Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Nana's glazed brownies

These glazed brownies are so perfect that you'll want to make a double batch! The brownies are thick and chewy, and the shiny and bittersweet glaze makes it the best chocolate-y combination!

One of my friends hosts an annual crawfish boil each June. He and three other couples fly in 300+ pounds of crawfish from Louisiana, and the location rotates every year. This year my friend was hosting the party at his house.

Along with homemade beer, my friend serves up the crawfish and a host of other goodies in the boil. In years past, they've added red potatoes and corn on the cob. This year, they added button mushrooms and sausage. As usual, it was a wonderful time, and even Addie enjoyed the corn and potatoes.

And every year I have the same dilemma - what to bring to the crawfish boil. Of course, I usually bring a dessert, but I don't like to bring the same thing twice. My one requirement is that it has to be able to withstand the heat since the weather is usually blazing hot on party day. This year was no different.

My husband found this brownie recipe from the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I made a few slight alterations to the original recipe: I omitted the nuts from the brownie and the alcohol and nuts from the glaze. I took a chance by making these since I knew that the glaze would be prone to some severe melting in the hot sun. When I brought these over, I instructed the hostess to keep these in the fridge until she was ready to serve them to her guests.

Although we didn't stick around long enough to get guests' reactions on the brownies, I was smart enough to save a few for my family to try. My husband liked the brownies a lot, and Addie was an instant fan. She tried so hard to eat smaller and smaller bites so she could make the brownies last longer, and as a result, she got the melted glaze all over her face. She was such a wriggly wart that she somehow got parts of the glaze on her neck and upper arm areas.

The brownies were thick, chewy and fudgy. The glaze was a bit on the bittersweet side since the flavor comes directly from the melted chocolate. The original recipe called for a Tablespoon of rum, which I omitted. Had I included the rum, the glaze would have had the perfect amount of sweetness. However, I loved the slight bitterness in the glaze so the overall brownies weren't too sweet. These are a solid brownie recipe and one that I would certainly make again.

Happy Father's Day to all fathers and father figures!

Nana's glazed brownies
Brownies
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72% cacao), chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72% cacao), chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line an 8"x8" baking pan and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter on high for about 45 seconds. Mix well. Add in the sugar and microwave again for another 45 seconds. Stir until most of the sugar crystals have melted and the batter looks smooth and free of lumps (alternatively, you can melt everything over a double boiler, but I am just too impatient for that).

Stir in the eggs, one by one, until each is fully incorporated. Add in the vanilla and stir. Finally, fold in the dry ingredients and mix until everything is just combined. Do not over mix.

Bake in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

While the brownies are baking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt together. If desired, add 1 Tablespoon of dark rum as well. Stir constantly until the glaze is shiny and smooth.

Once the brownies have cooled, pour the glaze on top and smooth it out. Chill the brownies in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until the glaze has set.

Cut into squares and serve. Leftover brownies should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will keep for at least a week.

Yield: One 8"x8" pan; about 16 servings

Source: Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2015 issue, page 70

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