Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dark Chocolate Pecan Brownies

Were you ever a Brownie in elementary school?  Because I was.  I loved earning those little triangle badges, and I even loved that hideous brown/orange uniform.  I did not love the forced camping.  Except the monkey bread we made around the campfire.  That was awesome.

But obviously, my favorite part was selling Girl Scout Cookies.  I would fill up my red wagon with cookies and deliver them to my neighbors.  But shouldn't the Brownies have sold Girl Scout brownies?

Anyways, Todd and I went over to Raul's studio last night to check out the beginning of his Fall/Winter 2011 collection. Check out his previous collection here... it's beautiful.  Since I have been given the oh-so-important title of VP of Cake, I thought I should bring over some treats. I scanned my Dorie Greenspan cookbook and found her Classic Brownies. Perfect.

I made a few variations to the recipe, including using extra dark chocolate.  You know, the kind that's almost too dark to eat on it's own.  Plus, I used pecans instead of walnuts because that's what I had in the pantry.

Try them out. They're delicious!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Brownies (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Classic Brownies)

4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
4 ounces 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate (I used Ghiradelli), coarsely chopped
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (again, Ghiradelli), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line an 8-inch square baking pan with tin foil and then butter or spray the foil. Place prepared pan on baking sheet.

In a heatproof bowl set on top of a bowl of simmering water, place butter and chocolate.  Stir occasionally until everything is just melted.  Remove the bowl from the heat.

With a whisk, stir in the sugar -- it's going to turn grainy, that's okay. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, giving a good beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat.  Gently stir in the espresso, salt and flour until just combined. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the chopped pecans.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let sit until completely cool. Lift foil and brownies out of pan to cut into 12-16 squares.

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