SSC Brownies

I am hard pressed to remember if I have ever eaten a bowl of Rice Krispies in my life.  (I don’t believe I have.)  Yet I always seem to have a box of them in my kitchen cabinet.  Usually, I have purchased the cereal for one recipe or another (no, not for Rice Krispie bars—ugh.  I am not a marshmallow fan).  Then the box languishes because no one else in the family seems to like them for breakfast either.

There are several cookie recipes in my collection that call for the addition of said cereal to add a nice little crunch, but I had never seen a brownie recipe calling for that addition.  I was intrigued when I spotted the recipe for SSC Brownies in a recent epicurious e-mail; and, given that I had a box of Rice Krispies staring at me every time I opened my kitchen cabinet, I decided to give them a whirl.  The “SSC” stands for “Susie’s Supper Club,” which is a prepared-food delivery service founded by one-time caterer and private chef, Susie Cover.  She has written a book (“The Supper Club:  Kid-Friendly Meals the Whole Family Will Love”) with the approach of making adult recipes appealing to kids although—in the case of this recipe—it appears she is making a kid’s recipe appealing to adults.

When I set out to make the brownies, I immediately had an issue with the size pan specified, a 9×12”.  Really?  Roger keeps telling me he needs to build a shed just for my baking pans, yet I don’t have a 9×12” pan.  Since the brownies in the article photo looked on the thin side to me, I didn’t want to use the slightly larger standard 9×13” pan.  Instead I opted to use a 9×9” and adjust the baking time for the thicker brownie.  When I checked them at 35 minutes, they still needed another 5 minutes.  At that point, I should have covered the top with foil because at 40 minutes the center was done but the top and sides were overdone.  Sigh.

I cut away the overdone sides and top and found that the brownies were still quite decadent—to the point where I wanted to make them again—and soon.  The next morning, I brought the brownies in to work for a consultation.  After brainstorming with my fellow foodies, we were all pretty much in agreement that Rice Krispies in brownies will never replace walnuts.  I don’t think they added anything; and, in fact, they stuck to everyone’s teeth!  Since we all liked the thickness of the brownies, I decided to bake them in the 9×9 pan again but to lower the temperature to 350° F rather than 375° F.  Last night, I made them for the second time with these changes and—success!  Roger and I thought they were orgasmically fudgy to the point that I will be “hiding” the brownies we haven’t finished off in the freezer until the weekend when I expect a kid or two to show up.  Then I will foist the brownies on them.  I will, of course, in the interest of scientific research have to try one to see how well they taste after freezing!

SSC Brownies

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Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray or unsalted butter for greasing
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 oz.  bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbl. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4  flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or semisweet)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Lightly spray or grease a 9×9” baking pan with cooking spray or butter.

Combine the butter, the 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, and the bittersweet chocolate in a metal bowl or the top pan of a double boiler and place over (not touching) simmering water.  (I microwaved according to directions on back of chocolate bag.) Heat, stirring, until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat and let cool until still warm but not too hot to touch, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and stir until well blended.  Pour the egg mixture slowly into the warm chocolate mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.  Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, the remaining 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, and the chopped walnuts (if using).  Add to the cooled chocolate mixture and stir just until combined.  Be careful not to overmix.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35–40 minutes.  Be careful not to overbake.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan, then refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours.  Don’t skip the chilling step!  Cut into bars and serve.  Store leftover bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Fran’s Note: The chilling is important to obtain the brownie’s fudgy decadence!

Source: Adapted from an epicurious recipe

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