As I've pointed out before, this book contains seemingly endless variations on one theme, whether that theme is cookies, bars, sheet cakes, tea cakes, or layer cakes. Of course that means there are quite a few brownies recipes. There are brownies with chocolate chunks, with nuts, with cream cheese. They rest of beds of cookie crusts or are topped with fudge and frosting. Almost every section of this book has multiple brownie or similar bar cookie recipe.
I decided to just check out the simplest brownie recipe in the book. It's called Supremely Fudgy Brownies. Part of my decision was simple economy. I already had all of the chocolate I would need right there in the house. It happened to be Scharffenberger chocolate, so I knew I couldn't go wrong. The other reason for my choice was pan size. Many of the brownies and bars in the book require 10" pans, which I don't have. This recipe was for a 9" one. Would these brownies be any better than any other brownie recipe I have made in the past?
The name doesn't lie. These were very fudgy. I could taste the two sticks of butter in the recipe. I didn't find them extraordinary though. They were brownies and quite good and quite rich. I've had ones that are just as good.
I did one stupid thing though. I forgot to put vanilla in them. I had the bottle right there on the counter while I was mixing everything up, but never actually opened it and poured out a spoonful. I wonder if that would have pushed the brownies into extraordinary territory. As Ina Garten always points out, chocolate on its own can be a little flat. A backup flavor can help give it more dimension.
If you're interested in seeing if you think these brownies will be the best in the world if you just remember the vanilla, please email me for the recipe.