Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Crazy good. So good that I just left the computer to eat the last one. I'm not even that nuts about chocolate! I found these brownies in Sunset magazine this month. Love love love Sunset. It's homemaking and beyond. And it shows me gardens I could actually have - were budget not an issue - because no matter how much I like hostas or cherry trees they aren't growing in my desert backyard. If you live in the Southwest and have an itch to travel soon, pick up this issue.

My sous-chef was available for this one. (I'm noticing a recurring theme with the kids turning up to help when treats are involved.) We used almost three individually-wrapped dark chocolate bars from Trader Joe's 100-calorie package. And the Scharffen Berger cocoa I've been saving for something special. Really, I can't think of a more decadent way to get your antioxidants. Take it from my boy: "Chocolate is good for your heart, Mom."

This couldn't be easier. We made the whole thing in a 4-cup glass measuring cup. I highly recommend eating one warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some sliced strawberries.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies
tweaked from Sunset, May 2010
Makes 8 large brownies.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup Nutella (to be scraped in by tablespoonfuls)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line or spray 8 muffin cups. Microwave butter in a heatproof bowl or measuring cup to melt. Add chocolate pieces, stirring until melted. Add sugar and cocoa and stir to blend. Whisk in eggs, vanilla and salt. Add flour and stir until smooth. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups. Drop tablespoon of Nutella into center of each brownie, pressing down slightly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into brownie (not Nutella) comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 20-28 minutes (28 in my oven). Let pan cool on a rack about 10 minutes before eating.

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