Saturday, August 29, 2009

[Cookie 037] Chocolate-Ginger Brownies


Yesterday, here in lovely Los Angeles, it was 105º F. That's 40.5º C. That's really hot. And to tack onto the scorching temperature, more wildfires have sprung up in the mountains, one of which is located in a town that's only 20 minutes away from my house! It's totally nuts! From anywhere in my town, if you looked north toward the mountains you could see this monumental plume of smoke billowing out of the canyons--it looked like a nebula in outer space it was so huge.

So yesterday evening, as the fires raged and the temperature outside was still in the 80s at 10:00 pm, I went with a friend to see Brüno (which was hilarious, seriously--I had low expectations, but it was so worth it). Anyway, afterward we decided to drive north toward the mountains just a bit so we could get a glimpse at where the fires were coming from. As we came out of a tree-lined residential street and into the open, we could literally see the flames outlining the slope of one of the hills. It looked something like this:

(Picture not my own! Credit: darylphotos' on Flickr)

So yeah, pretty scary. I hope none of you are affected by any of these fires! And if you live nearby, be safe! I could literally watching the flames advancing over the ridge of the mountain with my own eyes--fire spreads WILDFIRE!


But enough about that. I'm here to bake cookies. Or in this case, Chocolate-Ginger Brownies. I hate to tell you guys, though, that this is another of her mysteriously bad, possibly unedited/unproof-read recipes though. Those who know me know that I'm a totally gingerophile, so I was totally gung-ho about the flavors in this recipe. Unfortunately, the end result was not so good.


I'm pretty sure this recipe must have been just missing an ingredient or two, because I had made one of Martha's brownie recipes, the Double Chocolate Brownies, before and they were fantastic and simple and just a great recipe all around. These, however, did not list any sort of leavener (read: Baking Soda or Powder) in the ingredients, and therefore the brownies did not rise an inch. They were absurdly dense, chewy, and pretty gross.


However, I did enjoy the idea behind this recipe. Maybe it's more of a conceptual recipe--a theoretical brownie. They have ginger, cloves, and all sorts of spices, which when combined with chocolate make a really interesting flavor combination. So I bet if you took her Double Chocolate Brownie recipe and added these spices and flavors, you would have a winner. I urge you to try it if you love ginger like I do!


Here's a photo of my disappointment in the end result (left, sadface) followed by a photo of the next recipe I made immediately after throwing away the theoretical brownies (right, dorkyface):

Bad Cookie Good Cookie

The next recipe is a winner. Stay tuned folks.


Chocolate-Ginger Brownies
Makes 16 small brownies, or 9 large

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Line bottom with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over 2 sides. Butter parchment; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Pour batter into prepared dish. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift out, and let cool completely on rack. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.

{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 2/5
Ingredient Accessibility: 3.5/5 (Just your basic spices...)
Tastiness: 1.5/5 (With potential, though!)
Attractiveness: 3.5/5
Is it worth it?: If you add some baking powder, they might work and be delicious! So be adventurous and try it out for me and let me know, because I am too busy/lazy to try any recipe twice.

Drink: Milk ... or ice cream (which is not a drink, but really now, is that going to stop you?)
Song: Crimson and Clover -- Lovin' Spoonful
Activity: Something cozy, like watching a movie on a cold night?


Marguerite said...

Those brownies look pretty good to me! In my experience, a lot of brownie recipes don't include any leavening. I think it just boils down to a matter of preference...if you're not into really dense, fudgy brownies, then you're not gonna like those recipes. But if you're like me, and you like your brownies a close to pure chocolate as you can get, then no leavening is the way to go.

Lizzie said...

marguerite- yeah, i get what you're saying, but i'm a fan of super fudgy brownies, but these were very gummy. not so much dense and fudgy, but gummy in a very odd way. but, that's just my opinion! you should give this recipe a go!

dragonfly pie said...

Yeah, they certainly do look and sound delicious. Ginger and chocolate? Not too many things that can beat that, in my opinion. This might be a recipe worth tinkering with.

erica said...

wow wow wow do those brownies look superb!

jfklds said...

you look smashing. you can send me all your failed recipes

7 west madison st.
chicago IL

Kitchen Bliss! said...

I can't believe you didn't like these! Even the batch that I messed up the flour amount (used less) were still totally awesome and a perfect fudgey chewy brownie consistency and the batch that I made the recipe to a T were just outstanding. I am beginning to think we have opposite tastes as I didn't like the Iced Applesauce Cookies and we've made the Old Fashioned Sugar cookies three times due to people constantly requesting them... But I so agree on the pecan bars and banana walnut chocolate chunk cookies and look forward to seeing what you bake next! I'm trying to decide what to make for tomorrow's bake sale.