Brownies may seem like a rather mundane dessert. Often appearing at church picnics and bake sales, being whipped up mindlessly right out of the Duncan Hines box. But you see, I have a soft spot for brownies. And, that said spot, well it's not what I would describe as tiny. It's a rather large spot that could continue to be filled and filled...I honestly believe that I could eat the whole pan! I think it must be similar to that space in children's tummies that never seems to be full when there's mention of desert despite protests of being "too full" to finish their dinner.
I used to think that I could say I love brownies in a very general sense and be right. But, I guess since I'm all grown-up now, I know that not all brownies are created equal. In fact, some brownies don't really do it for me. They are either: too sweet preventing me from shamelessly taking seconds (or thirds!) (I like to eat brownieS, not one brownie, so too sweet doesn't work.)
lacking a crispy crust on the top (I don't want crunchy but a crispy, flaky texture, almost like a perfect southern biscuit.)
not soft enough in the inside (Not really cake-like, but nearly. I DO NOT like fudge-like brownies.)
So, when someone mentions that they have the recipe for the "perfect brownie", I am instantly intrigued.
David made these for us and some friends a few weekends ago. For any sane person, I think they would call the brownie good, gobble it up with their vanilla ice cream and be finished thinking about it before it was digested. As I confess my love of brownies to you, I'm sure it's apparent that I'm not such a sane person when brownies is the topic being discussed and well, I know this brownie wasn't perfect. In all honesty, I don't even think it was that good.
But, again, I'm not a fair judge. David liked them and so did our friends. They turn out looking lovely with perfect crispy tops, but they taste too fudge-like and way too sweet for my brownie tastes (I only ate one!).
This leaves me searching for MY perfect brownie recipe...do you have one you'd like to share? I would really love to try it, so please share. I will be kind, promise.
In the meantime, make these and tell me what you think...
1 stick butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup white sugar 2 large eggs 3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa Pinch of salt 1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 390 degrees (no, it's not a typo). Melt butter in a pot on the stove. Remove butter from heat, let cool about a minute, then add sugars (just use the pot as your bowl = less to clean-up!). Mix well. Add eggs, flour, cocoa, salt, and vanilla. Mix well. Line 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper (again, less to clean-up!), pour in batter, and bake for 20-25 minutes (until a tester is clean when you check the center of the dish). Cool one hour before serving. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.