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FRENCH CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Yield: 12-16 brownies

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces, plus 1 teaspoon melted butter for brushing pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, in pieces
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (optional)

1. Place rack just below center of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line 8-inchsquare pan with foil and brush with melted butter.

2. In bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

3. In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in microwave, melt together remaining butter and chocolate. Stir often and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.

4. In mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla and mix at low speed until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix 30 seconds, then finish mixing by hand, adding nuts if using.

5. Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until top is dry. Let cool in pan, then lift out and cut into bars or wrap in foil. Nutrition data not available.

Source: Adapted from “Baking: From My Home to Yours,” by Dorie Greenspan

NEW CLASSIC BROWNIES

Yield: 16 brownies

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil.

2. In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in microwave, melt together butter and chocolate. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.

3. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs, one at a time, then flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Add nuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare a water bath: Pour ice water into large roasting pan or kitchen sink to depth of about 1 inch. Remove baking pan from oven and place in water bath, being careful not to splash water on brownies. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut into 1-inch squares or wrap in foil.

Source: Adapted from “Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies,” by Alice Medrich

SUPERNATURAL BROWNIES

Yield: 15 large or 24 small brownies

2 sticks (1/2 pound; 16 tablespoons) butter, plus more for pan and parchment paper
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, such as muscovado
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup whole walnuts, optional

Cook’s note: For best flavor, bake one day before serving, let cool, and store, tightly wrapped.

1. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in microwave, melt together butter and chocolate. Cool slightly. In large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.

2. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour until just combined. If using chopped walnuts, stir them in. Pour batter into prepared pan. If using whole walnuts, arrange atop batter. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.

Source: Adapted from
“Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers,” by Nick Malgieri (Morrow Cookbooks)

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