Monday, February 3, 2014

No Box Mix Fudge Brownies

Sundays are my baking days. I love to try out new recipes and I've kinda gotten into the bad habit of always having something sweet to eat on Sunday afternoons, it's probably my guiltiest pleasure. My college roommates introduced me to box brownies and I have never been the same again. But recently, I was all ready to have my  ice cream (a pantry necessity) with some warm brownies fresh from the oven.....of course that was the day there was no mix to be found. Luckily I found a recipe online, tweaked it a little and now I can have homemade brownies just as fudgey as the box kind! In almost the same amount of time!

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 eggs (cold)
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Yield: 9 large brownies

Sommer's Secret: 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil can be substituted for the butter and the recipe comes out just as yummy.

Sommer's Secret: I use a mix of Dark Cocoa powder and regular cocoa powder. The dark chocolate adds a depth of richness and dark coloring to the brownies but can be a little overpowering.
I dilute it with regular cocoa powder I get from my mega can from Sam's Club/CostCo. Since the dark is a little pricier (at least in Hawaii) than regular so it helps me get the flavor without using a whole lot.

1. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder(s), and salt into a medium size microwave safe bowl.

2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. 

3. After taking the mixture out of the microwave, add in your vanilla (it may sizzle just a little)

4. Stir to until well combined.

(Your mixture will be kind of 'gritty' looking)

5. Stir in flour and eggs. The mixture will be thick.

Sommer's Secret: for more 'cake like' brownies increase eggs to 3.

Sommer's Secret: Usually I'm able to add the flour and eggs all at once. If your mixture seems to be a little too hot, incorporate a little of the flour first so you don't 'scramble' the eggs. Test the temperature with your finger. It should be feel like really warm bath water. If it's still too warm, add a little more of your flour before adding the eggs.

6. Spread (more like pat out) the mixture evenly into an 8X8 greased baking dish.

7. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Sommer's Secret: I preheat my oven to 350 degrees then turn it down to 325 just before putting in the brownies. A cooler baking temperature keeps my brownies from getting too dry on the top. Insert a toothpick into the center to test for 'doneness'. I take my brownies out when a little wet mixture still clings to the toothpick, but you can bake for a little longer until your toothpick comes out pretty clear. 

8. Cut into squares. Of course you can make them smaller....but why would you? ;o)

Sommer's Secret: The old "use a plastic knife to cut your warm brownies" has always worked for me to get clean cut lines.

9. Serve warm with ice cream!!!