Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fudgey or Chewy? Brownie Controversy!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Whether your day is hearts and flowers, laundry and diapers, or clients and co-workers, may it be LOVE-ly! :)
Ben took me to the most wonderful restaurant last night!  We like to go either a day early or a day later for Valentine's Day because it's not quite so crowded!  Plus, I like to cook for us on Valentine's Day!  Anyway, the restaurant was called "Bliss" and if you live in San Antonio or ever visit, I highly recommend it!  Ben had the venison with huckleberries (He's still obsessed with huckleberries since the Montana trip!) and I had the grilled branzino (delicious Mediterranean fish).  It was all super yummy with great service and atmosphere!
Anyway,  I'm making something called "Shrimp Pie" for our dinner tonight.  I'll let you know how it goes!
But for now, everyone thinks about chocolate on Valentine's Day!  I wanted to make something to take into the office today, so I thought about brownies because everyone likes brownies!  BUT, the thing about brownies is everyone has an opinion-- chewy, fudgey, nuts, no nuts-- and they are very opinionated about their opinion!  Okay, but I should call these "Diplomatic Brownies" because to me, they are the best combination of all brownie options.  They're chewy and fudgey at the same time!  You can add the nuts or not (I like them!).  Now, you might wonder why to go to all the "trouble" to make brownies from scratch when the box mixes are perfectly acceptable, which they are, I think.  Well, for one thing, your scratch brownies will have only your most wholesome ingredients in them-- no preservatives.  Another reason is they don't take anymore time then running to the store because you don't have the brownie mix!  Of course, the best reason is because they taste LOVE-ly, made with LOVE, and isn't that what Valentine's Day is all about? :)

P.S.  If you keep unsweetened chocolate in your pantry, then you'll probably always have the ingredients to whip up a batch of these when your child informs you at her bed-time that she needs to take something for the class party-- tomorrow!

Brownies (makes 16, 2-inch brownies)
1 stick unsalted butter
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, each broken in two 
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a 9x9 inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with PAM (makes it easier to remove and cut the brownies).
Put the butter and chocolate into a large bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Take a look at it and stir a bit.  Continue microwaving until the chocolate and butter are melted.  Stir to mix.  Add the sugar and mix well with a wooden spoon.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Then add all the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined.
Spread in the prepared pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out ALMOST clean.  Don't over bake.  Allow to cool, then lift the brownie cake out with the foil and remove to a cutting board.  Cut the brownies with a sharp knife and serve!  
See, I told you it was quicker than going to the store!

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