Katie Green's Food Blog: Brownies
I know. I know. I'm not exactly known for my unhealthy desserts, but I baked a couple of batches of brownies so that I could bring some up to Vancouver, BC for my dad last weekend. No one believed that I hadn't added anything nutritious to them as they expected me to slide some bean or vegetable in there or maybe to "healthify" them (reasonably so as that's what I do). While I did add some extra flavorings, I would not consider these brownies anywhere close to being defined as healthy. They were meant solely to taste good, and they did not disappoint. These make a great every now and again dessert and will freeze well if they're not all gone by nightfall. If you're looking for health benefits, I guess the addition of walnuts would provide some Omega 3 fatty acids, but that's stretching it.
I often find myself struggling to describe the differences between Vancouver and Seattle as they seem to have so much in common: climate, outdoor activities (mountain and water sports), and a culture that even seems to be quite similar. Thus, aside from the astronomical real estate prices in Vancouver and Canadian taxes, how are they really different? I finally figured it out while biking along the Vancouver waterfront. We started at Kitsilano Beach, went through Granville Island, by Science World, around Stanley Park, and back again. Here, the difference became obvious. While Seattle and Pike's Place Market are more historical, Vancouver and Granville Island are more glitzy and modern. It was hard not to want to live there on the perfect 80 degree day that we were there. Apparently, hundreds of other people felt the same way.
While definitely a tourist activity (as many locals have never been there), the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver offers great scenic views from above the trees. The new Cliffwalk area that recently opened was perhaps just as, if not more, impressive than the suspension bridge itself. Don't forget to check out the Grouse Grind as well if you're there and up for something active (to put it mildly). You'll never want to walk up another set of stairs again.
Who doesn't like brownies? They're chocolaty, soft and delicious. The only debate centers on simple versus adventurous. This recipe gives a solid base and provides options for add-ins for those who wish to experiment more with flavor and texture. The sole challenge to me was determining when they were done. As I am not a brownie connoisseur, and they do not turn golden brown and delicious, the knife inserted into the center test seemed to be insufficient. It came out dry far earlier than when the edges had stopped bubbling, leaving me to wonder if this meant that the cooking time should be increased. Complicating this fact was the consideration that I had doubled the recipe and whether or not that would affect the cooking time. So, when baking, use your best instincts, and remember that experience is the best teacher. I don't think my taste testers had any complaints.
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook
Butter a 9x13 baking pan (use wrappers from butter sticks). Preheat oven to 350 deg F.
Gently melt the chocolate (double broiler or microwave). Let it cool about 10 minutes.
Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl (electric beaters or stand mixer) until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the vanilla.
Stir constantly while drizzling in the melted chocolate. After all the chocolate has been added, continue to beat for 1-2 additional minutes.
Stir in the flour (by hand with spatula), and the embellishments you're using, if any (I added orange zest, cinnamon, walnuts and chocolate chips.). Mix just enough to blend well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took much longer), or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean (look for no bubbling around edges).
Eat right out of the pan or cut into squares while hot. Allow to cool completely (or at least 10 minutes - use the refrigerator to help facilitate this process and decrease the time you have to wait) before removing from pan. Compliment with Fluff (marshmallow cream), whip cream, ice cream or a large glass of milk.
One of these things is not like the other...
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