"Ad Hoc" Brownies

by Susan Salzman
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brownies.adhocLevi has been begging for brownies. I had to honor his wish. Upon walking up to my large bookcase that holds my vast collection of cook books, it was Ad Hoc at Home that jumped out at me. I turned to the back of the book and I instantly opened the page to the brownies.  I had no choice. Along with laundry, preparing my meals for the week, brownies had become part of my Sunday morning routine.

Brownies are effortless. One bowl, few ingredients, a pan of some sort, and a short baking time. Unlike cookies, where every seven minutes you have to rotate the sheets, scoop and drop your batter, brownies are the equivalent to a one pot dish.

I have made a lot of brownies in my day, but these are not only super moist, but light and fudgy all at the same time.  So, I say thank you to Levi for making me cook from this book that I don’t nearly use enough and for sharing your smile when you walked into the kitchen that morning, bed hair and all!

Thomas Keller’s Brownies
Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home
Yield: I got 30 1″ x 3″ pieces

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large, organic eggs
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9″ metal baking pan. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. Melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Put the other half of the butter in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over the unmelted butter. Let melt. Whisk together, the consistancy should be slightly creamy with a few chunks of the unmelted butter. Set aside to cool to room temperature

In the work bowl of your electric mixer, cream the eggs and the sugar, until thick and pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and the butter alternatively in three batches. Remove bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, add your chocolate chunks. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Cool to room temperature. Remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. I like to put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up. Makes cutting much easier. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!


Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends.    

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