I said chocolate in all caps with periods in between. Because it cannot be emphasized enough in certain concoctions.
For Christmas, my friend Nicole's mom - Clarita Culpepper - sent me this crazy yummy looking box of the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownie Mix. For me, putting the word outrageous and brownie in the same sentence is either redundant or stating the obvious... because I love me a good brownie. In an outrageous sort of way.
That Clarita Culpepper knows me too well. [Ok, go ahead right now and say her name out loud while you're reading this. Because there is no way humanly possible to say the name Clarita Culpepper aloud without getting a bit of a grin on your face. I swear... it just kind of rolls off your tongue and makes you happy.]
So anyway... being the expert baker that I am (ha!) I read the directions carefully, and after deciding I had no idea how to melt the chips in a bowl over a pot of water (what? who does that?) and I didn't have a fancy mixer with a paddle attachment (I blame that on never being married and not getting a proper wedding shower), I went ahead and did it my way... melting the chocolate chips in the microwave and using my good old fashioned $10 hand mixer from Walgreens.
The one thing I paid close attention to, however, was the fact that the Contessa was adamant about baking the brownies for EXACTLY 35 minutes. Even if I believed them to be under cooked, she stated on the package, take them out anyway! Never let it be said that I don't do what I am told.
I removed the brownies, let them cool for an hour and then tried them out... and decided that the Contessa was wrong about my oven. The outer edge brownies were perfect, but the middle? Not even close. Way under done.
But then they cooled some more. And I put some tinfoil over them and checked on them in the morning [don't judge me... you know you would have eaten them for breakfast too] and I discovered the Contessa was RIGHT! Decadent. Rich. Scrumpdileitious. Not undercooked, but perfectly chocolaty and moist and dense and yummy. And how it managed to bake and still leave chunks of chocolate un-melted is beyond me.
Run, don't walk people, and buy yourself some of these brownies for your Superbowl party this weekend. And for the love of all things holy, bake them the night before for only 35 minutes...
Trust the Contessa.
*the author of this post takes no responsibility in the resulting chocolate cravings that will inevitably occur after reading.