Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Baked Brownie

Maybe I'm just a little OCD, but this blog post about The Baked Brownie has become a little frustrating. The Baked cookbook mentions that these brownies have been lauded by Oprah (a favorite thing!), America's Test Kitchen, and the Today Show. And I totally believe them. But I thought, if I'm going to be telling all three of my readers about how great these brownies are, I might as well have my sources right. And after some fairly effortful Googling, I haven't found all the information I wanted. You know what I did find? A bunch of food blogs--and I mean a bunch of them--saying Oprah, ATK, and Today says these are the best brownies IN THE WORLD! And the nerdier, OCD-er, more competitive side of me doesn't just want to be another blogger talking about these much-talked-about brownies. So what am I doing? I'm being a total nerd and trying to find these sources so you can read for yourselves what these people have said:

1. Oprah declared these brownies a favorite thing. Official Oprah website source found. Check.

2. America's Test Kitchen. The only reference I could find was under mail order brownies, and I assume they were declared the best mail order brownies; I don't know for sure since I didn't feel like registering for their 14-day free trial to get more info. And maybe I'm splitting hairs, but being voted the best mail order brownies is not the same as being voted the best brownies ever IN THE WORLD! I'm not minimizing the Baked brownies; ATK has their own recipes to support. And, not to knock ATK, but who orders mail order brownies? Even if they're amazing, why would you pay $41+S&H and wait a couple days for them when you can just make some?

3. Today Show. I couldn't find any info.

Now, I know what you're thinking:

"Ami, you are a total nerd. We do not care about primary sources. GIVE US THE BROWNIES!"

A week ago, I would've had to say I can't publish the recipe. But, #1, this recipe is posted on many of the aforementioned blogs. And, #2, which is much more awesome, I actually wrote to the Baked NYC guys to ask about posting recipes, and they said I could! All of them! And that my blog looks great! So you get to have the recipes! But let me yammer just a little bit more.

These brownies are seriously wonderful. I'm not so uppity as to pooh-pooh all boxed brownies; on the contrary, I think Ghiradelli boxed brownies are delicious and plenty of homemade brownies taste like cardboard. And not even chocolatey cardboard. So I've sort of relied on the Ghiradelli box.


These are not even on the same planet as the boxed brownies. And without further ado, please enjoy:

The Baked Brownie (printable recipe)

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Droste Dutch-process)
11 oz. dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 c unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp instant espresso powder (I couldn't find this in time, so I used finely ground instant coffee. It's not as concentrated as espresso powder, but worked in a pinch. I'll get some real stuff one of these days. I know, how un-Mormon-y of me. If you don't want to use it, just leave it out, though I hear adding it increases the chocolatiness of the flavor.)
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch glass or light colored metal baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combine. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour is still visible.
6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Do not over bake. Let brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares (or hearts!) and serve. Yield: 24 brownies
Brownies keep at room temperature for 3 days when tightly covered.

Recipe courtesy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copied with permission.

I gave these to my family valentines, even though every single one of is actively trying to lose weight. They are too good.
I'll go back and add the recipes to my previous posts, too, then this blog can be a recipe resource! I'm so  excited about it.
Go, make them. And be happy forever.


  1. Yep, totally making these. Not tonight, I have a date with chocolate sables from Smitten Kitchen. So, tomorrow.

  2. I think it is so awesome that you wrote to the Baked guys and got permission to post the recipes instead of just posting them like a copyright-infringing lame-o (which I may or may not have done a couple of times on the Challengers blog). I can't wait to try this recipe! Also, I'm not sure if you were going for this but when I read the phrase "IN THE WORLD" I imagined you were saying it with Jeremy Clarkson's voice.

  3. Extra points for using the phrase "not so uppity as to pooh-pooh".
    I was there. I ate the brownies, and they were really delicious.