January 24, 2018

bomb-ass brownies

You don't have to call them Bomb-Ass Brownies if you're opposed to slightly offensive language. You could call them The Dopest Amazing Super-Fudgy Delightfully Glazed Salty Rich Brownies.
But, Bomb-Ass Brownies just fits it all in much more succinctly.

Your choice.
I've been trying to figure out this recipe for months -- MONTHS! My co-workers have been subjected to pans and pans and pans and pans and pans and pans of brownies. It all started when I had the best brownie that has ever crossed my lips. Do you know where I got it? My favorite doughnut shop. WHAT. [sidenote: I think I should make a list of Indy faves because I have so many and someone might want to know, do people want to know?] I walked in to get a doughnut and wound up with a stack of brownies staring me down and I had to buy one. They were begging me.

I broke off a small piece and it was dense and fudgy and sweet and rich and salty and PERFECT.
I was inspired [as I am frequently] and it became a baking focus for the past 3 1/2 months. I'm pretty sure I've viewed every recipe that calls itself a "fudgy brownie" on the internet. Google searches, allrecipes searches, tasty kitchen searches, cookbook reading, on and on and on. I made recipe and recipe and I got really close, but it was never quite right.
Then I found Erin McDowell on instagram and read an insane amount of reviews of her cookbook, The Fearless Baker, which I asked for [and received!!eeeee!] for Christmas. SHE HAD A BROWNIE RECIPE that was different than the others I'd tried. I can talk about sugars and eggs and chocolate or you can either a)trust me or b) read about it in her cookbook. I can't wait to make all the other things in this cookbook.

So here it is, the recipe that makes up these bites o' heaven:

Bomb-Ass Brownies
adapted slightly from E.McDowell in The Fearless Baker
Makes a jelly roll pan or 9 x 13, but halves easily if you just want to make an 8x8 or 9x9 pan. [DO YOU NOT LOVE OTHER PEOPLE?]

8 Tbsp butter (1 stick)
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
6 eggs, room temp
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp coffee granules (optional, but SO WORTH IT)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and melt together at 30 second intervals. Add in the oil and sugars to the chocolate. Beat the eggs and then add them to the chocolate mixture with the vanilla and coffee granules. Gently fold in the flour and salt. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.

Spread the batter evenly in your prepared pan. Before you put it in the oven drop it from 3-4 inches down onto your countertop a few times. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND GET ALL THE AIR BUBBLES OUT.

Bake for 28-32 minutes if your pan is 10x15 [aka a half-sheet pan], if you're using a 9x13 go for 35-40 minutes since they'll be thicker. Let cool.

2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or good vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp butter flavoring (optional, but it just lifts everything a little)
3-5 Tbsp water


Whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa, and vanilla bean paste [just do your best, it's fine]. Add the water slooooooooooowly. I started with 3 tablespoons water and it made a lump so I added more water until it was thick, but fluid. The goal here is to spread a thin layer of glaze over the cooled brownies. Once your glaze is spread sprinkle the flaky sea salt liberally over everything.
Let everything cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Cut your brownies when they're cold if you want neat and tidy cuts, if you don't care about neatness, do your own thing.

- use some good chocolate if you want. it does make a difference. I made these with some chocolate chips from Aldi [which is what I generally use for my baked goods] and then I made these with a couple of bags of Ghirardelli chocolate. SO.FREAKING.GOOD. however, the Aldi version was still yummy and edible and not a soul complained, so you do you bargain shopping friend.
-I promise with my whole entire heart that the coffee in the brownies doesn't make them taste like coffee. It just takes the flavors and the depths of the brownie to another level.
-My mom and I made them without the coffee and they were still pretty dope.
-I'd make these in a metal pan mostly for banging on the countertop purposes. It really does get some of the air bubbles out.
-speaking of pans, prepare your pan with a sheet of parchment paper that sticks up over 2 of the edges. after you've measured the parchment, but before you've placed it in the pan spray the exposed two edges with non-stick spray.
-in all my internet research about brownies it was verified that PEOPLE LOVE THE GHIRARDELLI BOX MIX of brownies. if you're not a from-scratch baker, go pick that up [you can get it just about anywhere, they even had it at my Aldi last week] and I think you'll be happy.
-I used a sea salt that was gifted to me after a friend took a trip to New England. WHY DO MORE PEOPLE NOT GIFT SALT? I add extra salt or top most of my sweets with salt and I get the most feedback from my co-workers [you try working with all these lovely health professionals who will eat all sweets like heathens] about the salt! I think it surprises your tastebuds in a great way and enhances and balances all the other flavors.
-if you wanted to give me some finishing salt you picked up on vacation, I would pay you back in hugs and baked goods ♥️