These brownies do not have a lot of major selling points beyond their inherent deliciousness. They also make your house smell nice when they are baking (and are best eaten about 20 minutes after being taken out of the oven, when they are warm and slightly soft in the center). They do not contain surprising ingredients, fancy chocolate, or anything remotely special. They are brownies of the usual eggs-butter-chocolate-flour variety.
Sometimes you want a dessert with saffron foam or flaming pineapple or toast-flavored ice cream, and sometimes you just want a really good brownie. A brownie may not be as exciting, but I usually fall in the later camp.
Adapted from Ina Garten's outrageous brownie recipe. I cut the recipe in half and made many tweaks--apologies, Ina!
(Makes 20 large brownies)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I used 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder)
3 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (I used rum)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup diced walnut pieces
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter and chocolate chips on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and walnuts. Add to cooled chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! (Don't yell at me, Ina!) Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares. Top with powdered sugar.