4/11/11

Frosted Bake-Sale Brownies

Someone recently asked me why I make things from scratch when it's so much easier to buy pre-made or a box mix.  I find a certain satisfaction when I make something from scratch with no shortcuts.  It also means I know exactly what ingredients are going into my food, and I always get "brownie points" from my taste-testers.

Brownies are one of those desserts that are delicious when made from a box mix, but, as I mentioned, I enjoy making them myself.  Take a look at the ingredient list on the side of the box the next time you pick up a brownie mix in the grocery store.  This version from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook  is the perfect brownie.  They are sturdy enough to cut into squares and serve individually.  They're easy to make, and with the addition of chocolate frosting, these brownies are perfect. 

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Bake-Sale Brownies
Ingredients:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 ouncesunsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:
Heat oven to 350.  Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, then coat lightly with vegetable oil spray.  Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes.  Let the mixture cool slightly. 

Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined.  Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.  Stir in the flour until no streaks remain. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 22 to 27 minutes. 

Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing the brownies from the pan using the foil and cutting into squares. 

For the frosting:
After the brownies have cooled for at least an hour, melt 2/3 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes.  Cool the mixture until barely warm, about 5 minutes, then spread out over the brownies with a spatula.  Continue to cool the brownies until the glaze sets, 1 to 2 hours. 

Source:  The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

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