Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Best Brownies Ever!

Caramel Walnut Brownies

Brownies are an all American dessert staple, loved by all genders, ages and races. My personal favorite are not really "traditional" brownies since they include pecans and caramel. Either way, I think they're delicious and a little too addicting for their own good.

According to the Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, the first brownies were invented by a housewife in Maine who forgot to add baking powder whilst baking chocolate cake. As a result, her cake didn't rise to it's potential but nonetheless, she sliced it up and served it.

The first brownie recipe has been traced back to The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1906 Edition)which was edited by Fannier Merritt Farmer. This version is less chocolaty and rich than the traditional brownies today.

The second recipe was published in 1907 by Maria Willet Howard in the Lowney's Cook Book and this version was richer and had a stronger chocolate flavor.

The two variations of brownies are still present till this day--some like their brownies cake-like and light on the chocolate-ness and other likes it super rich and almost fudge-like.

Personally, I adore the light chocolate flavor of a "cakesque" brownie that is accessorized with toasted pecans and caramel. YUM!

But, to each their own. With all that being said, here's my favorite recipe of Brownies.

Caramel Pecan Brownie Recipe:
Yields: 24 3 inch brownies

2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (2 2/3 sticks) unsalted butter
8 large eggs, at room temperature
4 cups sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 caramel (or to taste)

Equipment Needed:
1 Large Bowl
1 Brownie Baking Dish

1. Place the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) in a bowl. Sift together.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat until it's smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.
3. Beat eggs until creamy and add sugar gradually.
4. Add chocolate mixture to the eggs/sugar mixture.
5. Add the sifted dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder).
6. Add vanilla extract.
7. Once the consistency is set, pour in pecans to the mixture and fold.
8. Pour half the brownie mixture in the pan. Drizzle caramel on the brownie mixture that is in the pan. Pour the remainder of the brownie mixture in the pan.
9. Drizzle the caramel on top of the brownie Mixture.
10. Bake 30 minutes.


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