Sunday, March 20, 2011
Best-Ever Bourbon Brownies
My grandmother loved bourbon. Yep. She did. Bourbon and water was her drink. This was back in the days of the cocktail hour when everyone had one ( a cocktail or two that is) at the end of the day before dinner. And my grandmother's was bourbon and a splash of water. At family dinners---way back in the 1960's, my family were very Mad Men-ish, and we children had to wait for supper until the adults had a cocktail, and a cigarette. It was a different time.
(now, it's no cigarettes at all and wine with dinner) Anyway....the smell of bourbon brings back fond memories of my childhood. I even make a a bourbon cranberry dish for Thanksgiving just so I can smell it, so when I was looking thru some old cooking magazines and came across this recipe for "Best Ever Bourbon Brownies" I thought--why not?
I gave it a try.
and it was...
REALLY GOOD. (and it made my house smell great while baking and cooling)
We had company for dinner (corn and shrimp chowder, lettuce wedges with blue cheese vinaigrette, herbed bread, BBQ steaks in case you're wondering)
and at the end, I brought these out.
Everyone was quite excited about the bourbon. It was just the Handyman and John and Robbie Milton, whom we have dinner with every Friday night, so I feel comfortable trying out new recipes on them. The Handyman said "Mmmmm....the bourbon enriches the chocolate flavor."
WOW. So profound. He usually just eats and thanks me. Not too much of a critic (except for the Sour Beef disaster of a couple weeks ago).
Well, he was right....the bourbon did enhance the chocolate flavor and these brownies were very moist and mmmm, mmmmm, good!
I think they taste better the 2nd day after they've sat in the bourbon for a while. (apparently so did the Handyman, as he has eaten 2 this morning while I was gone 90 minutes to church and back)
I found this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens Hometown Cooking magazine, June 2001. I loved that little cooking magazine, where they would showcase hometown cookbooks from across the country---you know, ones made by the Chamber of Commerce or the Community Church? Great cookbooks because every one always puts in their very best dishes.
Best-Ever Bourbon Brownies
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2-3 Tbsp bourbon
3 Tbsp butter--softened
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2-3 tsp milk (I used a bit more. I guess it all depends on how thick you want the frosting)
1/4 tsp milk
1 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
Grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the 1/3 cup butter, the granulated sugar and water. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Add the 1 cup chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Stir in eggs and vanilla, beating lightly with a spoon just until combined. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in pecans. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven about 20 minutes or until edges are set and begin to pull away from sides of pan.
Using a for, (I used a toothpick) prick the warm brownies several times. Drizzle bourbon evenly over brownies; cool in pan on wire rack.
For the frosting, in a small bowl, beat the 3 tbs butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 2 tsp of the milk and the vanilla. If necessary, beat in remaining milk to reach spreading consistency. Spread over brownies; drizzle melted chocolate over frosting.
Makes 16-20. (I made larger pieces--12--and used them as a dessert, not a bar/brownie)
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