until one brave woman and several of her co-workers decided to fight back with the "healthy snack club." the purpose of this club was split amongst its members the duty of spending no more than $20 in a given week to bring in fresh, healthy snackables. apples, cheese, wheat things, granola, whatever, so long as it was relatively inexpensive and more healthy than the pile of ghiradelli truffles we got a few months ago, and didn't smell like the chicken fingers from the cafeteria.
and then i stepped up to the plate. i refused to join the healthy snack club, even though i'm as dedicated a snacker as they come. no, i had to take a stand! fight the power!
so for almost two years now i've been counterbalancing the healthy snack club with the leftovers from my baking binges. usually this means cookies, but on occasion it has included cakes and cupcakes and goodness knows what else. in this most recent instance, it was brownies.
i knew last weekend that i wanted to go home on friday and relax. and even though i had a last-minute late dinner reservation to enjoy, i still determined to use a sliver of my friday to relax, bake, and fortify myself for the crazy weekend that was coming my way. i'm not really sure how the bee got into my bonnet to make brownies, exactly, except that it was in honor of a friend who always brings her fresh brownies and cookies to our office and whom i was going to meet for dinner. (naturally, the brownies weren't ready, cooled or set before i had to leave for kinkead's, but somehow i didn't let that stop me from baking away.) maybe it was the excellent new york times article from last week, all about brownies (for the record, i prefer mine on the cakey side, so none of those particular recipes especially appealed to me). at any rate, i came home on friday and spent a rapturous hour with dorie, using up all of the chocolate i could find in order to have a batch of her quintuple chocolate brownies.
and oh. my. goodness. what a result! i take it back about the cakey brownies, i swear! these were decadent and fudgy with a hint of cake and a slight taste of all five kinds of chocolate. i'll say it again--five kinds of chocolate. office reaction at first, i admit, was skepticism (probably because it was before breakfast) but as the day wore on i realized that if i were to taste my own creation i'd have to do a little hoarding of my own, because they were gone long before i packed up and headed out at 6pm.
quintuple chocolate brownies
(dorie greenspan, as published on NPR.com, from baking: from my home to yours)
Makes 16 brownies
For the Brownies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
For the Glaze
6 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped, or 1 cup store-bought white chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.
Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt.
TO MAKE THE BROWNIES: Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted — you don't want the ingredients to get so hot they separate, so keep an eye on the bowl. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes.
Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don't beat too vigorously — you don't want to add air to the batter — and don't be concerned about any graininess. Next, stir in the eggs one at time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. If you're not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chips and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you'd like.)
Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the foil and place it under another rack — it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.
TO MAKE THE GLAZE: Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth.
Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand and the bowl of glaze in the other. Pour the glaze onto the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Don't worry if it dribbles over the edges, you can trim the sides later (or not). Refrigerate the brownies for about 20 minutes to dry the glaze.
Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.
SERVING: Serve straight up — whipped cream or ice cream is unnecessary with these. Well, a little ice cream is nice — why not?
STORING: The brownies can be put back in their baking pan, wrapped (without touching the glaze) and kept at room temperature for about 3 days or frozen — glaze and all — for up to 2 months.i'm thrilled to report that this will also serve as my entry to the first ever browniebabe of the month blog event! hurrah for brownies! and babes, i suppose, who like to cook brownies (like me!!), because really, what's hotter than a girl with chocolate?! that's right...nothing, and you know it.