Lately I've not been busy in the kitchen as much as I'd like and I haven't been fulfilling my obligation to my family. I'm reminded of this every time I hear the lid on the cookie jar, taken off hopefully, then dolefully put back in place. Sad but true, the cookie jar is empty. And it's not just my family that's despondent, I'm going nuts! No cookies? No cookies????
So yesterday I reached a crisis point. I was reduced to eating chocolate chips for a sugar fix, something I normally do not do. I knew an intervention was needed. And I hit on it in the form of Outrageous Brownies from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. My husband caught me visually caressing the recipe and said, "I know that look. That look that says you want to bake brownies. I like that look." So, what can I say - I was forced to make them!
I have my favorite reliable brownie recipe and I haven't tried a new one in years. If it's not broke, why fix it? This recipe convinced me that variety is the spice of life. Change is good, and so are these brownies. They're dense, moist, just a step away from being fudge. And they have a generous amount of nuts, a must for brownies in my book, plus extra chocolate chips in the dough. Oh, heaven!
The recipe makes an enormous amount of brownies. I mistakenly started putting the batter into my 10 x 15 pan, realized it was about to overflow, double checked the recipe, and had to go run and get my 1/2 sheet cake pan to pour it into. The recipe suggests cutting the finished product into 20 squares. Well, maybe if you're feeding football players! I cut it into 40 pieces and as rich as these are, that's a generous size. Of course, if you want more, you can always come back for another piece. Or two.
1 lb. unsalted butter
1 lb. plus 12 oz.. semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 Tbsp instant coffee granules
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.
Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 lb. of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 oz. of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares (or 40 if you don't play football).