Big Bad Brownies

February 26, 2010

With all the stress in the world, is it any wonder that we want to hunker down and crave something comforting?

For me, chocolate in any form always tells me all will be right with the world. So the latest round of unemployment figures, three more weeks of lousy weather, tax season and the thought of an impending root canal led me straight to the kitchen where I stirred up my mom’s brownie recipe.

Fudgy and dense, these can just take you away, even for a few minutes. My Italian friends love these because there is nothing like them in Italy so whenever I visit, I make a batch for them to enjoy. You will too!

Big Bad One Bowl Brownies

Makes one 8 inch square pan of delicious thick brownies

Line 8 x8 x 2-inch pan with a sheet of aluminum foil with a 1-inch overhang

Lightly butter or spray the aluminum foil.

Preheat the oven to350F

4 one ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
20 caramels diced (to make 1 cup. This is the bad part!)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Fill a medium size sauce pan 1/3 full of water and place it over the heat. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Place a 1 ½ quart size glass bowl over the top of the pan and add the chocolate to the bowl. Do not let any drops of water get on the chocolate or it will clump up. Allow the chocolate to melt. Add the butter and allow it to melt into the chocolate. Stir to combine well.

Remove the bowl from the top of the pan and whisk in the sugars until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla; whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt until the mixture is smooth and thick. Fold in the caramels and nuts with a spatula.

Spread and pat the mixture evenly in the pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch; do not over-bake. The texture should be chewy.

Cut into squares.

Note: for thinner brownies use a 9 x 12 inch baking pan

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