Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Magical Layered Brownies

So I am a huuuuge chocolate fan, and this dessert I made last weekend (for the first time) has risen to the top of my favorite dessert list! The bottom layer would be good on its own- it's a dense, fudgy brownie. The top glaze is good, too- but it's the middle layer that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

I have never made anything with "browned butter", but that's the star ingredient of the white layer. Butter takes on a new taste when browned- it's richer, and kind of caramel-like. After mixing up this layer, I could not stop licking the spatula... All 3 layers combined are just divine! When I took my first bite, I said "Wow... WOW!" It took a minute to get the taste of the browned butter layer, but when I did... let's just say you will need to try these to find out. :)

That said, these brownies are fabulous, but they do take a bit of time to make. They're not hard, you just have to make sure you have enough time to do the various layers & let them cool. Since you cut them into small pieces, it makes a lot. Make sure you have people to share them with! ENJOY!

Recipe source: here

Magical Layered Brownies
Printable version here

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Browned Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used the remaining 2 ounces from my box of unsweetened chocolate, plus 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips)

1. Preheat the oven to 300ยบ. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch aluminum pan with nonstick cooking spray and cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment paper. Set the pan aside.

2. For the brownies, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and salt. Mix with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in color and is very thick. Fold in the warm (not hot!) chocolate/butter mixture. Stir in the flour and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing evenly.

3. Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes until the sides pull away from the pan just slightly (I did 27 minutes). Remove the brownies from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours).

4. For the browned butter frosting, place the stick of butter in a small saucepan and set it over low heat. It is best to not use a non-stick or dark coated pan in this step because it will be difficult to tell when the butter has turned brown. Let the butter melt over low heat and turn a caramel brown color, about 15 minutes. (In my cast iron pan, which is really thick, this took about 25-30 minutes.) Watch carefully so the butter doesn’t burn. Once it has turned a nice medium-brown color, remove it from the heat. (There will be browned specks of butter in the bottom of the pan.) Pour the butter into a medium bowl. Immediately add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer until the frosting is smooth and thick.

5. Spread the frosting over the cooled brownies. Let sit for at least 15 minutes until adding glaze.

6. For the glaze, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave or on the stovetop (in a pot or double boiler) until it is smooth. Pour the warm glaze over the frosted brownies. Tip the pan from side to side to even out the glaze over the frosting (or carefully spread with a knife or offset spatula). For best results, let sit for 1-2 hours or until glaze is set, then cut into small squares.

7. Chill the brownies until the glaze is set and the brownies are chilled through, about 1-2 hours. The brownies taste best cold. Store in an airtight container, or covered with plastic wrap.

Why I love them? I think I pretty much covered that above. :) They taste fantastic, and are unlike any other brownie (or dessert) I've ever eaten!

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