Summertime means lemonade and brownies!
Are they ultimate? Better than ultimate, even? I’m not sure, but in my house, they’re definitely better than ultimate. They’re dark, rich, and fudgy--with a hint of espresso and extra mini semi-sweet chips. Actually, they’re triple chocolate brownies, with unsweetened chocolate, dark cocoa, and mini chips. They also happen to be my new favorite. I’ve made them three times already, and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
These are the brownies that I used in my Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream from a couple weeks ago. I mentioned in the post that I’ve never made brownies like these before, as far as the preparation method. They’re still very simple, but there’s some extra time in there, for mixing--and a little waiting, too. But this is ok, because it gives you time to do other things while you’re waiting! Like dream of the brownies coming out of the oven. Or you stuffing your pie hole with them. We’ll look away, don’t worry.
So while looking for a brownie recipe to try a while ago, I looked through my bookmarks and found this one at Gourmeted.com. I imagine I’ve had it bookmarked since it was posted--in 2009! The poster, Dan, got the recipe from About.com, and he had to make some changes to suit what he had on hand. Turns out, I had to do the same thing. I didn’t have exactly the same ingredients that he had to work with, so I made up for that, and then some.
Did you know that if you don’t have unsweetened chocolate, you can use three tablespoons of cocoa plus one tablespoon of oil? You can! Just mix them together and use the same way you’d use a melted one ounce square of unsweetened chocolate. I fall back on this trick all the time! Seems I’m always out of baking chocolate. In the case of these brownies, I had to do this because I only had a couple of squares on hand. And the cocoa, I feel, adds a deep richness to the batter, along with the espresso powder. Also, something happens when you add the mini chips to the warm batter before it sits for the twenty minutes. Some of them start to melt into the batter, which makes it even fudgier.
The second time I made them, I used regular sized chips and added them right before baking. They were still fantastic, but not as good as when I use the minis and add them while the batter is still warm. Plus! And this is a big plus--this recipe makes a 9 x 13 inch pan. Big deal? Yes! In a family of six people, an 8 inch square pan of anything doesn’t last very long. So I get double the amount for the same work. Bonus in my book!
Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies
Makes a 9"x13" pan. Yay!
I use a 10 oz bag of Ghirardelli mini chocolate chips in these. You're going to divide it--3 oz melted with the other chocolate, cocoa and butter, and the remaining chips will be stirred into the batter.
3 (1-oz) squares of unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsp cocoa (I use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
3 tbsp canola oil
3 oz of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 tbsp espresso powder or instant coffee
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
7 oz (remaining chips from the bag) mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13" pan with foil, and lightly grease the foil.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the unsweetened chocolate squares, cocoa and oil, the 3 oz of mini chips, the butter, and the espresso powder or instant coffee. Set aside.
While the chocolate things are doing their thing, get the next step going. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes. While not necessary, a stand mixer would do beautifully here--you can do other things while it mixes for you.
Add the melted chocolate mixture to the mixing bowl, along with the flour and salt. Mix until just blended, and them stir in the remaining 7 oz of chocolate chips. Let the batter sit on the counter for 20 minutes before pouring into the greased pan. YES. Twenty minutes. I don’t really know why, so don’t ask me--but trust me.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on your work surface a few times to release air bubbles.
Bake for 27-30 minutes, and maybe even start checking after 25. The top should be shiny and the sides should be pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let them cool, then lift them out of the pan using the edges of the foil. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
- Most of the prep time in this recipe is downtime for you. The ten minute mixing and the twenty minute wait time. The rest of the recipe is ridiculously simple, so don’t be scared off.
- These will be your ultimate summertime brownies, with their fantastic texture and classic shiny tops. Bring them to the beach, cookouts, picnics, parties--you name it. Memorial Day and Independence Day are approaching--do you always get asked to bring a dessert? Bookmark these!
- Make them for yourself, too! And if it seems like too many, give some away. But once you taste them, you may not want to. Freeze some. You know, for those emergencies when you need something chocolaty and cold. Warm it slightly in the microwave and have it with ice cream for a special treat!