The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pecan Brownie

OK…I know these last few posts have not been on the “Top 10 Health Foods” list, but I promise I’ll get back to healthy eating soon enough.  Right now, I’m on a quest to find the BEST brownie recipe and the BEST blueberry muffin recipe.  I’m happy to report I’ve found both!

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts, and while I know there are all types out there and everyone has their own favorite, I can honestly say I’ve never met a brownie I didn’t like.  Yes, some are better than others, but as a whole, they are all good, because they’re all chocolate!  I decided I needed a “go to–from scratch” recipe that I could count on and go back to time after time.  My one requirement was that it be packed with intense chocolate flavor and have a good fudgy texture.

While I do love to experiment with different recipes in the kitchen, this time I decided to turn to America’s Test Kitchen, as I know they’ve already done their homework.  I wanted a real “tried and true” recipe that WORKS every time!  The folks over there did not disappoint, and these brownies are definitely the ones I’ll be making over and over again!  They’re intensely chocolate, very fudgy and very delicious!  I added some hand-picked and shelled Texas pecans that were given to me by my Aunt Jo from El Paso, which I have to say, are, without a doubt, the BEST pecans I’ve ever had! Needless to say, these brownies ROCKED!

Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pecan Brownie

Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pecan Brownie

 

The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pecan Brownie

America’s Test Kitchen

Makes 16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, choppped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preparation:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with an aluminum foil sling and grease the foil (I sprayed with Pam).   Melt the chocolates, butter, and cocoa together in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes.  Let mixture cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt together.  Whisk in the melted chocolate  mixture until combined, and stir in the flour until just incorporated.  Fold in pecans, pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth the top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, about 2 hours.  Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil, cut into squares, and ENJOY!

Liz’s Tidbits:

Obviously, the better the quality of chocolate you use, the better the brownies will taste.  There are so many good chocolates out there, and it’s just a matter of finding one that you like.  Personally, I usually tend to favor Valrhona and Scharffen Berger, but there are plenty of others out there to choose from.

Variations of these brownies are only limited by your imagination.  Just to name a few:

1. Chocolate-Espresso brownies by adding 1½ tablespoons instant expresso or instant coffee powder to the chocolate mixture before microwaving.

2. Turtle Brownies by adding a layer of caramel and whole pecans to the top once baked and cooled.

3.  Chocolate Mint Brownies by adding a layer of Andes Mints to the hot brownies as soon as they come out of the oven.  Once melted, spread evenly and let cool.

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