Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Why aren't there walnuts in these brownies?"

Ingredients for Oat Brownies

Because they have oats, Granma.

Right before heading home for Thanksgiving Break, I realized I had half a dozen eggs in my fridge that were going to go bad. I could do the easy thing: borrow a skillet and make scrambled eggs for me and a couple other people for dinner. Or I could bake 6 eggs worth of things. There was like a pound of butter in the fridge, so it wasn't like I had to go to the store or anything like that.

I wanted to try something new, and since I have a giant container of oats (and by giant, I mean a measly 2lb container) I decided to try out Bruce Weinsten's Oat Brownies from The Ultimate Brownie Book. I didn't vary much up, and I think next time, I might add some cinnamon to these, though maybe that's just because I really like cinnamon. And because I'm running out of vanilla extract.

They were fudgy, chewy, and crispy, all at the same time, thanks to the oats. He calls for toasted oats, but I find that when fighting over a kitchen with a bunch of other people, that's not really possible. When I finally did get control over the oven, it wasn't all easy sailing, but that may have made them tastier. The fact that the oven kept getting opened and closed (someone needed to make toast while I was using the oven), and all the rapping caused the brownies to collapse into a wonderful chewy goodness. (If you haven't noticed, I'm a fan of chewy brownies over cake-like ones.)

Granma's the only person who seemed disappointed by these brownies, but I think that's because she was expecting these brownies. Maybe one day I'll post the 9x9 version of that recipe... Winter break?

Decorated Oat Brownie
Oat Brownies
from Bruce Weinstein's The Ultimate Brownie Book
makes a 9-inch square pan of brownies (which is sixteen to the average person)

1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter
2 ounces (66g) semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips in a pinch)
2 ounces (66g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup (218 g) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (120 g) rolled oats (he recommends toasting them for 5-7 minutes, I omitted this step)

Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour/line with greased foil/whatever your preferred method of "preparing" a 9 in. square pan; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Place butter and both kinds of chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until the chocolate is melted and stir until smooth and all evenly melted. Set aside to cool. (Or do this over a double boiler, removing from heat as soon as chocolate is melted. Butter will finish melting as you stir.)

In a large bowl, beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs with an electric mixer (or, if you're working on your arms, with a whisk for about 6 minutes) until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and creamy. Beat in vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture. Beat until smooth and uniform, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the oats. Then fold in the four mixture until just incorporated. Don't beat up your brownie batter. Pour the batter into prepared pan and gently spread to corners.

Bake for 20 minutes or until top is dry and a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Set aside to cool on a wire rack for a while. Cut into desires number of pieces and enjoy!