These decadent, chocolaty square-shaped slices of heavenly bliss are sure to make you famous at potluck suppers, bake sales, and with your significant other (or potential significant other). Do not be surprised if wedding proposals come flooding in alongside a plate of these sweet babies. Consider this recipe an invitation to the popular table in the lunchroom.
In order to make these ridiculously devilishly divine brownies, you’ll need a double boiler or just use a glass bowl over a saucepan with water in the bottom. I’ll come clean and admit that the recipe contains alcohol. Yep. Of course, it cooks out and no one will get drunk from the brownies (trust me) but I try to give a heads-up before I give anyone a heart attack whilst reading the list of ingredients. You could use a flavored syrup (like the kind used in coffee shops) instead if you have it on hand or just want to avoid using alcohol.
- 1 pound salted (regular) sweet cream butter
- 36 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like using Ghirardelli)
- 6 extra large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons Hazelnut liqueur (could use Tia Maria, Godiva Chocolate, etc.)
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 oz. of cream cheese
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups chopped pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Use parchment paper to line or grease & flour a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pan (I love using the parchment paper for brownies because it makes removal so much easier).
2. Chop the butter into cubes and place it in the top portion of the double boiler (or glass bowl) with the chocolate chips) over simmering water. Stir with a spatula/scraper until fully melted and mixed into a gorgeous chocolate sauce. Remove from heat.
3. Sift together: the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Now sift it one more time. Add the chopped nuts with the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix vanilla, liqueur, cream cheese, and sugar. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Don’t beat the eggs! This is serious business, folks.
5. Now, mix the chocolate and the dry ingredients (with the nuts) with the egg mixture in the large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula (do not use a mixer).
6. Pour the brownie batter into the lined or greased & floured baking pan. Rap the pan on the counter until the air bubbles stop coming to the surface to pop (this ensures that the batter is sitting in the pan without a bunch of air pockets). Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (sometimes it takes a bit longer than 35 minutes so I check it every five minutes or so after that). Do not overbake! Allow to cool slightly, score, and then allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Unless you are a freak (like me) and just must eat a brownie right away and cannot wait for anything to cool completely. You are not alone, my friend.
There you have it: brownies that are cake-like without being cake, fudge-;like without being fudge, soft & moist without being soggy, and crumbly with a crisp top without being dry. Try it and tell me what you think. Okay?