It is, no pun intended, a beautiful film. I sat glued to the screen completely engrossed in Javier Bardem's incredible portrayal of a father contemplating his final months of life while ultimately coming to grips with his own mortality. There is so much more I could say, but I think you should see the movie for yourselves. It left me very still and I spent this morning quietly going about my day letting last night's story sink deep into my bones - like tea steeping just the right amount in order to reach it's fullest flavor. My cup runneth over.
The Chef (according to him - whew) had a great birthday weekend. We capped off yesterday and I'll do a post later on or tomorrow, but in the meantime let's go back to Friday's kick off when I made those divine brownies. Some kind soul gave me a subscription to Bon Appetit and I love it so much that I'm still lingering in February's pages where I found this recipe and modified it to gluten-free. It's painless and delicious - everything is mixed in the pan the browned butter is melted in, so that yummy flavor permeates the brownies throughout. Prepare for greatness.
~consumed within one day - it's okay to admit that, right?~
Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts
Recipe by Alice Medrich
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour - I used my favorite gluten-free flour blend found in this recipe and they worked out perfectly.
1 cup walnut pieces
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes (I didn't keep track just eyeballed it). Stir in nuts. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
They lift out and cut easily.
No sticking because of the light coat of spray.
And they're soft and chewy with just the right amount of crumb.
If you get a chance, give them a try. There's only 16 so enough to taste and enjoy without doing too much damage. Ha ha! And if you haven't read Bon Appetit - pick up a copy at the store next time you're out. There are so many great recipes to try. I have to go back to fending for myself now that the restaurant is close to open. There is no justice in this wicked, wicked world.