Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sea Salt Brownies

Be careful with these:)

I'm serious, people, they're dangerous. If you're a lover of the salty/sweet/chocolate combination *handraise*, then let me tell you from experience, these are heavenly and ridiculously addictive. Chocolate Brownies with a Sea Salt Crust? Oooooooh Yeah :)

I made these a few nights ago for the reunion party for the cast of *The Butterfinger's Angel*, the show I did for Christmas 2010. I wanted to make scratch brownies, but spice them up a little. To give credit where credit is due, I did not invent these. I was first exposed to them by one of my dearest friends, Stephanie, who is a phenomenal baker :) The interplay of the sea salt with the chocolate is downright sensual, or, dare I say it? Sexy, even. More *chocolatey* than *sweet*, these would be great on the couch with a tall glass of cold milk (which is how I first had them), at a potluck, and they'd be right at home in a fancy dessert spread. Think of these as the classy older sibling of chocolate covered pretzels:)

- When I made these, all I had in the house was finely ground sea salt, so that is what I used. Coarsely ground sea salt would be more visible and therefore make for a nicer visual presentation, and probably punch up the salt flavor just a titch more.

The following was adapted from the Domino Sugar recipe for *Valentine Brownies*

Sea Salt Brownies
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 6oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. instant coffee granules, dissolved in some hot water
- Sea Salt (coarsely or finely ground) for sprinkling over brownies

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease 9x13 baking pan.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, cocoa and coffee and mix well.
- Add sugars and salt and mix well.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Add flour and mix well.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Spread evenly into baking pan.
- Bake 30 minutes or until edges pull slightly away from pan/ when toothpick inserted in center of brownies comes out clean.
- As soon as brownies come out of oven, sprinkle them with the sea salt to taste. The salt will embed itself in the crust of the brownies, creating brownie Nirvana :)
- Let brownies cool (yeah, right, that's never happened in my house) and Enjoy :)

UPDATE 11/18/11: In my successive versions of this dish: I've come across several intersting/important points:
One: If you're using this particular recipe, DON'T OMIT the chocolate chips!!! It messes with the consistency and the flavor. It doesn't make them inedible or anything, but the brownies will taste and feel like there's something's a
Two: On the flipside, in my experience thus far, the sea salt treatment can be used for pretty much any brownie recipe, including just doctoring up boxed brownie mix.
Three: You don't have to wait until the brownies are done cokking to add the sea salt. For the most recent batch I made, I sprinkled the sea salt over the batter in the pan right before it went into the oven. The sea salt didn't form as much of a crust, but the salty/sweet combo was more present throughout the whole brownie :) WIN :)

Looking back over my recent posts, I realize that I've done a lot of posts about sweets lately. As spring arrives, I promise there will be plenty of fresh fruits and veggies being featured here :)


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