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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Best Brownies?

You will all be happy to know that I have taken a break from finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie for a while. I'm pretty happy with my two favorites for now, although I do admit I have my eye on Kim Boyce's whole wheat version. Unfortunately, I have now ventured over to the brownie world. This is a very slippery slope for me. Brownies are a dangerous thing, I can empty an 8x8 pan in less than 48 hours if it is the right brownie. There are a lot of them out there. Here's the thing, I don't really have a good all occasion brownie. I am talking about a simple every day kind of brownie (not that I need a brownie every day). The hard part of this search is that there are a million "Best Brownies" out there. Not only best, but Best Ever Brownies and then of course there are Kate's Brownies, Suzanne's Best Brownies and these I made recently were Robert's Best Brownies from David Leibovitz's new book Ready for Dessert. I thought that I too would find these to be the Best Brownies as David's Dulce de Leche Brownies are my all time favorite. They unfortunately were not "Nicole's Best Brownies". Don't get me wrong, they are good and I know that they could be a best brownie for many others.
So I am going to reach out to all of you to recommend a perfect brownie. To help you all out here is what I have learned so far...Nicole's Best Brownie is chewy, it doesn't have frosting, it is not at all dry in texture, and the recipe needs to have cocoa powder and melted chocolate.
Also, I recently made the Cakewalk brownies and was not a fan...too greasy and gritty even after the recommended sitting for two day. I do love the Baked brownie, but it is too intense for an everyday brownie. I'm leaning towards Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies next, but I am curious what you all have to say.

Robert's Absolute Best Brownies
Adapted from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert

Makes 9 to 12
Butter (for the pan)
6 tablespoons butter, cut up
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 cup  pecans, toasted and chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-or 9-inch pan with foil, letting the excess hang over. Butter the foil. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chocolate and stir over low heat until it melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the flour. Stir energetically for 1 full minute until the batter loses its graininess and becomes smooth and glossy. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes or until almost set. Don't overbake. Cool completely in the pan. Lift out the brownies with the foil, peel off the foil, and cut  into bars.


  1. I'm late to the brownie game (my mom never made them when I was little), but I love the Port Cherry Brownies from Fine Cooking (

    I don't make the icing, just the brownies and it's become my go-to recipe -- chewy and rich and easy to make :-)

  2. That looks like a good base recipe Avalee, I am not a big fan of fruit in my brownies, but I could probably just leave out the port and cherries.


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