Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Palm Beach Brownies

When I was about 23 years old; I went to Vero Beach, Florida to visit my Aunt and Uncle. My cousin met me out there and we had a wonderful time. It was a lot of firsts for me during that trip. I went on my first boat ride, ate my first sushi, tried crab legs for the first time; saw my cousin in a play for the first time, etc. Eating brownies that my aunt had made wasn’t necessarily a first, but these brownies were to die for. They’re appropriately called Palm Beach Brownies. They have a crunchy outer crust and a soft inner layer. They are really good. I loved them so much that she gave me the recipe and I’ve been making them ever since. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them, too!

Makes 16 huge or 24 or more extra- large brownies
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 lg eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons dry instant espresso or other powdered (not granular) instant coffee
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 2/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
8 ounces (2 generous cups) walnut halves (optional)
First, adjust your rack 1/3 from the bottom of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Next, take a 9x13 baking pan; turn it over and cover it with a piece of aluminum foil and press down the foil around sides of the pan using your hands. Remove the foil and turn the pan over then press the foil into the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Take a small saucepan and place over a large saucepan filled about ¼ of the way with water, then melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat. Stir occasionally to help melt the chocolate and butter. Once melted removed the chocolate mixture from the heat and set aside to let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, dry instant espresso or coffee, and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes. Turn the speed down to low and add in the chocolate mixture. Beat only till just mixed. Next, add in the flour and beat only till just mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the nuts, if using.
Pour the brownie mixture into your prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the pan to ensure even baking. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. If you insert a toothpick into the brownies it will come out wet even so it is done. Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool. Carefully, remove the brownie from the pan by lifting the foil. Cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours or leave it at room temperature over night. Use a serrated bread knife to cut into the brownies as they will be very sticky. Wrap brownies individually with foil or seal in an air tight container separating each layer with wax paper.

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