Brownies and Blondies

August 23, 2018

Steph’s Super Fudgy Brownies
Yields: 24

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 ounces high-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (use Ghiardelli or Vahlrona)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (use Ghiardelli or Vahlrona)
1 heaping teaspoon instant espresso powder (such as Medaglia d’oro)
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown muscavado sugar (or you can use Domino’s light brown sugar)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or cut into shards (use Ghiardelli or Vahlrona)

1. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the narrow ends. Spray the foil and pan with nonstick spray.
2. Combine the butter, unsweetened chocolate and 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and espresso powder in a medium, bowl set over a pot of simmering water and melt over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the flour in two additions (the batter will be thick). Stir in 4 ounces of chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
4. Scrape half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes. The sides will be set and the top will be set but a toothpick inserted in the center will come out still gooey (be brave!--underbaking the brownies is one of the secrets to their fudgy texture). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 45 minutes. Then, refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
5. Using the foil, lift the brownie slab out of the pan. Carefully peel off the foil and put the brownie on a large cutting board. With a large sharp knife, cut the brownies into squares.

Chewy Blondies

Yields: 12 large and 24 small

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown muscovado sugar
1/2 cup dark brown muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee chips

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter the lining too.
2.Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
3.Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add both sugars and whisk until combined and the sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated. 4.Fold in the chocolate chips, almonds and toffee chips and transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
5.Bake until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it, 24 to 27 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment handles, transfer to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch squares.