Kitchen Sink Brownies: The Next Best Thing to Special Brownies
If you’ve been paying attention here at Chasing Delicious you may have noticed a trend developing, especially in the last few weeks. This blossoming trend may even have you asking, “what’s with all the dessert?!” Do I really love dessert? Yes. Do I enjoy posting about dessert more than anything else? Maybe. Do I only eat dessert foods? Kinda. Well, for the sake of continuity here is another dessert post. And for the sake of verbosity here is an anecdote.
The year was 1995 and I was nine years old. The Houston Rockets just won their second NBA Championship. Mississippi has just ratified the thirteenth amendment–a mere 130 years after the rest of the country. The DVD is announced for the first time and eBay is founded. A group of some-what crazy people even claim they have set up a provisional government in The Republic of Texas in what is considered to be the biggest game of “House” ever played by grownups. Life is good. Everything is on the up and up for this great country of ours. Things are about to change though.
After years of enjoying, salivating over and essentially dedicating my life to brownies I renounce my love and affection for the dense, delicious dessert delicacy. I am burnt out. I have had enough and I never want to see another brownie again. I quickly move on to the cookie, the scrumptious variable cookie. It becomes an addiction I have not shaken to this day. My departure from the brownie though is a period of my life spanning nearly sixteen years. In the pages of our history it becomes known as the sans-brownie years. Quick tangent. Why do the words brownie and cookie end in “ie” and “y”? Ok. Back to the story.
Sixteen years later the year is 2011. Houston hasn’t had a national championship title since I gave up brownies–it’s sad really. The nation is consumed with countless concerns and I said something I never thought I’d never say, “this brownie is delicious!” Somewhere in the sixteen years I was avoiding brownies I somehow thought that my brownie-exhaustion meant I hated them and would forever. This bias has led me awry for far too long. I have been missing out. No, not on the boxed kind you buy at the grocery store but I’ve been missing out on good, homemade, filled with everything you can think of brownies. What’s the point of this story? To be completely honest I’m not sure there is one other than to say I like brownies again.
These Kitchen Sink Brownies are chocked full of some delicious yummies and as a few people noted, contain everything except the kitchen sink–Voila! Kitchen Sink Brownies. Because I didn’t want plain old brownies, and because I was enjoying my Chocolate Chip cookies with an Orange Twist–with pecans and walnuts–so I added pecans, walnuts, big chocolate chunks and even… chunks of cookies. This brownie is also a tad bit more cakey than some brownies–and I like it this way. It is still plenty dense though. I also made up some caramel sauce to serve with the brownies. I basically used Ina Garten’s recipe. Feel free to use whatever recipe you prefer if you even want to use caramel. I definitely suggest trying it that way.
This recipe was inspired loosely from a brownie recipe from my favorite Pastry Chef, Bo Friberg in his book, The Professional Pastry Chef. This recipe will make a half-sheet pan of brownies (12 x 16 inches). I again use a mix of cake and bread flour here. You can substitute all purpose flour in you would like (the total amount of flour in this recipe should equal 1 pound or about 4 cups).
Kitchen Sink Brownies
Ingredients 1 pound butter (4 sticks) 1 pound 12 ounces sugar (about 4 cups) 8 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 12 ounces cake flour 4 ounces bread flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa (1 cup) 4 ounces chopped pecans (1 heaping cup) 4 ounces chopped almonds (1 heaping cup) 8 ounces chopped semisweet or milk chocolate 8 ounces chopped cookies (whatever kind you have lying around) Instructions 1. Line the bottom of a half-sheet pan with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 400F. 2. Melt the butter. Set aside. 3. Whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed until they are light and fluffy and have increased significantly in volume. 4. Sift the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together. 5. Fold the dry ingredient mix into the egg and sugar mixture. 6. Stir the melted butter into the mixture. 7. Fold in the nuts, chocolate and cookie bits into the batter. 8. Pour the batter into the lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out with crumbs still attached.