Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recipe: ATK Classic Brownies

This recipe from America's Test Kitchen (ATK) is based on the March 2004 recipe for "Classic Brownies" from Cook's Illustrated. It is listed as one of the top ten recipes on the Cook's Illustrated web site. Prepared on May 19, 2013. Makes 24 two-inch square brownies.


1 cup walnuts (optional)
5 ounces (1¼ cups) cake flour
½ teaspoon table salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2¼ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. With a rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 325°.
  2. Prepare a 13"x9" baking pan, lining it with aluminum foil. Place two sheets of foil in the pan at right angles to each other extending several inches beyond the edges of the pan. This "sling" will help remove the brownies.
  3. Chop the walnuts, medium, and roast them on a baking sheet until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Break up the chocolate and the butter and carefully melt them together in the microwave oven (do not burn the chocolate) until completely smooth.
  6. Whisk in the sugar.
  7. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  8. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  9. Fold in the flour mixture in three equal portions, mixing until the batter is smooth and homogeneous.
  10. Spray the foil-lined baking pan with vegetable spray and pour in the batter.
  11. Smooth the batter with a spatula and distribute the walnuts evenly over the surface.
  12. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 30-35 minutes.
  13. Cool the brownies on a rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  14. Using the aluminum foil, remove the brownies from the pan and cut them into 2" squares. (A pizza wheel does this very nicely.)
Line a 13"x9" baking pan with aluminum foil.
Toast chopped nuts at 325° until fragrant.
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Carefully melt together the chocolate and butter in the microwave oven.
Whisk in the sugar.

Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour mixture in three equal portions.

Spray the baking pan with vegetable oil, spread the batter with a spatula, and sprinkle on the nuts.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

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