My Material Life

Greenwich Village Brownies

If you’re looking for toilet paper roll knitting nancy ideas, do stay tuned.  I promise that I have some new, fun projects to share very soon.  In the meantime, I’ve been baking.  This time, brownies for a special Brownie (of the Girl Scout variety) ceremony last night.  As much as I love Maida Heatter, I usually make the Goddess of Chocolate’s (Alice Medrich’s) cocoa brownie recipe.  But I needed a recipe with a large yield for last night’s event and that’s what made me remember this excellent recipe from none other than the Goddess of Baking, Maida Heatter herself.

This is another recipe from her book, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies. Maida tells us that these are a specialty of a New York City pastry shop (probably long-since closed) and that they are almost like chocolate caramels.  She’s right. The recipe calls for brown sugar and corn syrup in addition to granulated sugar. You might think they’d be sickeningly sweet after reading that – they’re not.  But the brown sugar and corn syrup do something to the flavor and texture that I can only describe as really nice.  Maybe even better the second day.  I got 43 brownies from this recipe.  Oh, and they cut very neatly.  Here’s the recipe as it appears in the book (mostly), excepting the pecans called for in the original recipe.

Greenwich Village Brownies (without nuts)

2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 pound butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup light corn syrup
6 eggs

Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Grease a 15-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ jelly roll pan.  Line it with a large piece of wax paper, butter the paper, and dust it lightly all over with flour.  Invert the pan to shake out excess flour.

Measure the flour before sifting, then sift it together with the salt and set aside. Melt the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over hot water on moderate heat.  Stir until smooth, remove the top of the double boiler, and set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter.  Add the vanilla and the granulated and brown sugars.  Beat to mix well.  Add the corn syrup and beat until smooth.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.  Beat in the melted chocolate.  On low speed, gradually add the flour, scraping the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula and beating until smoothly mixed.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and spread to make a smooth layer.  (The pan will be filled to the top.)  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean but not dry.  Cool in the pan for 30 minutes.  Then cover with a large rack or cookie sheet and invert.  Remove the pan and the wax paper.  Cover with a large rack and invert again, leaving the cake right side up to cool completely.

Maida goes on to say that it is easier to cut these brownies if they stand at room temperature overnight (covered with foil or plastic wrap) or if they are chilled first.  She suggests you cut off any burnt edges before you cut the brownies into bars. Those edges are really yummy!  She says it’s easier to cut the burnt edges off when the cake is upside down.  One thing to note is that these brownies don’t have a glossy top like many brownies do.  I compensated for this with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Now here’s what I made after last night’s ceremony.  Coming soon to a blog near you . . . The Super-Sized Toilet Paper Roll Knitting Nancy!

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