Friday, September 24, 2010

Outrageous Brownies

Today we had our staff retreat and I had volunteered by default to bring a dessert. For like 100 people. When I say "by default," I mean no one else volunteered so I agreed to bring stuff. I took advantage of this opportunity to make a recipe I've had forever, a recipe touted as being one of the best brownie recipes ever, a recipe I would never make for myself because oh my god it uses a pound of butter. A POUND. We've had great success with Ina Garten's other obscenely unhealthy dessert recipes, such as her Outrageous Oreo Brownies and the Pecan Bars, but this is her standard brownie recipe. It was extremely easy to make, and it makes A TON. I used two disposable 13 x 9 x 2 foil pans and it STILL filled up both of them with good-sized brownies. It easily fed the whole crowd. It is way more than 20 servings, regardless of how much Ina tries to convince you. Her 20-serving recipe managed to feed 100, and I'm not Jesus. So consider this when you are considering portion control.

The brownies themselves did turn out very yummy. They are very buttery though, and very rich from all the chocolate and the espresso powder. I think it was great for its purpose but I would never make them again. Unwrapping four sticks of butter made me die a little bit inside.


Outrageous Brownies
Barefoot Contessa

1 lb unsalted butter
1 lb plus 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 Tbsp instant coffee powder
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups flour, divided
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

2. Melt together the butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

3. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips with flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not overbake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

Yield: 20 giant brownies (HAH!)

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