Baked Brownie

A friend recently went through a tough time and I really wanted to do something to make her feel just a little bit better.  Chocolate doesn’t solve problems, but it is always comforting and I know my friend well enough to feel confident that brownies would be well received.  These are the infamous “Baked” brownies, which have been whipped up by just about everyone who loves brownies and have received almost unanimous rave reviews.  Even America’s Test Kitchen loved them, and they’re a tough crowd to impress!  I didn’t want to mess with a good thing too much, so the only changes I made to the recipe were to halve it and to add mint chocolate chips.  I debated between peanut butter chips and the mint chocolate chips and I think they’d both be fabulous paired with the brownies, but the mint chips won this time. 

Baked Brownie

I may have underbaked my brownies by a minute or two but it was better than the alternative as the authors are very careful to state that these brownies need to be checked often and definitely should not be overbaked.  The result was an intensely rich, fudgy brownie with some serious chocolate flavor!  The brownies had a dense, slightly chewy texture and were very addictive.  If you read the blog regularly, you may remember that I actually prefer cakey brownies but I gladly ate a few of the leftover brownies that didn’t make it over to my friend.  I loved the mint chips as chocolate and mint is one of my favorite combinations.  My friend welcomed the brownie delivery and I know she enjoyed them too!  Sharing goodies is one of my favorite parts of baking so much and it’s especially nice to be able to brighten someone’s day when they need it most 🙂

Chocolate Mint Brownies
adapted just slightly from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
scant 1 cup mint chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray a glass or light colored metal 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl.
Place the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted.  Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add both sugars.  Whisk to combine completely then remove the bowl from the pan and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Add three of the eggs to the bowl and whisk until just combined.  Add the remaining two eggs and again whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.  Do not overbeat at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Add the dry ingredients and the mint chocolate chips to the chocolate mixture.  Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour mixture and the chips into the chocolate until only a trace of the flour is visible.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with your spatula.  Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotating the pan halfway through the baking time), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownies on a rack completely before cutting.
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