Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Zingerman's black magic brownies

Until last night, these brownies were my favorite kind of homemade brownie.  Chewy, chocolatey, and oh-so-good.

They taste exactly like brownies made from a boxed mix, without all the funky ingredients and with the added bonus of being homemade.  It seems that the familiar taste and texture of semi-homemade brownies are what the masses desire and love.  You've gotta try them!

And then you've gotta make these black magic brownies.  Because they're my new favorite.

Just when I'd become accustomed to ignoring brownie recipes that popped up on Feedly and Pinterest.  Just when I thought I'd closed the book on brownies, I went and made these.  I first spotted 'em on one of my favorite blogs, and they came with major hype.  I mean, how can they not with a title like Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies?!

I don't know what got into me.  I can only describe what happened as a baking flurry.

(Just saying that word gets me excited for winter.  Sorry, but I'm not sorry.)

I was on autopilot chopping chocolate and cranking up the mixer to stun high speed, which means I have zero in-process pictures to show you.  Ain't nobody got time for pictures in the midst of a baking flurry.

But everyone has time for these brownies.  You might think you don't, but you do.  You absolutely do.  Meetings should be rescheduled.  Deadlines can be extended, just ask nicely.  Because work should never, ever stand between you and chocolate nirvana.

These brownies are show-stopping, I tell you!  And a little dangerous.  I shared them with my coworkers, who had a number of words to describe them:

Melt in your mouth.  Chocolatey, then sweet.  Smooth.  Moist.  On the razor's edge between rich and light. 

Call it black magic.  Call it witchcraft and sorcery.  Call it whatever you must to make sure you can call these your own ASAP.

One year ago: Pumpkin & bean chili
Two years ago: Pumpkin enchiladas
Four years ago: Shrimp & white bean cassoulet

Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies
(adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker's recipe)
-makes 24 brownies

A few notes: I used only all-purpose flour, rather than a mix of cake and all-purpose, and got great results.  If you want to send these over the edge into truly indulgent territory, try adding a handful of mini chocolate chips.

13 tablespoons unsalted butter
6½ ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Coat a 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving an inch overhang on the two long sides.  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and melted.  Remove from heat and let cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on high speed for 5 minutes until mixture is pale yellow and very fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Pour in cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla, beating on low until mixed.  Gradually add flour mixture on low speed, beating until no white streaks remain, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brownies are set and toothpick inserted in middle comes out with a few crumbs attached.  Remove pan to wire rack to cool completely.

Using my mom's secret trick to cutting brownies, cut brownies into squares with a plastic knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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