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Jan 23, 2007 05:49 PM

Outrageous Brownies-Barefoot Contessa

I made these a few months ago and followed the recipe exactly. They were pretty good but I'm wondering if they could be better. The recipe calls for chocolate chips to be melted with unsweetened chocolate. Has anyone experimented with bittersweet chocolate in this recipe? If so, any particular brands?

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  1. Maybe try a different kind of chocolate chip? I've made this recipe several times and love it (though I always halve it, as it makes a million brownies). Actually, now that I think of it I usually use Ghirardelli bittersweet chips instead of unsweetened choc., b/c I always have those on hand, and then regular Ghirardelli chips.

    1. I make these every couple of months and have varied the recipe a little.

      Use 6 oz. 85% cocoa chocolate and 1 lb of Lindt semisweet chocolate for the chocolate melted with the butter part, and 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips added to the batter at the end.

      Put 3/4 of the walnuts into the brownie batter and sprinkle the rest on the top just before baking for a nice finish.

      I line the pan with a sheet of parchment rather than the butter and flour nonsense, and just let the paper hang over the edges. With the parchment, you can lift the brownies out of the pan and onto the counter for cutting. And this way there is no pan to wash up. This step alone makes the brownies taste better, I think.

      I also ignore the tester and trust that the brownies that do not look cooked after 30 minutes are, in fact, perfect and should be removed from the oven immediately.

      Finally, I let the brownies cool on the counter and then put the pan in the fridge for at least 8 hours before cutting/eating.

      1. I make these quite a bit. I use pecans instead of walnuts (personal preference) and I do not use any chocolate chips to melt - I use bittersweet. She also has chocolate chips thrown into the batter, I cut that amount in half and throw in some white choc chips as well. I also have used super bittersweet (85% or more) for the melting rather than unsweetened and they came out very tasty (that was because I was out of unsweetened).

        1. I made a chocolate peanut butter variation of these as a thank you gift. I used peanuts instead of walnuts and spooned the batter into minimuffin/cupcake tins. I piped a basic peanut butter frosting on top of each and topped them all with chocolate shavings. It's a fun twist on a fantastic recipe and I bet you could do lots of different variations this way (chocolate mint, chocolate hazlenut, etc).

          1. I used Ghiradelli's bittersweet baking chocolate and it came out just great!

            But I wondered if all that butter is necessary. It calls for one pound (4 cubes). Anyone know if it affects the taste if I used only 3 cubes?

            1 Reply
            1. re: tarabell

              It is a lot of butter ... and chocolate etc. I usually just halve the recipe, as it makes so much. I would think that cutting back on the butter by one stick/cube (for a full recipe) might leave them less moist, but I haven't tried it.