Monday, November 17, 2008

Chewy Cocoa Brownies

After an unnaturally warm start to the month of November, cooler temperatures have finally begun to prevail. And just in time too! I have a few days off from work before beginning the nightshift (don’t ask, trying to understand my work schedule would only make your head hurt) and several new recipes to try.

Time to test my theory about cocoa brands. I made the brownie recipe on the label of the Nestle Cocoa container.

I liked this recipe right from the start. Most recipes that use cocoa instead of baking powder tend to be dry. This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of water to be added to the batter. I think that’s what did the trick.

The batter came together easily. It was stiff without being too stiff. It baked up in about 20 minutes. The range of times, 18 to 25 minutes was a little wide. That did give me pause. But by keeping an eye on the edges of the brownies, I was able to time it just right.

The results were deeply chocolaty unlike the results I get from Hershey’s cocoa. And chewy as promised. I’m definitely going to hang on to the is recipe so that I can make brownies any time regardless of whether I have baking chocolate or cocoa on hand.

Next time I’m feeling flush, I may spring for some those expensive cocoas to see if they are as good as the snooty recipes say that they are.

Verdict: Yum! This one’s a keeper!

Chewy Cocoa Brownies
(source: back of the Nestle cocoa container)

1 ⅔ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13 x 9-inch pan.

Combine sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs an vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

Makes 2 dozen brownies.

Recycle: vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

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