This weekend was my mother-in-law’s birthday. We celebrated with a family dinner consisting of her favorites – grilled ribeye, baked potato, roasted asparagus and a simple salad. When I asked about dessert, she mentioned a warm chocolate brownie with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Even though I have worked in a bakery here in Colorado, I didn’t make very many brownies and had yet to find a go-to recipe for them. Trying new baking recipes in high-altitude is frustrating, since you never know how it will turn out until you’ve invested ingredients, money and precious time. But when brownies were requested this weekend, I knew where to go. I was excited to try out my latest cookbook purchase – Susan G. Purdy’s Pie in the Sky, an amazing resource for high altitude bakers that did all of the recipe testing work for me.
Since this was my first time using this recipe, I stuck close to the original recipe. While Purdy calls for a 1/2 cup of walnuts or white chocolate chips, I actually used both – 1/4 cup of each. I’m not a fan of large nut chunks in my brownies, so I chopped the walnuts fine. The result was a subtle crunch throughout the brownie that was perfect.
The brownies had a nice cake-like texture, and when served warm, the melted chocolate chips gave them a fudge quality. I will bake these again for sure, and am already thinking of different flavor variations to try.
Note: This is a high-altitude recipe that works at 5,000 ft. If you are at sea level, you will bake in a 325°F oven. Reduce the flour to 1/2 cup, increase the sugar to 1 cup, reduce the salt to 1/8 tsp, and reduce the butter to 6 Tbsp).
Yields: 16 – 2″ squares
1/2 cup Dutch Process Cocoa (I used Hershey’s Extra Dark that I had on hand)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 cup minus 1Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
8 Tbsp (1 stick) Butter, melted and cooled
1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts or White Chocolate Chips
Preheat the oven to 375°F and position your rack in the center. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with butter or non-stick spray. Better yet, line your baking pan with parchment paper and coat it with spray.
Whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and butter. Make sure the melted butter is cool enough that it won’t cook the eggs when mixed.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and the nuts or white chocolate chips and blend until everything is incorporated.
Add the mixture to your prepared baking pan and bake for 20-27 minutes until your cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. The top of the brownies should look dry and the sides will start to pull away from the pan.
Cool on a wire rack. When cool, simply pull out the parchment paper and cut into squares.
Adapted from: Independence Pass Brownies, Pie in the Sky, Susan G. Purdy