Tuesday, August 1, 2006

About Brownies

In the eternal quest for the perfect brownie, many paths are traveled. Some paths lead us down a road of cocoa and cake-like texture, and some roads head into the domain of baked fudge. But in every person's quest for chocolate perfection, there is always one which inspires. One particular brownie that we seek to recreate, one brownie to delight the tastebuds of family and friends alike. I have tried my fair share of brownies. Many brownies. In fact, I've even been known to pick up a mix in a desperate need for a brownie fix- only to be disappointed with the resulting pan of chocolate flavored goo. But I do have a go to brownie. One brownie that I set on my pedestal, and it is this brownie to which all others are compared. And that brownie is none other than my own Mom's Brownies. No matter how many brownie recipes I try and taste and enjoy, I always return to the classic. The brownie that I grew up with, and the brownie that I rely on to satisfy the most urgent of chocolate cravings.

This brownie is more cake-like than fudge-like. I have tried playing with the core of the recipe- swapping out the oil for butter, using half oil/half applesauce, and even subbing some whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. But nothing is like the original, and until today, I never had a success with trying to tweak it. You notice I said until today. After recent exploration of the brownies at Cookie Madness, it seemed to me that part of the difference between a fudgy brownie and a cakey brownie is simply that the cakey brownie is baked longer. So today, I took good ole reliable and took her out of the oven 5 minutes early. After a quick cooling on a rack, it went into the fridge to chill completely. And now I have fudgy brownies with the flavor I want the most. The recipe is now in the Recipe Trove for all to enjoy. And thanks Mom for the brownies!


Anna said...

Okay. Now I am going to have to try your mom's brownies. I just looked in the trove and saw that they are all oil -- no butter. I have a cookbook with an all oil brownie recipe, but I've passed that particular recipe over thinking that I'd somehow miss the butter flavor and texture. But if you think oil based brownies are good, then they must be good.

I see that it's also a cocoa brownie. Cocoa powder plus oil = less saturated fat and less $$$$.

E's Mom's Brownies

1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup nuts
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ยบ

Combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. To this, add the flour, baking powder, and cocoa- mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts as desired. Pour in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes- or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For more fudgy brownies, take the brownies out of the oven about 5 minutes early. Chill completely before cutting.

Erika said...

Anna, I hope you try them. Even though there are probably better brownies out there- these are my favorite. My theory is that if you add the nuts, use a heart healthy oil, and a good quality cocoa, these are loaded with antioxidants and good for you. :-)

And these ones really aren't as good with butter instead of oil. And the less $$$ is, I'm sure, why these were Mom's brownies.

Erika's Mom said...

Well, the $$$ was a good part of it... but the recipe that I tweaked until I liked it called for >ugh< SHORTENING and unsweetened chocolate.

I wonder where Erika gets her penchant for "tweaking" recipes? Tee-hee!

Erika said...