Milk & Cookies
Milk & Cookies by Tina Casaceli
From Tina Casaceli's Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York's Milk & Cookies Bakery (Chronicle Books), these chewy, fudgy bars are the pinnacle of brownie achievement. "The secret is in the flour/egg ratio," says Casaceli, noting the relatively small amount of flour — only 3/4 cup — used in the recipe. She also emphasizes the importance of using good-quality chocolate, as the brownies "require a deep chocolate flavor." Try them on your grandchildren, and see if they're not impressed with your attention to detail.
1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (3 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly coat a large jelly-roll pan with nonstick vegetable spray. Lay a piece of parchment paper into the pan, taking care that it fits neatly at the sides and corners. Set aside.
3. Combine the chocolate with the butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate and butter have melted and blended together. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place the eggs in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk. Beat on low speed to combine. Increase the speed and beat for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms a soft ribbon when lifted from the bowl with a spoon.
5. Reduce the speed to medium and, with the motor running, beat in the chocolate mixture along with the vanilla to combine.
6. Add the flour and beat just to combine.
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the edge begins to pull away from the side of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool.
9. When cool, use a serrated knife to cut the brownies into 2 1/2-inch squares.
10. Store, airtight, at room temperature for up to a week.
Makes 16 to 24 brownies
Excerpted from Milk & Cookies © 2011 by Tina Casaceli. Reprinted with permission of Chronicle Books. Photographs by Antonis Achilleos.
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