Sweets for your sweet: Muddy Bay brownies

{ yum. }

Confession: I show affection via food. If I love you, I want to cook for you. For those of you who have the privilege of living in the same time zone as your valentine but might be short on time, consider whipping up a batch of Muddy Bay brownies. Fast, quick, delicious, and well-- loveable. Enjoy!

{ fact: like Coke, milk tastes better in a glass bottle }

{ original post from Rachel's Sparrow here }

MUDDY BAY BROWNIES

{recipe adapted from several sources--Honey and JamMatt Bites, and Smitten Kitchen. Check out these sites, they're some of my foodie favorites!}

Makes 16 brownies, 25 if you’re stingy

Time: 10 min. prep, 25 min. in the oven

Oven: 325 degrees

 

10 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick + 2 Tbsp)

¾ C. unsweetened cocoa powder (*people make a big stink over Dutch processed versus natural—I made this recipe twice, once with Dutch processed, and once with Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder, which uses both Dutch and natural, and they were both stupendous. Just don’t used sweetened cocoa powder. That’s for chocolate milk.)

1 ¼ C. sugar

¼ tsp. salt

½ tsp almond extract (*see note for variation)

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

2 cold large eggs

½ C. all purpose flour

 

Note: You can omit almond extract if that's not your thing (we can't be friends anymore, but I understand that everyone's allowed their own preferences.). If so, increase the vanilla to 1/2 a teaspoon, and if you'd like, you can add 2/3 C. pecan pieces at the very end before baking. That's how the original recipes I tried (here, here, and here) did it, and they were extremely delicious. I just happen to be partial to almond extract. You can also sprinkle 1/2 C. of crushed almonds over the top before baking if you're feeling fancy. 

 

Preheat the oven to 325.

 

In a large (4 C. or so) glass measuring cup, dump the butter, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Microwave on high for 1 minute, 30 seconds. Stir until smoothish. It will look gritty (like wet oreos, I tell you.) but don’t fret. It’ll smooth out later.

 

Set aside to cool for a few minutes (you want it warm, not hot. If you add eggs to hot batter, you get scrambled egg brownies, and no one wants that.). Once your mixture’s cooled down a bit, add the almond and vanilla extracts. Stir to combine. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon between each egg. Now the mixture should start to look smoother and shinier. Once everything’s mixed up, add the flour. Stir in until you can’t see any white, then beat vigorously with the spoon for 40 strokes (I will admit, I find this EXHAUSTING. Must go to the gym more so I can be in better shape to make brownies.).

 

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on two opposite ends. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out so it's even. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (or clean-ish… remember: it’s better to have underbaked brownies than overbaked. Gospel truth.).

 

Allow to cool in the pan, then pull out by the parchment paper by the ends and cut. Store in an airtight container, and bestow upon loved one.