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Really, there are few things in life that are more sublime than a really nice batch of fudgy, rich brownies. it is one of the first things I ever remember baking on my own, using my Mom’s stained recipe card to guide me. Mom was a bit of a chocolate freak, so this recipe had been used many times.
This was quite a long time ago, when box mixes were in their infancy, and pretty terrible. Mom held them in very low esteem, and I have to say that I agree with her about that. Particularly when in comes to brownies.
Brownies are so very easy to make that a mix is almost more trouble than making them from scratch. And the difference in flavor really shows, as far as I’m concerned.
Now, I have my own tattered and stained card with Mom’s old recipe on it, and this version is just a riff on her [and now my] old standby. The almond flour adds some extra chewiness, and a deeper flavor, and the toasted almond slices are crunchy and rich. You can find almond flour in most supermarkets anymore – usually in the same section as unusual grains and such. If not though, you can order it from Amazon: Almond flours You can, if you prefer, just use entirely all purpose flour, but I think the almond flour is worth finding, if you don’t already have some.
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sliced almonds lightly toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350º and generously butter an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or pan.
- Using a medium sized glass bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, or over a sauce pan of simmering water.
- Remove from the heat, and mix in the baking cocoa. Cool for 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, and then the vanilla.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, and when about half way incorporated, add the almonds and continue folding until nearly uniform. It will still be a rather shaggy mixture, which is good - too much mixing will make the brownies tough instead of chewy.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted near the center should come out with no more than a few moist crumbs on it.
- Cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
- Store tightly covered - at room temperature for a a few days, in the fridge if longer than that.
Because of the almonds, these are best within a day or two after they are baked – after that the nuts begin to get a little soft. Not that they are likely to stick around any longer than that anyway!