Let's start the week off with something sweet, shall we? A couple of Sundays ago, after a particularly long run along the West Side Highway, followed by a rather strenuous episode of housecleaning, during which I somehow came up with several heaping bags full of clothes to donate, I was famished and decided that I deserved a good, hearty meal followed by something chocolatey and decadent.
The makings of the meal have escaped me by now, but who could forget these brownies? Taken straight from the New York Times Essential Cookbook, these are a true classic, coming to us from the year 1943 when they were first published in the newspaper. When it comes to brownies, I'm a staunch believer that simple is best--a straightforward amalgamation of good chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, and salt just can't be beat. Also, the hallmark of a good brownie is that paper-thin, crispy, crackly, shiny layer on the top. Without that, can you really call it a brownie? I think not. And as you can see in the picture above, this version delivers a perfect crust. Bake up a batch and give out your leftover squares to friends and co-workers. It's a great way to start the week. xo
From The New York Times Essential Cookbook, by Amanda Hesser
¼ pound semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
½ cups chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line base with parchment.
Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat.
Beat eggs with sugar until sugar mostly dissolves. Add chocolate mixture. Add other ingredients, and mix well. Pour batter into pan, and smooth the top.
Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost, but not quite, clean. Let brownies cool for a few minutes, then remove them from pan and allow to cool on wire rack. When cool, cut into 16 squares.