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Anyone tried the brownie recipe from Cook's Country?

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  • Mariko Mar 8, 2005 01:08 PM
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A friend of mine made them and said they were horrendous. I had assumed the recipe would be an adaptation of the classic brownie recipe from Cook's Illustrated, since Cook's Country is part of Cook's, but my friend said they are very different. I'm wondering if anyone else has tried the recipe yet?

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  1. It's not surprising that the brownies were horrendous. Pretty much all the recipes in the free sample of Cook's Country that recently appeared in my mailbox looked gross. They are trying waaaay too hard to be homey. Page after page of moronic vignettes like, "I was a newlywed and for a year I thought I was making chicken breasts but it was really chicken backs but I didn't figure it out until my husband complained my breasts were too small." Puhleeze. General gripes aside, on a more specific note, one of the many things I like about Cook's Illustrated is that they give weights of dry ingredients for baking. Cook's Country didn't even bother to do that. My copy went into the recycle pile yesterday.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Debbie W.

      gosh, that's too bad that you just chucked it. i am an avid reader of cook's illustrated and found, much to my surprise, that i really like cook's country as well. i'll admit, i found it incredibly hokie looking at first, i.e. the frozen sherbert desserts? weird! but i tried many of the recipes out of the sample issue and my family really liked them. (and my family eats really well!) they are, of course, very different from the standard cook's illustrated fare but still, enjoyable.

      the recipes we tried include:
      country-style pot roast with gravy - enjoyed and will repeat
      beef barley soup with mushrooms - enjoyed and will repeat
      blue ribbon apple cake - will not repeat
      ranch chili - enjoyed and will repeat
      frosted brownies - enjoyed and will repeat
      pecan pie brownies - enjoyed and will repeat
      s'mores brownies - enjoyed and will repeat

      unfortunately, i'm afraid that most folks took cook's country at face value and thus, it has not been appreciated and not given a fair chance.

      1. re: theconiglio

        Wow, you did cook a lot, and glad that you had some success. I spent some time looking through the issue, and wanted to like it, but none of the recipes looked very appealing to me. I have a lot (I mean a lot) of brownie recipes already, many of which I haven't made even though recently I've been baking a lot of brownies and bars. And I'm trying to impose a modicum of self-discipline when it comes to clipping recipes, since my notebooks are bulging and my cookbook shelf space is crammed to overflowing. In fact, I'm sort of slowly cleaning out my clipped recipes, trying to do some ruthless evaluation like if I haven't made this recipe in 5 years, I probably won't make it so out it goes even if it still looks appealing.

        1. re: theconiglio

          Boy, harsh critics here!

          I actually liked the vintage-appeal graphics to the magazine "sample" that was sent. My favorite "cuisine" is Americana, so I decided to subscribe.

          The Italian Potato Cake (Grand Prize) looks unusual and really good. Has anyone tried that? Also, I'd be curious how the "Crunchiest-Ever Fried Chicken" turned out.

          1. re: Funwithfood

            There was a thread on the Cooks Country freebie a few months ago and I mentioned that this was one of the two recipes I'd copied before I tossed the magazine and cancelled the subscription. Someone replied that they had tried it and that it was pretty darned good if you like the super-crunchy (or whatever it's called) Kentucky Fried. He said that to his taste it could use a bit of spicing up, but that he'd definitely do it again. I've got five more pounds to go before I give it a try. But please report back if you do.

            1. re: Funwithfood
              b
              Becca Porter

              I made the Italian potato cake, it was really fabulous. The combination of salami and fontina was delicious. I actually made the Extra crunchy fried chicken today for lunch. Frying chicken has always been the one thing I've been scared to do, but it turned out really tasty. I added some tabasco to the buttermilk brine.
              Imho, anyone who just threw out this magazine either doesn't like "american" food or they need to lower their nose a bit. Just about anything CI does they do well. Cooks Country is no exception.
              - Becca

              1. re: Becca Porter

                I'm so glad that potato cake worked nicely. It looks very good--right up my alley. Was the fried chicken TDF good, or just pretty good?

                P.S. It is very easy to bash "American" food. Some take great pride in looking down on it, as if they are more "sophisticated" to favor other cuisines (that always makes me laugh). It takes courage to stand up for homey, well-prepared, and delicious American-type foods!

                1. re: Funwithfood

                  It was the best home-fried chicken I've ever had. I will definately make it again, but I will also try other recipes in the future.
                  - Becca

                2. re: Becca Porter

                  I made the Italian potato cake too. Like a lot of the other posters, the style of the magazine drove me crazy, but the recipe looked good and I'm a sucker for something made by someone's Sicilian cousin Nunziata. It's really good - of course, how could something with potatoes and that much fat be bad? What I couldn't imagine was the potato and salami combination, but it was very good.

                  What I wasn't sure about was - is it supposed to be a side dish? It seems like it, if that was 10 servings. But what would you have it on the side of? We ate it as a main course - in my house, anything with that many food groups in it and that much preparation time is automatically a main course.

                  I won't subscribe, though. I already don't have time to make all the interesting recipes in Cook's Illustrated, and it's annoying in a way I'm already used to.

                3. re: Funwithfood
                  c
                  ChowFun (derek)

                  I tried both...they were both very good...however I did up the spicing...The chicken did have THE crunchiest coating...more like KFC's extra crispy..but I used a kosher chicken and added spices,, otherwise it might be pretty bland...Interesting technique to get this coating...