Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

I realize that I am probably committing a major food blog faux pas by writing a post containing a recipe and not including a pictorial explanation of either the process or the finished product. Considering I've placed myself on a rather strict budget until I climb out of the financial hole known as "moving to New York," a new digital camera will have to be a purchase I must delay. (My very old refurbished HP digital camera did not survive the move.) So, to appease those readers who absolutely must have visual stimulation in a blog post, I'm including pictures of ingredients. ;-)


After a long day at work yesterday, which included inventorying and folding 575 t-shirts and helping a coworker fix the flushing mechanism on one of the office toilets, I needed chocolate. Remembering there was a recipe for brownies on the container of SACO Premium Cocoa I had in the cabinet, I decided to go for it. Especially since I had a bottle of Ina-Garten-recommended "good vanilla" in the cabinet right next to the cocoa.

I cannot begin to tell you how decadent these brownies were! It took a tremendous amount of restraint for me to only eat two before wrapping the rest of the pan up for the night. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of nuts or other mix-ins in my brownies, but I'm glad I added the almonds. The crunchy nuts provided a nice contrasting texture to the chewy fudginess to the brownies and having them in there helped to cut the richness. If I had it in the freezer, I would definitely top one of these brownies off with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thanks, SACO Foods, for providing the recipe! Enjoy!

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from the recipe on the container to include nuts | Printable Recipe

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup SACO Premium Cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8" x 8" x 2"-inch pan with the stick of butter being used in the recipe.
  3. In a large microwavable bowl, melt butter. Remove from the microwave and add cocoa. Stir until well-blended.
  4. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
  5. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Fold in the slivered almonds. If they have just been toasted, be sure they are cool before adding to the batter.
  7. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and devouring.

Killer Brownies on Foodista

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11 comments:

David said...

3 words: cell phone camera

Michelle said...

Eureka! I never considered my cell phone camera as a viable option. My phone is old (almost 2 years) and doesn't take the highest quality photos. But I'll try it out when I get home from work.

A bush league photo taken with my cell phone is better than nothing... right?

Thanks for the suggestion! :)

Michelle said...

David -- Trying to produce any photo of reasonable quality with my cell phone camera resulted in a big, fat fail. Even when new, my phone wasn't capable of taking great pictures, so the quest for another option continues until I can save up enough money for the digital camera I want.

Matt Casey said...

Sounds delicious.. are you able to discern the better vanilla in the output? I've never tried that before, though I realize it may be impossible to tell without making the same recipe with regular vanilla.

Michelle said...

Matt - In my amateur baking experience, I've encountered four varieties of vanilla: (1) premium pure vanilla extract, as I've used in this recipe; (2) budget pure vanilla extract; (3) imitation vanilla extract; and (4) vanilla flavoring. If I were to use a slightly less expensive brand of the pure stuff, I highly doubt I'd be able to taste a significant difference since the dominant flavor here is chocolate.

However, I shared some of the brownies with coworkers and they noticed "something different" with these brownies. I have a feeling they were picking up on the use of pure vanilla versus imitation vanilla. The latter is synthetic and tastes synthetic. So, the use of pure vanilla here prevented my brownies from tasting "off-the-line" processed, which is a very good thing when it comes to homemade baked goods! :-)

blondie33 said...

I have 4 children and have been making these browines for over 20 years. If you double the recipe and put it in a 13x9 pan it makes a family size amount.
I am to the point of making 4 or 5 13x9 pans and sending them to my son at college, he prefers them with walnuts.
These are the best brownies!

Michelle said...

Blondie33 - Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine what my kitchen would look like if I doubled the recipe for these brownies! Probably not a good idea since it's just me and I don't have others living with me to help consume all those sweets. Then again, I'm sure my coworkers would be thrilled if I showed up to work one day with a tray full of brownies!

It's so great that you're sending these goodies off to your son in college. I'm sure he appreciates having something to remind him of home. I know that I loved receiving care packages full of things my mother had baked for me.

I agree -- these are the best brownies!

CD said...

I made these but adjusted the recipe:
-I added extra cocoa to make them fudgier.
-To reduce the calories, I used one egg and made one flax egg (flax meal + warm water left for 5 minutes works as a binder and egg substitute)
-I added finely ground espresso powder to give them a mocha flavour.
-I put a small dollop of cashew butter in the middle of where I would cut each square on half of them and a white chocolate chunk on the other half.

Great recipe! Thanks and have a great day!

Check out my recipes at:
www.smilesarethesoulskisses.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

CD - Thanks for the substitution suggestions! I do have a recipe for Mocha Peanut Butter Brownies you should try if you're able to eat peanut butter.

christine said...

Hello Michelle! I found this blog in Foodista and followed it here. This is a actually cool Fudgy Cocoa Brownies recipe. Keep it up and I may see you on Food Network one day. By the way you can place more Foodista widget in your past and future blogs so that other Foodista readers can follow and see your blog too. Just search for a related recipe or food in Foodista and use its widget. I hope to read more from you. Cheers!

Michelle @ Taste As You Go said...

Christine - Thanks for your comment! Maybe you're right -- maybe I will wind up on the Food Network some day :)