Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TWD: Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia

Hey, check it out folks! Dorie is opening up a cookie bar in NYC!! Right now she and her son have a pop-up shop within Mizu Salon, but plan is for their own storefront in NYC! Sigh...I never missed working in NYC more than I do right now!

I can't tell you how glad I am to be finding some little time to myself in the kitchen during the weekend napping of the Littlest Baker. And to have Brownies be one of the very first returning recipes I get to do for Tuesdays With Dorie?! Perfection! Thanks to Tanya of Chocolatechic for picking this recipe!!! Her blog is one I love to visit--and look forward to reacquainting myself with now that I'm back among the living/blogging! Her photos and write ups are both equally fabulous!!! It's no surprise she would pick such a classically chocolate recipe! You can't make brownies without chocolate, so perfect choice for our 'Chocolatechic' gal!

Brownies have crept up there in the line of 'favorite desserts' for me...they are neck and neck now with the simple, classic, chocolate chip cookie (and hello, take 2 guesses what next week's recipe is for the Dories?! Yep. That's right....I'm so excited!!)

Back to brownies-to me, no one had better home made brownies than my beloved great-aunt Margaret. She was the baker in our extended family, and although we lost her in the early 1980's, in our family her name is often mentioned whenever we speak of apple pie, brownies, tapioca, and any number of other yummy goodies she would drop off. As a kid, nothing was better than playing outside, and seeing her vanilla colored Duster take the ride up our driveway.

If it was an unexpected drop-by, we always knew it meant Aunt Margaret had something warm and gooey and tasty to share with us that was just baked. To this day I can't see a pie basket without thinking of her. My gram (her sister) gave me Aunt Margaret's cookbook and I cherish it to this day.

It's pages are worn--or more specifically the dessert pages are well worn/spilled on/etc. There were recipes stuck in side clipped from old Redbook magazines, or ripped from the newspaper, and even some things written in pencil inside the front pages....(Gotta love a cookbook from the 40's that uses lard in some cases--and talks about the "new" product on the market (Crisco) that could be used in its place! ha!)

Tangent, thy name is Lisa.
Ok, so bottom line, my Aunt Margaret made the best brownies.

I've been striving to find recipes that stand up to hers (because what I don't have is the recipe she used--it must have been done by heart, or by some other recipe card long lost...) I thought the ones we did with the espresso coffee added (Katherine Hepburn Brownies) were great in texture--to me they were not right in taste as I don't want coffee interrupting my way to finding the chocolate. (note to self I meant bake these again to try without the coffee).

So far, my favorite was a recipe for super duper fudgy brownies that I was told about last year that hit the ball outta the park...across the street, and probably broke a window somewhere.... They were for any fan (like myself) of that fudgy/moist texture...that you can break open, then stick back together, hold upside down, and they'll stay. Not wet and gooey-but between that stage and the cakey brownie.
The brownies we made this week--Rick Katz's recipe--are just as delightful. They are for those who like an inbetween of fudge-vs-cake. I think the 9x9 pan helps them keep a fudge-cake balance..(fakey? cudgey? what would you call that?)

What I can't tell is exactly how long I need to bake them next time. The baking time called for yielded soupy middle...so I kept putting it back for a few minutes...then Dear Husband wanted to get AT&T on the horn to get us signed up for DirecTV....but the baby needed attention, so then I took the phone to talk to the gal and I ended up turning the oven way down, and walking away for a good 15 min...then I just turned the oven off (because I was STILL on the phone with them) and let them stay in the warm oven. I thought they'd be in ruins, but when I was (finally) off the (half hour+) phone call, I took them out and tested the middle...seemed ok. And come to find out these were done to perfection! It will be tricky trying to time it next time, and I'll have to consult the other Dorie bakers to find out what time worked for them. (Also-no greasing was called for?? I threw parchment paper into the pan b/c I wasn't sure what to do-if it was a forgotten step in the cookbook, or if they really did not need greasing..having never made brownies without some sort of liner or butter in the bottom of the pan, I took the cautious route)

All in all a great week---made brownies, enjoyed them while watching one of the best episodes yet of Lost....and now officially have posted a 2010 TWD recipe!!

Having limited time, I only took the finish photo--and that was about 3 days after I baked them...so forgive me the lack of a good 'play by play' blog this week!

Thanks, Tanya!


Pamela said...

That's the 2nd post I've seen this morning voting the Baked brownies as a favorite. I really need to try this recipe. I'm glad your brownies turned out well, even after their extended stay in the oven. Oh, and the Duster...haven't thought about that car in so long!

chocolatechic said...

So glad you were able to find some time to yourself.

Your brownies look fabulous.

Cathy said...

Woo hoo - you're back!! And this sounds like a great one to come back to. I'm so sorry I skipped these now - see my main problem is that I can't not eat brownies. If they are in my house, I will eat them until they are gone. And while I intend to give them away, I really don't want to, deep down. These sound like exactly the kind of brownies I'd want to horde/devour. I will have to make them for a special occasion! Tell me next time you want to make them - I'll call you and we can try to replicate your baking process, complete with interruptions, baby demands, etc. Oh, and I loved hearing those Aunt Margaret stories! Missed you babe!

Megan said...

Those old cookbooks are worth their weight in gold, right? My mom gave me her book from 1945 - and boy is it a doozy!

These brownies were better than Baked, I think. But that might require another taste-test!

Flourchild said...

I love old cookbooks, enjoy!Your brownies look so good. I messed up on the directions..but my brownies came out tasting very good!

Susan said...

I have several hand-written recipes from my Mom, ones that she always made, and I laminated them to be sure they didn't get torn or fall apart. Your brownie (on that darling plate) looks great!

Swine said...

I can almost taste them brownies. And tell me, did Aunt Margaret ever show up in that sweet Duster bearing brownies for ADULTS ONLY? Seems like the perfect delivery car for such an item.