This week's SMS was selected by Tiffany of A Spoonful of Laughter and A Heap of Love: chocolate walnut brownies! I'd already made these brownies (they were part of the Brooklyn Brownout Cake the group made back in April of 09), but when I read back through my post for the cake I noted that I'd really enjoyed the brownies, and it's a dessert Shane will help eat, so I didn't see any reason not to make them again. We almost never turn down brownies around here! I skipped the walnuts last time I made this recipe, and did the same again this time. As a general rule, I always leave the nuts out of recipes unless I know for certain I'm going to give the dessert away to someone who enjoys them.
Since this is the second brownie recipe I'm posting this week (you can see the minty chocolate brownies I shared on Tuesday here), I'd hoped to do something fun with this recipe to make them just a little more special than plain chocolate brownies. Inspiration was lacking though - I couldn't come up with anything other than adding peanut butter or mint - and I've made plenty of desserts combining those flavors so I didn't want to go there again. For some reason my brownies cooked much more quickly than the recipe indicated they would. The indicated baking time was 45-50 minutes but when I checked mine just after 30 minutes they were on the verge of being slightly overbaked. I'm curious if anyone else had this issue...
I've tried so many brownie recipes I don't think I can truly make comparisons any more. I'd have to dedicate a whole day to making several of the recipes side by side to really note the differences and pick a favorite. That said, these brownies are delicious! With 2 sticks of butter, quality unsweetened chocolate and a lot of sugar, they were bound to be anything but. I thought they were quite rich and dense, so a few bites of one was all I needed to satisfy me. Since I can't seem to leave well enough alone, I still haven't ruled out the possibility of making a simple peanut butter frosting to spread on some of the brownies. Though if I leave them plain, we could just throw them in a bowl as the base of an ice cream sundae - decisions, decisions :)
Many thanks to Tiffany for hosting this week! She will share the recipe on her blog today or you can find it on pages 82-83 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.