Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Best Brownies Ever!

Mom and Dad were here for a brief visit this week so I decided to whip them up some brownies.  My favorite recipe for brownies came from a cookbook in the Bloomington Indiana library years and years ago.  They're called "We Miss You Alice B. Toklas Brownies" and are both easy and amazing. 

Alice B. Toklas was a partisan of the Avant-Garde movement and Gertrude Stein's life partner.  And she wrote a cookbook in 1954 which contained a number of recipes with a particularly special ingredient.  Her brownies were refered to in a 1968 Peter Sellers film, in a 1969 "Holywood Palace" segment, and even in an episode of "Bewitched"! 

I'm sorry to disappoint, but the recipe I use does not include Alice's special ingredient. They are eminently worthy anyway.  I'll give the recipe as it is printed and will add my personal amendments in the photo captions.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit.
Butter and flour a 13x9 cake pan

Melt together:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

I always chop the chocolate before melting because it melts much quicker that way

I use either raw or brown sugar

I use a heaping tsp. of cinnamon (I have a passionate love of cinnamon)
In a mixing bowl beat:
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee powder dissolved in 2 tsp. water

I've started using finely ground coffee beans in place of instant and usually squirt in extra vanilla (see cinnamon)
Stir in cooled chocolate mixture.
Stir in until just mixed:
1 cup flour

I have used fresh ground whole wheat and mixtures of that with all purpose.  This time I used "white wheat" flour.
Stir in:
2 cups chopped bittersweet or semisweet mini chips
Chopped Ghirardelli extra dark chips are the best, but expensive, Nestle's do just fine (I don't bother chopping them)
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until surface just appears dry.  Cool thoroughly on wire rack before cutting.

Let there be no regrets!

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