First off - we have a winner! Actually, 2 of them. Nicole, congratulations, you won the Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader. And Carol, you won the newest Mitford novel, In the Company of Others. Congratulations and happy baking and reading!
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a preview copy of the cookbook and for allowing me to be a part of this giveaway!
I recently read an article stating that lack of sleep could make you fat. I find this very comforting. Apparently, it's not the things I bake and eat that are making my jeans tight, it's my sleep habits!
It's ridiculous the number of brownies that are on my blog. I know this, but I'm not good at turning down another opportunity to make brownies. When I see a new recipe that promises to be "the best," or someone's "absolute favorite," I just have to try it to see if they're right. The only thing that holds me back is knowing that if I bake the brownies, I will eat them.
Thank goodness I found out about the sleep thing. Now I can bake the brownies, do an extensive taste-testing, and then go sleep it off. It's all good.
Speaking of good, these brownies are. They straddle the line between fudgy and cakey perfectly, plus they have the bonus of nut crunch. I vastly prefer brownies to have nuts. It makes them taste better and gives your teeth something to do while your tongue is getting a chocolate spa treatment.
Are they the very best out there? I'll leave that for you to decide. Just be sure to have a nap after your sampling so the calories don't cling to your waist.
Robert's Absolute Best Brownies
-adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
6 Tbsp unsalted or salted butter, cut into pieces
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts; almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1- Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. Using a large sheet of foil, line a 9-inch square pan, with foil extending beyond the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the foil with butter.
2- In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and stir energetically for 1 full minute (very important!), until the batter loses it's graininess becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the saucepan. Stir in the chopped nuts.
3- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center feels almost set, about 30 minutes. Don't overbake.
4- Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. When cool, use the foil overhang as handles to remove the brownies from the pan.
The brownies will keep well for up to 4 days at room temperature.