Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Brownies

Our favorite family recipe for years, this homemade brownie recipe produces a chewy, fudgy brownie with a crusty top - just as a brownie should be. Just be sure to do everything in order & make no substitutions!
Our favorite family recipe for years, this homemade brownie recipe produces a chewy, fudgy brownie with a crusty top - just as a brownie should be. Just be sure to do everything in order & make no substitutions!

Homemade Chocolate Brownies

It happened a couple of days ago when brownies came up on a Twitter conversation. And then a day or two later, they came up again. Before you know it, I was having a serious desire for brownies. Ah, the power of suggestion and it happens to me all of the time with brownies. These brownies.

This has been our family go-to brownie recipe for well, as long as I can remember, back when recipes were passed about on hand penned paper or photo copies of typed notes. In fact, I lost it a couple of times over the years, and tried loads of other brownie recipes in between, but this is the one I always came back to. In the moving about between Mississippi and Louisiana and back again in my younger years, and upgrading to new computers, I know I had to retrieve it several times from my sister and I'm grateful that she, unlike her wayward sister, managed to hold on to a copy of the recipe!

I've considered trying to make changes to the recipe - such as using chocolate in place of cocoa, or butter in place of the oil - and even trying to replace the fat with a lower fat option, but every time I consider altering something, I end up going right back to the real deal. Frankly I figure, I don't make brownies every day, and well... why mess with what works? While I make them straight up like this most times, I have, however, tried them with that old fashioned boiled peanut butter icing a few times. Peanut butter and chocolate are so perfect together, why not ice some chocolate brownies with peanut butter, right? My word is that a treat or what? Try it sometime!

I must give you fair warning - even with the lack of butter, there ain't a thing even close to resembling low fat here. Go ahead and try it if you like, but I'm not messin' with it myself. Nope, not gonna do it. To me, this is the best brownie I could ever come up with - just the right amount of chocolate, just the right sweetness, just the right kind of tender and moist, and nearly gooey insides, with a so slightly crunchy top crust. Nothing high falutin' here - just the true perfection and deliciousness that belongs in a brownie. Just be sure to do everything in order.

Here's the hardest part. Let them rest before cutting. I've never managed to quite do this without sneaking off a few. What can I say?

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Recipe: Homemade Chocolate Brownies

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 35 min | Yield: About 12 servings

  • 3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or lightly spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray and place a sheet of parchment paper across the pan so that there is overhang on both sides of the pan. This is so that you can lift the brownies out of the pan in one piece and make it easier for cutting.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Blend 1/3 cup of the canola oil into the cocoa until well mixed and shiny. Add the boiling water and stir until the mixture thickens.

Add the sugar and stir in the remaining 1/3 cup of oil and the eggs, mixing until smooth. Add the flour, vanilla and salt, blending completely. Add nuts; toss. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center returns with just a bit of sticky crumb clinging on it. Do not overcook, or your brownies will be dry! Cool in the pan for about 2 hours, then use the parchment to lift from the pan and cut into squares. Store in a covered container.

Cook's Notes: Scatter about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over the top before placing in the oven. For a thicker more cake-like brownie, transfer to an 8 or 9-inch square pan and bake approximately 40 to 45 minutes. I sometimes add 1/2 cup peanut butter mixed with a tablespoon of powdered sugar and a little half and half or melted butter to loosen. Dollop on top and use a butter knife to swirl through before baking.


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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from a very old Hershey's recipe.
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Posted by on May 28, 2010
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