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Who doesn’t love brownies?  Ooey, gooey, chocolatey.  Mmmmmmmm!!  I love brownies, but believe it or not I’ve always struggled with making them.  Even the boxed mixes I’d manage to screw up!!!  They would end up burnt on the edges, uncooked in the middle.  You get the picture.  I happened to see an episode of Barefoot Contessa on Food Network and Ina Garten was making these brownies.  Of course I had to give them a try!!

So, I will admit – I had a major disaster the first time I made these.  As the batter baked, it baked over the edge of my pan and all over the bottom of my oven.  Unfortunately, the batter burnt to a crisp on the bottom of the oven causing a ton of smoke and leaving my brownies smelling and tasting of smoke.  Yuck.  So, I knew I needed to make some modifications to the batter to make sure it didn’t overflow.  I cut down the amount of baking powder and that seemed to do the trick.

Also, the original recipe called for 3 Tbsp. of instant coffee granules and I felt it gave the brownies too strong a coffee taste.  It overpowered the chocolate for me.  I cut down the coffee granules and I think the final result is sheer perfection!  Coffee complements chocolate well, but you don’t want it to overpower the flavor either.  A little bit goes a long way!

Lastly, you may notice that there are no walnuts in my picture.  I’m not a huge fan of nuts in my brownies, but feel free to add whatever you’d like!

Outrageous Brownies

1 lb. unsalted butter (4 sticks)
1 lb. (16 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus an additional 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 extra large eggs
1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2)  Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1 inch baking sheet.
3)  Melt together the butter, 1 lb. of chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water (double boiler).  Set aside, allow to cool slightly.
4)  In a large bowl, combine eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and granulated sugar.  Stir to combine well (do not beat eggs).
5)  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (and walnuts if desired) to the flour mixture.  Lightly toss to coat the chips.  (This prevents the chips from falling to the bottom of the batter.)
6)  Slowly add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture, whisking the mixture constantly to temper the eggs.  Combine well.  Add the flour mixture and mix well.
7)  Pour into prepared baking sheet.
8)  Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shef to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough.  Bake another 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Do not overbake!!
9)  Allow to cool thoroughly and cut into squares.

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa/Ina Garten

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