Chow Bella

Brownie Showdown: Sister's Fudgy Brownies

When we heard about the 26-page Pentagon brownie recipe published recently, we couldn't resist trying to bake them. Emphasis on trying. What better time for the next Chow Bella Showdown? We gathered the staff and got them baked -- er, baking.

So far, we've had the Pentagon brownies"Joy of Baking" brownies and Guiness brownies.
Whose cuisine will reign supreme? Tune in all week to see who baked what and learn who won in a final post by New Times food critic Michele Laudig.

Brownies, I like them fudgy, thank you, no frosting. I want all the chocolate goodness right there in the batter. A dusting of powdered sugar, even a scoop of vanilla ice cream, maybe a drizzle of chocolate or raspberry sauce, those are tolerable. For all the brownie recipes I have tasted and tried, Sister's Brownie recipe is my go to brownie. "Sister", aka Aunt Joy, was my ex's great aunt, and the family exalted her brownie finesse.

The first few times I attempted the recipe, the results were good, but not good enough to match Sister's success. After experimenting, my fix was to bake the brownies until the top cracked, score the brownies into squares once they had cooled, and freeze them in the pan until ready to serve. Years after receiving the family recipe from Aunt Joy, I found a similar one in a 1953 edition of The Joy of Cooking. Oh Joys!

Carol's Tips:
Choose high quality baking chocolate, pure vanilla extract and very fresh (check expiration dates) unsalted butter.
Take the extra step of sifting the sugar (per The Joy of Cooking) for a smooth, creamy batter.

Sister's Fudgy Brownies (recipe easily doubles)
6 oz butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan
In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter, cool to room temperature
Beat eggs in an electric mixer until light and fluffy
Gradually, add sugar and vanilla, blend well
Stir in the butter-chocolate mixture
Add the flour, and continue to mix until flour is absorbed
Fold chopped nuts into batter
Pour batter into prepared pan
Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes, (a toothpick or cake tester will not show a clean crumb)
Cool pan on wire rack
Score brownies into squares
Freeze in pan until ready to serve
Dust with powdered sugar

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Carol Blonder