I feel about chocolate the same way I feel about hamburgers. Most of the time, most days of the year, I’m perfectly happy to live my life without them. But once in a blue moon — we’re talking every few months or so maybe — when a craving hits, the need absolutely envelops me. I must have chocolate. Or I must have a burger. And I must have them. Like, immediately. Following said feelings and subsequent feast, I can return along my merry way, a happy and carefree pseudo-vege/non-choco-tarian.
Fortunately I have a husband whose appreciation for chocolate (the good kind at least) has grown over the years, so when I do something frivolous like bake a batch of brownies for the single square I need to squelch my craving, he’s there to gallantly pick up the pieces. He’s becoming quite the brownie connoisseur actually, as my need for chocolate has conveniently coincided with my zeal from recipe testing. It’s like three birds with one brownie. Bam! (To which Jared just said, “Poor bird.”)
This brownie batch might be my favorite to date for two very important reasons: No. 1, they’re crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle (total musts in my book); and No. 2, despite the two cups of sugar and cup of chocolate chips, they’re not crazy sweet in the big scheme of brownie-dom. Yes, they’re decadent. Yes, they’re dessert. But you won’t feel like you sucked on a sugar cube for three hours afterward. Although, you might need that hamburger.
Chewy Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from The Foster’s Market Cookbook (Sara Foster, p. 253)
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• 4 eggs
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 1 cup unsalted butter
• 1 vanilla bean (or a few teaspoons of vanilla extract)
• 2 tablespoons strong coffee
• 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream together eggs, sugar and butter until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla bean (or extract) and coffee, and blend until well combined.
With the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until brownies are firm to the touch. Test them with a toothpick; as long as the toothpick comes out almost clean in the middle, they’re done. If you like your brownies a little more done though (which I do!), you can give them a few more minutes.
What’s your favorite once-in-a-blue-moon treat? Are you a chocolate fan? An all-desserts-in-general fan? Let’s hear it!