Monday, January 19, 2009

Disappearing Brownies

These are quite possibly the best fudge brownies I've ever made. They have this wonderful crispy top that adds an unexpected crunch to this otherwise very fudgy treat!
I do still love the old brownie recipe that I've used for years but something about not having to chop up chocolate (I always thought that was such a PITA) is really refreshing!

Hubby's aunt actually gave me the recipe - she found it in one of those in-flight magazines on her plane trip over Christmas (lol - of all places to find a new favourite recipe!) Unfortunately, I never found out which airline the magazine was from so that's the best I can do for a reference. Given that, I probably shouldn't be blogging these but they were so fantastic, I have to share them! ;)

These got the name since we made a pan and they disappeared within 30 minutes! I don't think the poor things had time to cool completely! :) Needless to say, we made another batch the next day (they are really easy to make). There was a joke going around that if you leave the clean, empty brownie pan out on the counter, more brownies magically appear overnight. Yeah, don't we wish! :)

I haven't tried this yet (believe me, it's on the to-bake list), but I think these would be really easy to convert to a vegan brownie recipe. As far as I can tell, all you'd have to do is to change the butter into 4 cups of non-hydrogenated vegan spread (Earth Balance is my fave) and the eggs to any egg substitute (4 eggs worth). Since they are bars, the egg subs should be pretty easy - you could use ground flax and water, Ener-G egg replacer and water, smushed up silken tofu, applesauce, bananas, or (one I've never tried but am rather intrigued by) vinegar and baking soda.

No photo, sorry! Darn things disappeared too fast! But, hey, that's just another excuse for me to make these again (and to try some of the add-ins I listed below!) :)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2/3 cup unbleached flour
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. aluminium-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Feel free to add in walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped up Heath bars (yum!), toffee bits, dried fruits, etc... (or any combination of those ingredients! I'd say 1/2 cup to 1 cup total would do it)

Ooh, how yummy would these be if you subbed in pure peppermint extract for the vanilla and then crushed up some peppermint candies and added those in? :) I also have to try this base for amaretto brownies.

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Grease a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan. I like to rub the butter wrappers on the pan so nothing is wasted. Dust the buttered pan with a little flour.

2. Whisk the sugar and melted butter together in a large bowl. Add in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt. Add this mixture to the sugar and butter mixture and stir just until blended (do not overmix).

4. Spread the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Reference:
Oops.. see note above. Thank you airline magazine! And DH's aunt! :) I have a feeling it may have been United... or US Airways (DH might know so I may be back to update this)
The ideas for adding in all the nuts, chips, etc., subbing in the peppermint, and making these vegan were my own. At least nobody can sue me for that part! ;) Thank you to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and her book The Joy of Vegan Baking for the baking soda and vinegar egg substitute idea.