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Fudgy Brownies with a Crunchy Shell

So I was experimenting with another recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.  It ended up tasty enough that I was asked for the recipe. These brownies ended up fudgy in the middle with a kind of crunchy shell on top. I ended up with this:

Stacey's Fudgy Brownie with Crunchy Shell Ingredients
4 oz semi-sweet 62% Scharffen Berger chocolate
2 oz unsweetened 99% Scharffen Berger chocolate
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted organic butter
1/3c unsweetened cocoa powder, organic (Dagoba)
1 1/2c granulated sugar, organic
3 eggs, organic
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1c flour, organic
3/4c milk chocolate chips (Guittard)

9x9" baking pan

Adjust oven rack to higher middle position and preheat to 350F.  Line a 9x9" baking pan with foil and grease it - leave enough foil on the edges so that you can use it to lift the brownies out later.  I used olive oil, but you can use butter or any other type of oil you like.

Put the chocolate (not the chips), butter, cocoa powder and butter into a glass mixing bowl (I like the Pyrex mixing bowls) and microwave at 30 second intervals for 1-3 minutes, stirring in between until all the chocolate is melted.  You don't want the chocolate to get too hot because you need to add the eggs later and you don't want them to cook accidentally.  I tried not to let it get above 110F.

Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt to the chocolate mixture and stir it all in.  Fold in the flour and then the milk chocolate chips.  I was using bread flour because I wanted to see what would happen, but if you do this, don't overmix because you'll create too much gluten.  Mix until just combined and there are no more flour lumps.

Spread the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating once at the halfway point.  The original recipe says if a toothpick is inserted it should come out with a few crumbs, but this recipe has such a crunchy shell, I'm not sure if this would end up happening.

Using the extra foil at the edges once it's cool enough to handle, pull up the brownies out of the pan and allow them to further cool on a rack.

I cut into them while they were still warm.




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