Pandemic Brownies

I got grief about making brownies from a box from a relative who will go unnamed, but after we had a dessert taste off and the box brownies wasted the competition…

In the zombie apocalypse, just add brownie mix to the list of things not easily found on your grocers’ shelves. So, I made a batch with what I had in the kitchen and some help from Martha Stewart:

Pandemic Brownies

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing baking pan
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (1 1/3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides; butter parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt chocolate, butter and coconut oil. Remove from heat. Add both sugars and whisk 10 seconds. Add eggs and whisk vigorously until glossy and smooth, 45 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, stir in dry ingredients. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan, smoothing top with spatula.

Bake until set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes, then remove using parchment; let cool completely on rack before cutting into squares. Serve and enjoy!

My Verdict:

These were really good! I tossed some extra chocolate chips on top for decoration. It’s not quite the 5 minute project that opening a box is, but it’s a pretty straight-forward recipe. Like most things chocolate, the quality of the chocolate is directly reflected in the quality of the brownies. I’ve made two batches, one with some Valhrona that I bashed with my cleaver, and the second with some good chocolate chips. Much easier using the chocolate chips, but the Valhrona was almost worth the effort. When I run out, I may try to hunt down some Valhrona disks.

If I get brave, I may try subbing some sugar in the raw for the white sugar, just to see if it gives the brownies a bit of a boost.

I’ve got a silicone brownie pan and the first time I made these, used the parchment. The second time I just buttered the pan (no parchment). Both times they came right out, so I’ll skip the parchment going forward. Not sure what would happen with a traditional metal pan, but if you try it, let me know.

Update: I’ve made these a bunch of times now. Don’t bother with the parchment, use good quality chocolate chips, and in my oven, 35 minutes is perfect. Someone commented that there wasn’t any vanilla in the recipe, so I’ve played with adding a scant teaspoon of it. Don’t know that it really makes a difference, but it hasn’t messed it up either. A few extra chocolate chips sprinkled on top is always a good idea and a swirl of Cara-Sel, caramel sauce is always good in my book.

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4 thoughts on “Pandemic Brownies”

  1. hmmm…no never thought about it, but I’m a purist about chocolate. Hate additions like coffee or chipotle, but vanilla might be okay. If you try it, let me know what you think.

  2. I kept this recipe for Pandemic Brownies when I first saw it. Thought I’d finally get around to making them and realized there is no vanilla in the recipe. Did you notice a difference without the vanilla?

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