It’s President’s Day weekend here in CT. and everyone is out and about, after a week of being trapped at home by 12 inches of snow. It’s a good day to make some cocoa brownies, in case my own family members venture out to visit. Because they taste dark, fudgy, rich and divinely chocolatey, no one can believe they are made with cocoa rather than baking chocolate. Not only can cocoa compete with baking chocolate for richness and taste, but cocoa has a lower fat content.Not that I am actually thinking about low fat when I want to make brownies. I know people who use black beans and other hideous ingredients to try and imitate the unctuous quality of rich chocolate. Heaven help me if I ever decide to make a black bean brownie!
I love my cocoa brownies so much that I have to put them in the freezer to save myself from temptation, so I know you will love them too. You will also love the fact that they are far less expensive to make than normal brownies. They call for two sticks of butter, four eggs, and four squares of expensive baking chocolate. Cocoa brownies only use 10 tablespoons of butter, 2 eggs and 3/4 cup of cocoa, yet are just as moist, dark and chocolatey as baking-chocolate brownies.To ensure they are rich and moist, cocoa brownies do require certain techniques when mixing the ingredients, so be sure to follow the steps given.
10 Tbsp butter, cut into tbsp size slices
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsps cocoa (I like Hershey’s Cocoa, 100% Cacao)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup broken walnuts (optional)
Directions: Preheat your oven to 325 ° and grease and flour an 8″ square pan.
Take it off the heat. Quickly stir in one at a time, the two eggs, so that the eggs have no time to cook in the mixture. Add the vanilla. With a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir the mixture forty strokes or until it becomes shiny and smooth.
Then carefully stir in the flour making sure all the flour is mixed in from the bottom and from the sides. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides so that the flour is totally incorporated.
A toothpick inserted in the center of the pan should have some fudgy crumbs, but all around the sides, the toothpick should come out clean. It might take longer than 30 minutes, so test every two minutes after 30 minutes, if they are still not done. When they are finished baking, place the pan on a cooling rack.
After they are cool I usually cut them into bars and freeze them until I want to serve them. I have been known to test them occasionally right from the freezer, so I know they are delicious even frozen.