Large Batch Chocolate Nut Brownies

Sunday February 14, 2016

photo courtesy of baking with dorie

Brownies are a perennial favorite and being able to whip up a large batch for parties is a boon to the baker or caterer.  I use the dark brown sugar; it adds a really rich flavor.  You can mix these in a large heavy duty stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand with a Danish dough whisk (order from King Arthur catalog). You can make these ahead, cool and cut into squares, then freeze in layers separated by parchment in large plastic containers, or wrap each brownie individually in cellophane or waxed paper (not plastic wrap; it’ll stick).  They are then ready to be portioned out for parties all through the school season or as the base for a brownie sundae with a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream on top with chocolate sauce and whipped cream at your next birthday party.

Makes two 9-by-13-inch baking pans, 48 brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pans
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons espresso powder (such as Medaglia d’Oro)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated cane sugar
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pound coarsely chopped pecan, walnut, or macadamia nut pieces, about 4 cups

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350º (reduce the heat 25º if using a dark finish pan or Pyrex).  Line each of two 9-by-13-inch baking pans with a 20-inch long piece of aluminum foil so that the ends hang over as handles; grease the bottom and sides.

Place the chocolates and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat and melt, stirring often with a whisk.   Stir in the instant coffee and cool 5 minutes.

Combine the eggs and sugars in the work bowl of a large electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat 5 minutes on medium speed, until creamy.  On the lowest speed, add the chocolate mixture, corn syrup, extracts, and salt to the egg mixture, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only to blend.

Attach the pour shield.  On the lowest speed, add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Fold in the nuts, beating as little as possible.

Divide the batter between the two pans and even the tops.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the center of the oven.  They will look slightly moist and a cake tester will come out with crumbs on it.  Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.

Loosen the edges with a small knife and lift up to remove the brownie from the pan.  Cut each pan into 24 bars (cutting 4 across and 6 down).

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site. This recipe came from my co author Julie Kaufmann, from her many years of baking forays while the kids were in grammar school.


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