Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Tale of Two Brownies


So I came back to the adolescent psych floor after lunch and was told to start loading snacks into a paper bag because "this is a closed unit". Uh, what? Apparently, the whole wing was moving across the hall so that they could do repairs. Surprise! And the patients seemed even more surprised. We got to go with one patient at a time to help them gather their stuff, load it into grocery bags, stack it onto office chairs and wheel it through no less than 4 security doors requiring some combination of keys and swipings of magnetic-strips on id cards to open. There should have been circus music playing except that it was not amusing and all the kids were complaining about how prison-like their new home looked. And in the process of moving it was discovered that my patient had been vomiting into the pages of her books and "cheeking" and hiding her meds. This is a gal with a standing heart rate of 160 bpm (beats per minute) which is only not scary if you're measuring the heart rate in a hummingbird. I sat with her for more than an hour while she tried to drink two cans of formula earlier that day. She cried the whole time.

And everyone says that psych is the easiest of our clinical rotations.

OK.

What we need here is TWO brownie recipes! I love a good cake-y brownie and you like the dense and fudge-y ones, right? Here's one of each. The first one is the fudge-y one. I stole it from Gourmet magazine.

Peanut Butter Brownies of the Gods

for brownies:

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 3/4 cups of sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter (add a little salt to recipe if the peanut butter is unsalted)
2 large eggs plus one large yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 oz)

for ganache:

1 1/2 cups (9 oz) semisweet choc chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 TBsp butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 13 X 9 X 2 inch pan and line bottom with parchment paper(my new bumper sticker says: I [heart] parchment paper). Butter parchment.

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in the eggs and yolk plus vanilla. With mixer on low add flour.

Mix in chocolate chips. Spread in baking pan and smooth top.

Bake until golden and puffed and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Ganache:

Put chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Bring cream to a boil then pour over chocolate chips and let stand for one minute. Whisk in butter until incorporated and chocolate is smooth. Spread on completely cooled brownies and let stand fpr 15 minutes or so before slicing. Makes 32 bars unless you're me and you make 'em really big which was a mistake becaus ethey are rich and should be treated like fudge and eaten in small quantities. They are pictured above.


The Cakey brownies now. My favorite and a family recipe. These are so wonderful!

My Grandma Mary Ellen's Brownies:

1/2 cup softened butter
cup sugar
2 eggs

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate; melted (I really recommend Scharffen Berger and I've used semi/bittersweet w/ no problem)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

optional: small handful of choc. chips and/or nuts (let's say a 1/4 cup of cc's or nuts or combo - too many and the brownies fall apart)

preheat oven to 350
grease and flour a 9X9 pan
whisk dry ingredients
cream butter and sugar
add eggs one at a time until combined
add vanilla
add melted chocolate and combine
mix in dry ingredients until just combined
smooth into pan
bake for 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
Cool completely in pan before serving

5 comments:

Katherine said...

Yum! I just baked cookies and I think I inhaled them as fast as they came out of the oven :)

katherine said...

Hey have you seen this cool crafty blog? posey gets cozy:

http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/posie_gets_cozy/

Kitt said...

Those poor kids. It's got to be all you can do not to say, "Just eat something, for pete's sake. It's not going to kill you!"

Those brownies, though? Look like they could be fatal. Especially the fudgy ones.

Molly said...

Cute blog!

And, yes,it is hard not to say "snap out of it, already."

Anonymous said...

Great looking recipes, how much sugar in the chocolate ones though?

Thanks.