Monday, November 29, 2010
Triple Chocolate Brownies
Several years ago, on a warm fall day, I set out for a quick run along the irrigation canal ditch road. As I ran, a duck was swimming in the canal. He seemed to keep turning its head and looking over at me, as if to chart my speed and match it. I can be ridiculously competitive at times. I guess this was one of those days. I challenged the duck to a race. (What? You runners out there don’t talk to ducks while running?!?) I quickened my pace and laughed to myself at this duck that began to swim faster. Again, I turned up my intensity- the duck followed suit. I was running at a great pace as we neared the first cross road. Without even as much as a nod, the duck took off flying. Cheater!!! (Don’t worry- This I said in my head). So the duck won. Throughout the rest of my “race” he was a hundred feet or so in front of me, and would often take flight. Did the duck really cheat? No. He was simply using its resources. That’s how I feel about brownies. Use your resources-
Many would agree that brownies are my signature dish. For years, I’ve thought it funny that everyone from the attendees at a church potluck to the local high school football team raves at how good “my” brownies are. I’m never hesitant to share my recipe- because it belongs to Betty (Crocker). I am finishing up my last few mixes of her Original Supreme- (the old box). I've tried the new recipe of "Original Supreme" and to be honest, it seems overpriced for what you get. She cut the number of ounces in the mix, and made a few other changes. I'll experiment with what else is out there. Chances are, you may already have a favorite mix, or prefer your current scratch recipe. Nevertheless, I use a mix.
I believe the key is thickness. I prefer 44oz. of mix in an air bake jelly roll (15.5x10) or 56 oz. in a standard (12x17) baking sheet. I make and bake the brownies as the package indicates. I continue to use available resources by spreading the cooled brownie with canned chocolate frosting.
Perhaps what makes them my signature dish is the way I top them from here. Today, we’ll start off simple-
Triple Chocolate Brownie:
2-3 brownie mixes, made as directed, in a large baking sheet.
Frost with 1 – 1 ½ cans of chocolate frosting.
Immediately sprinkle with mini chocolate chips while the frosting is still wet, so they stick.
Melt 2 Hershey milk chocolate bars (1.55 oz. size) in a freezer strength quart size Ziploc. Snip a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag. Drizzle the contents onto the brownie sheet.
[I once helped a local high school football player make a pan of these in a quest to ask a girl to a dance. I explained to him to “drizzle” by making happy circles all over the brownies in varying sizes.]
Let cool completely. I find the brownies easiest to cut and serve if they are chilled. I use a thin paring knife to cut them. I’ve also heard a plastic knife works well, avoiding the “drag” that rips one brownie into the next, giving them uneven, unattractive edges.
Rumor has it, someone whom I’ve already shared my resources- uh I mean “recipe”- with is selling this product. Don’t I deserve royalties? -Or do we owe them all to Betty?