Monday, July 30, 2012

Juniors Triple the Fudge Brownies

A friend of mine recently had her 19th birthday and I had asked her what she wanted and the reply was brownies.  I had made a big batch, so there was plenty to go round.  They were well received by the whole crowd.  Even someone commented that they would have to take them home first and count all the nuts in them before anyone else can have them. I think I saw them scooping up on their fifth piece later that day, with no shame in admitting that they would not be sharing any pieces!

I would say after trying one of these rich and fudgy brownies, they even had me shamelessly reaching for a second piece.  The thickness as well as the layer of chocolate chips in the center really makes these perfect for the chocoholic in all of us.  These days it is hard to consider a plain brownie. The without nuts and without chocolate chips version does nothing but make me recall the word bland.

I have included the frosting recipe here, but I did not include these in the batch I made.  Considering it makes 6 cups to put on 24 brownies that are 2 1/2 inch square by 1 1/2 inch high, I did not want to induce anyone into a sugar coma.  Just by looking at the list of ingredients for the brownies, you can make a good determination about if you need to move on with the 1/2 inch layer of frosting on top.

Juniors Triple the Fudge Brownies
adapted from Juniors Dessert Cookbook

Ingredients/ Brownies
12 oz of mini semisweet chocolate chips
10 oz of bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao)
4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tbs of vanilla extract
9 eggs
1 lb butter
4 cups sugar
2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cup of flour

Ingredients/Fudge Frosting
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tbs vanilla extract
3-4 tbs heavy whipping cream
2 tbs dark corn syrup
10 oz bittersweet chocolate (melted in double boiler)
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups or 1 lb confectioners sugar
1 tbs dark cocoa powder
whole pecans (optional)

Prepare two 8 or 9 inch square baking pans by buttering the insides.  Then line the bottom and two sides of the pans with parchment, leaving an overhang on the two sides.  Butter the face up sides and bottom of the parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the butter and the chocolate in a large heavy saucepan and place over low heat.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until all chocolate and butter is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat to cool slightly.

In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Set aside.  Place all eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with wire whisk blade for 3 minutes on high.  The eggs will turn a light yellow and thicken.  Keep the mixer running and add the sugar.  Once blended, turn the speed down to low and add the butter/chocolate mixer and beat until smooth.  Then add the vanilla extract.

Unhook bowl from mixer and take wisk blade out.  Pour in flour and mix with a wooden spoon until no dry streaks remain.  Then fold in walnuts until evenly mixed into batter.

Pour 1/4 of the batter into one pan and tilt pan until evenly spread.  Do the same with the second pan. Take the bag of mini chocolate chips and sprinkle them evenly over the batter in each of the pans.  Layer each pan again with 1/2 of the remaining batter.

Place in oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the pan.  Brownies are done when they are almost set in the center.  A tester should come out moist with some batter still clinging to it. Remove pans and place on rack to cool for about 1 hour.

Then run a knife down the two unlined sides of the brownies. Invert the pans and peel off the parchment.  Then invert onto cutting board to completely cool.

For the frosting, place the butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Cream together with the mixer on high for about 3 minutes.  After each minute, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Continue to beat and add the vanilla, cocoa and corn syrup.  Once blended, add the melted chocolate.

Sift together the salt and confectioners sugar in another bowl.

After the chocolate is evenly distributed into the batter, turn the mixer down to low.  Pour in 2 cups of sifted ingredients and beat on low until no dry streaks remain.  Add the rest of the sifted ingredients and blend.  Once smooth, beat in 2 tbs of cream for 3 minutes on high.  Continue to add the cream and beat until desired consistency is achieved.  Frosting should become very airy with a rich chocolate color.  Spread on cooled brownies.  Refrigerate for 1 hour so the frosting can set.

Then, if you prefer, top with one pecan half, rounded side up.  Press slightly into the frosting. Cut into squares with a serrated knife and serve.

Tips & Notes:
1. Like with most brownies, you want to avoid overbaking.
2. It is important that you divide the batter equally to make sure there is coverage of the chocolate chips.
3. For the top layer of the batter, it is best to spoon it on top and then smooth, that way there is less of a chance of shifting the chocolate chip layer.
4. I used two 8 inch square pans to achieve the thickness as shown in the picture.
                                  **LAST YEAR: Ivory Monkey Parfait**