Best (so far) Fudgy Brownies

December 4, 2011

MMM, if only I had a better picture of the gooey-ness (They all came out blurry...).

I went home today with Quinton (the boyfriend) to get his brakes replaced by my dad (It is so nice to have a car guy as a father.  I don’t know what I would do without him).  Like I have mentioned before, my daddy has a sweet tooth.  He loves for me to bake for him and I always get excited when I can go home and make his something chocolatey.  Last night I was trying to find the perfect treat and I came across two recipes that looked divine.  Cookies or brownies?  Cookies or brownies…?  That was the big question.  I asked Quinton and he couldn’t decide either.  Brownies take less effort, less scooping and taking things in and out of the oven, less mess too.  Plus, I made peanut butter cookies (rather dry ones…) a few nights ago.  Therefore… I chose brownies!

I am a brownie lover, a lover of gooey, fudgy, decadent brownies.  I have tried quite a few brownie recipes, but they have mostly turned out to be at least somewhat cakey, not even comparing to the box variety (*gasp) or those which can be purchased at bakeries.  So, I’ve been trying to find the perfect ones, and I think I finally have found a recipe that is in the running.  These gems are thick and fudgy without being too rich.  Plus, they have that shiny, crunchy top that many people look for in a brownie recipe (that top that is so easy to come by with those darn box mixes….).  They are delicious and really easy.  I followed the recipe almost to the T, except when I first read through the ingredients list I didn’t realize it contained melted bittersweet chocolate along with the cocoa powder.  To be honest, that is why I chose them compared to other fudgy-looking recipes (besides the pictures on the blog making them look amazing).  Chocolate is expensive, and although I usually have cocoa powder and chocolate chips on hand, I don’t usually have other types of chocolate.  So, instead of the bittersweet chocolate, I used milk chocolate chips.  Success!  They are fantastic anyway.  So, feel free to substitute other chocolate for the bittersweet.  I think they would be great with dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate pieces, mmm.  I love dark chocolate.  The critique from my family members was also a thumbs up, delicious!  Too bad the recipe is only for a 9×9 pan…  I could have eaten them all myself, haha.  Without further ado, here is the recipe!

PS, my twin sister, Jenny, also made some brownies that she claims are amazing.  I will ask her to do a guest post.  Quinton and I think they are good (Jen’s taste like Cosmic Brownies.  You know… the Little Debbie treats.  Which, I hate to admit, I actually quite enjoy.), but…  Try these.  😉  Also, I still have to post my Thanksgiving recipes!  So, look forward to great pumpkin pie, yummy pumpkin cheesecake (Paula Deen is Amazing!) and cinnamon scones!

Fudddddgy

Best (so far) Fudgy Brownies

(Retrieved from firstlookthencook.)

Ingredients

  • 3 19/50 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks, divided (I used milk chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk mixture and 1/2 cup chocolate; stir to combine.

Pour the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for *19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in the pan on a rack. Cut into squares.

*Mine took more like 25 or so minutes.  Keep an eye on them and check ever 2-3 after the 19.

ENJOY!  PS, I won’t blame you if you eat the whole pan yourself and have to make another to share.  Maybe you should just make two right away!

Quinton is one of those hand-pie people (I'm a plate-with-loads-of-whipped-cream-plus-a-little-pie-person). Reminds me of that Bailey's commercial. Funny!

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Better the Next Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

November 17, 2011

So, I (like most bakers in the blogging world) am on the quest for the best chocolate chip cookie. I tried a new recipe this past week and was a bit disappointed. These cookies are not that amazing straight from the oven when most are the best. But these cookies are very good over the following days! Who would have thought that some CCC are better days old than they are warm and gooey from the oven?

The recipe can be found here: The Best EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies. The verdict on the day of? Good, but not the best. The boyfriend said that they were alright, but too thin. He’s a fan of puffier cookies apparently. I think everyone I gave them too said they were good, but I’m definitely going to keep looking, possibly give them another try, because I don’t know if I can be a completely fair judge. 1.) I used margarine instead of butter (and really, what doesn’t taste better with real butter) and 2.) I didn’t use the sea salt that was in the original recipe. Nearly everyone on the site gave them an awesome review and the photos make them look perfect! My cookies rarely look perfect. Maybe one out of fifty? I think I need a cookie scoop (or three).

The flavor of these cookies was fair, but like I said, wait a day or two and it will be better. These have too many chocolate chips, but the recipe said that the amount of chocolate chips was important “to bulk the cookie up”, so I didn’t want to cut it down for fear I’d change the ingredient list too much. One of the problems I had was that there were so many chocolate chips that they had big parties in the middle of the cookie, making the center all chocolate, which, in turn made it rather difficult to get them off the pan without them breaking into pieces, gooey, gooey chocolate mess. Next time I think I’ll cut the chocolate chips at least by ¼.

Another thing I did differently than the original recipe was to put the dough in the freezer for a while to stiffen it up. One of the reviews suggested fifteen minutes to remedy the spreading effect that can occur with soft dough. I ended up leaving mine in there for almost a half hour and then in between each batch. Honestly, I think they could have been in there at least an hour. I think maybe the problem was partially due with my use of margarine, but I am no expert.

A good thing is that these CCCs stay soft for a while. It was a pretty easy recipe, which I liked. No crazy ingredients outside the medium course sea salt (but that’s not really crazy. I just didn’t have any on hand) nor really expensive (besides the butter). The only thing was that there was a fair amount of mixing, which, when using a hand mixer gets a little bit annoying, but not too bad. This recipe made me realize two things that I already kind of knew… 1.) I want a kitchen aid, badly, but not badly enough to spend $200-$250 on one, especially when the size of counter and storage space in our kitchen is already inadequate for a bake-a-holic, and 2.) Like I said previously, cookie scoops!
Anyway, I think someone should give these a try using actual butter and sea salt, and then let me know how they are! I’m sure they’ll be awesome. Heck, they’re fairly good the way I made them. 🙂

PS, if anyone has a recipe they think is “the perfect chocolate chip cookie” let me know! I would love to try them! Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?!

Better the Next Day Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Originally, “The Best EVER Chocolate Chip Cookies!” from Savory Sweet Life)
Makes about 48 cookies.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened (I used margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour *If at all possible, please weigh the flour
3/4 tsp. smallish-medium coarse sea salt (I used 1/2 tsp. table salt)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I suggest using less, but it’s up to you)

The wine was not put in the cookies. It was put in my belly. 😉


Instructions:
1.)Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
2.)Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes on medium-high speed).
-Add both eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
-Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated.
, add chocolate chips until well-distributed. The cookie batter should be somewhat thick.
3.) If dough seems too soft, put in the refrigerator for an hour or in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.  If not, drop about 2 tablespoons of dough or use a medium cookie scoop and plop the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
4.) Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are nice and golden brown.
5.) Remove from heat and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes.
6.) Remove cookies from sheet and transfer to a rack. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Yes, there are raw eggs in here, but will that stop me from eating it? Heck, no!

It looks a little unappetizing at this stage, but I promise it will get better!

Too many Chocolate Chips!

I wanted to eat the whole bowl. Cookie Dough = YUM!

They go in...

They come out! It's magic!

Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!