So maybe you’re not wild about cakey brownies. If my recipe didn’t change your mind—as it did mine—then check these out. We used to make a version of these when we ran Blue Collar Food, a Soho-based catering company. People loved them and our normally super-focused prep guys would battle over the edges we trimmed off. I’m still partial to the edges myself. When we wanted to wangle our way into a new corporate account or just keep a regular customer happy, we’d send around a tray of these. Worked every time (just about).
Makes 24 2 x 2-inch squares
14 ounces good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
1. Melt the chocolate, sugar and butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth, about 10 minutes. Make sure the water stays at a bare simmer; if it gets too hot the chocolate will separate. Let cool to room temperature. Whisking it every once in a while helps to cool it faster.
2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
4. Beat the eggs, coffee and vanilla in a separate bowl until foamy. Beat this mixture into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in the flour just until not streaks of white remain. Fold in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth into an even layer.
5. Bake until the edges are crisp and begin to pull away from the pan and the top is set, about 30 minutes. (The center of the brownies will still be slightly soft to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted int eh center will not come out clean.) Let cool completely. Cut the brownies into 2-inch squares. This is easier if the brownies are chilled in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes first. The brownies may be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving. The brownies may also be frozen, well wrapped in aluminum foil.