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  RECIPE TITLE "Bake-Sale Brownies" From The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

yields 16 brownies time--difficultyeasy

These are sturdy enough to pack in a lunch box or take to a picnic or bake sale. Be sure to use unsweetened chocolate. Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate cannot be substituted here. If desired, sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts over the batter just before baking the brownies.

  RECIPE INGREDIENTS

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

  RECIPE METHOD

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Following the photos, line an 8-inch square pan with foil, then coat lightly with vegetable oil spray. Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool slightly.
  2. Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 22 to 27 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, before removing the brownies from the pan using the foil and cutting them into squares.

Variations

Frosted Brownies: After the brownies have cooled for 1 hour, melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Cool the mixture until barely warm, about 5 minutes, then spread out over the brownies with a spatula. Continue to cool the brownies until the glaze sets, 1 to 2 hours.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Use either chunky or smooth peanut butter here, but avoid old-fashioned brands with the oil on top. Before baking the brownies, drop 1 cup room-temperature peanut butter in 10 small dollops over the batter. Without touching the foil lining, run a paring knife through the batter to create swirls. Continue to bake as directed.

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