Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baker's Delight... Real Ghirardelli Brownies

I have to admit that I have never in my life made brownies from scratch.  I was always a fan of brownies from the box, but they never taste as good as the real deal.  I decided that I needed to change that.  Of course I was tempted to make a "lighter brownie" and substitute the butter for pumpkin puree or applesauce, but for the first experience with the recipe I am resisting the temptation and making them as is.  I am making the best brownies known to man.

Ghiradelli chocolate is a bit more expensive but the flavor is so rich and melts in your mouth so I splurged for it.  They have a much higher standard for their cocoa beans and reject about 40% of the ones the receive to assure high quality!  I used a semi-sweet baking bar (3.99) but you can use their cocoa powder too (7.99, but can be used for several batches).

Ghirardelli Classic Brownies
Serves 18

1/2 cup(s) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
4 ounce(s) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar
1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup(s) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup(s) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and then flour. Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1-inch pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Variations:  Experiment with new ingredients to mix into the batter!  Some of my ideas...
Caramel swirl
Turtle brownies (Caramel and walnuts)
Raspberry jam swirl
Andes Mints
Cream cheese frosting swirl
Peanut butter topping
Butterscotch chips, toffee chunks, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips

Nutrition Facts...if you dare: (2 inch square)
Calories: 190 calories, 4.5 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates.

While you are waiting... dream about the wonderful taste that will wow your taste buds.  I know its a little crazy for me to post an unhealthy recipe, but everyone deserves a delicious treat.  It's important to indulge every once in a while so you don't feel deprived.  You can't be good all the time ;)

Enjoy this recipe and follow my blog for nutrition tips, recipes, and anything else that comes to my mind!  

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