My son fractured his ankle a couple of weeks ago. At first, we thought it was just a bad sprain. After he injured his ankle, he sat out for a few minutes, shook it off, then went back in to play for another ten minutes. What a tough kid! Because he played on it, we didn’t think it would be broken or fractured. Well, that evening, it swelled up, and the pain kicked in. My husband and I agreed that if it wasn’t better in a few days, we would get it x-rayed. My son hopped around for the next two days. After the third day or so, he started walking again, and I was hopeful that it was just sprained. But by day 5, it was still painful when we pressed on his ankle bone. So, off to the hospital we went for an x-ray. Sure enough, it was fractured. At that point, it was Saturday. We had to wait until Monday morning to see a specialist. I never thought my son would end up in a cast. I thought a nice walking boot would do the trick. After the orthopedic saw the x-ray, he said my son needed a cast and crutches for 10-14 days.
I felt so terrible for him. So, of course, I go to my baking arsenal to cheer him up! I asked him what treat he wanted me to bake him, knowing he would request brownies. Who wouldn’t be cheered up by delicious, rich, fudge brownies filled with chocolate chips. He was thrilled to return home from school to the smell of brownies. I even let him have one before dinner!
This is my favorite go-to brownie recipe. It produces a shiny crust, and a rich chocolatey, chewy crumb with chunks of chocolate chips.
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (3 3/4oz) Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa (It is important to use a dutch process cocoa. See baking tips at the bottom of this page.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (8oz) (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 oz) sugar
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 oz) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan
Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them at medium speed with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla for about 4 minutes. You can do this while you’re melting your butter (next step).
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or simply combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will help produce a shiny top crust on your brownies.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour and chips, stirring until smooth. Again, adding the chips helps produce a shiny top crust.
Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour
*Be sure to use a dutch-process cocoa in this recipe. Droste is a good brand found in most grocery stores. If the cocoa powder is not labeled “Dutch Processed,” check the ingredients. Dutch processed cocoa will contain alkali.
*Start with your eggs at room temperature. If you forget to leave them out, place them in a bowl of hot tap water for 5 minutes.
*It is important to UNsalted butter in this recipe
*Use good quality chocolate chips. I use Ghiradelli which can be found in most grocery stores.