Friday, March 6, 2009

Guest Blog: Hanna's Brownies

Exciting news. I have a guest blogger: Hanna Elliot. Hanna is a great cook and a fun friend. I asked her if she might do a little something for my blog and in a lickety-jiffy, she sent me something. I think this will give you an idea of Hanna's true love for the sweets.

I’ve long been a fan of the ease of the one bowl brownie recipe on the Baker’s Chocolate box, but something about how the brownies tasted was never quite right for me. In search of more pure chocolate experience, I turned to King Arthur Flour and found on their web site what they described as the perfect brownie recipe. They say this recipe creates the ideal balance between fudgy and cakey brownies, which made me realize I never cared before about consistency. I only cared about chocolate flavor. But I thought the “perfect brownie” must have to also taste good so last night my 4-year-old daughter and I gave them a try.

The results were very, very good. These brownies fulfilled my desire for clean chocolate flavor. And, the recipe allowed for a lot of child involvement, which was nice. Recipes that are all mixed with a hand mixer are a bummer for a kid. This one requires four eggs, which gave my girl a chance to do one of her favorite things and break them all into a bowl. Then she had to mix cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and vanilla into the eggs, which was fun because the mixture became a beautiful deep brown as she stirred. And I knew she could stir as much as she wanted without doing any damage because we hadn’t yet added the flour. That went in at the very end with two big cups of chocolate chips. But first we mixed in a melted butter and sugar mixture that apparently gives the brownies a shiny top crust. Who knew? I really appreciate the chemistry lessons KAF slips into recipes.

The brownies were a bit too sweet, but that may be because in my haste I accidentally added 1 and 1/3 cups sugar rather than 1 and ¼. I think the chips give it plenty of sweetness and I’ll probably leave out some of the white sugar next time. Even so, these taste so much better than the one bowl recipe I’ve relied on for years, and using two bowls is worth it for deep chocolate brownies you might need to eat with a fork.