
New Stage Theatre, 1100 Carlisle Street, Jackson, MS 39202

3 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups unsalted butter
plus additional for pan
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum and butter the foil.
Resift the flour with baking powder and salt. In a heavy saucepan
over low heat, or in top of double boiler over hot (not simmering)
water, melt butter with chocolate and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat eggs with sugar until mixture is light. Stir
in the chocolate mixture and 1/2 cup Kahlua. Add the flour mixture
and combine well but do not beat. Stir in the nuts. Turn batter into
the prepared baking pan and bake approximately 50 minutes. Do not
Remove from oven and cool in pan on a wire rack. When brownies
are cold, brush the top top with 2 tablespoons Kahlua. Let stand until thoroughly cold before cutting into bars. How many? We'll leave
that up to you...


Ruth Brewster's Chocolate Brownies
Gourmet Archives

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts [toasted]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter,
cut into pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot strong coffee
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
[1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the brownies: In top of a large double boiler, melt 1 cup unsalted
butter, cut into pieces, with 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, stirring.
Heat over simmering water, stirring, until mixture is smooth. Remove pan
from heat and beat in sugar, then eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla, flour,
salt and walnuts, combining the mixture well. Spread batter evenly in a
well-buttered 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake about 20 to 30 minutes or
until it begins to pull away from sides of pan.
For the frosting: In top of double boiler over simmering water, melt
6 tablespoons butter with 1/2 cup cocoa powder, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in strong coffee. Beat in confectioner's
sugar, sifted, and beat the icing until it is smooth and of spreading
consistency. Spread frosting over the brownies; chill, covered, for
1 hour or until the frosting is firm. Cut into 2-inch squares.
Makes 24 brownies.


Mary Margaret's Walnut
Cream Cheese Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts [toasted]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over hot water; set aside to cool.
Cream butter; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add 3 eggs one
at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir melted chocolate into butter
mixture. Add flour, salt, walnuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring well. Pour
batter into greased and floured 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat softened cream cheese until smooth;
gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating well. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla,
beating well. Drop mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls over chocolate batter. Swirl the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate batter with a knife. Bake
45 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.


As long as we're dipping into Mary Margaret's chocolate recipe
archives, we may as well include this oh-so-Southern classic:

Mary Margaret’s Triple-Layer Brownies

Brownie Layer:
1/2 cup butter
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups extra-fine granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup extra-fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Chocolate Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup milk
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

For brownie layer: Melt butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally; stir in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well. Stir in flour, pecans, baking powder and vanilla. Spread into a greased and floured 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
For Cream Cheese Filling:
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended; add flour, butter, egg and vanilla. Stir in pecans. Spread Cream Cheese Filling over brownie layer. Sprinkle evenly
with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows and bake 3 to 5 more minutes or until marshmallows melt.
For Chocolate Frosting:
Cook butter, chocolate, milk and cream cheese in
a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth; remove from heat. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating at medium speed with a handheld mixer until smooth. Pour Chocolate Frosting over marshmallows; cool completely. Cut into squares. 2 dozen.  

Or… you may want to take a look at what we wound up calling
“Perfect Brownies”! Brownie Bonanza continues...

Featured Archive Recipes:
Laurie Colwin on Chocolate
Life with Blondies
Brownie Pudding Cake
Cappuccino Cream Cheese Brownies
with Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Brownie Pie (for chocolate freaks!)
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies (Chocolatier)
Chocolate Chunk Brownies(Sheila Lukins)
Espresso Brownies (Maida Heatter)
Espresso Ice Cream Brownie Cake
Fudgy Peanut Butter Cup Brownies (Chocolatier)
Nick's 'Supernatural' Brownies
Outrageous Brownies (Barefoot Contessa)
Palm Beach Brownies with Chocolate-Covered
Mints (Maida Heatter)

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
Rich Espresso Brownie Bars
Sour Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
Super Fudgy Five Chocolate Brownies(Chocolatier)

White Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Sauce
White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Brownies
with Hot Fudge Sauce

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