Hot, hot, hot, and now it's hotter because I just made Bakerina's brownies to take over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the outdoor movie (tonight they're showing Chinatown). As I've stated here before, normally I can't make brownies for love or money*, but Bakerina's charm convinced me to try her recipe, starting with two trips to the store--first for butter and chocolate, then for vanilla and more sugar. As I was reluctantly leaving the very cold aisles, an old guy, seeing me clutching a box of sugar and a bottle of vanilla, said, "Oh, making cookies this afternoon?" He was just happy, it seemed, happy to think of someone baking, even on such a steamy afternoon. I could have said, "No, I make good cookies, but this time I'm going to make, yet again, something that never comes out the way I want it to, ever," but I didn't. I just said "No, brownies!" and walked out smiling.
1 stick (4 oz/8TB) butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB strong coffee (i.e. that little bit of cold coffee sludge left in your cup from breakfast)
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 375. In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate together. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp (very important!). Beat eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and coffee together. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture. Add flour and stir gently until just mixed. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake for 20 minutes. Makes a lot, and they taste like mix brownies, only without that too-sweet metallic edge.
I remember one brownie recipe where the brownies were sent straight from the oven into the freezer, which condensed them down and made them super-fudgy. I think I'd let the pan cool for at least 5 or 10 minutes on the counter first though, just to keep the ice cream from turning to soup next to the hot pan.
OK, see you in the park! I'll be the one hovering over the brownie plate, sure that everyone who takes one is just being polite.
*Actually, the one brownie recipe that never failed me was the one on the back of the Droste cocoa box, circa 1982 or so. The only thing was that the brownies turned into concrete if you left them in the pan, so you had to spatula them out as soon as they were cool enough to hold together. Alas, this recipe is now lost in the mists of time. I know cocoa, eggs, and melted butter were involved--anyone else remember that recipe?