Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Baking. Day 4. Cookie #12. Brownie Squares. Basic Butter Cookie Dough Useful For Numerous Transformations.

Today, I'm making a basic butter cookie, doubling the recipe, and creating two different cookies with it. The first cookie is Brownie Squares. The second cookie, in my next post, will be Caramel Pecan Cookies.
First, the basic butter cookie dough.
Basic Butter Cookie Ingredients: Heat oven to 375 degrees. 4 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 3 sticks butter, softened 2 cups sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Beat together butter and sugar at medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Grease 2 9 x 13 inch baking pans, then line with foil, and grease foil. Press 1/2 of dough evenly into each pan. I use plastic wrap over top to keep dough from sticking. Chill until firm. About 20 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes. While the crust cools, make topping. Browning Topping Ingredients: 1 1/2 sticks butter 10 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar 3 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla 3/4 cups flour 1/4 cup + 2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups toasted, cooled, and chopped pecans Melt butter and chocolate with brown sugar in heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined well. Whisk in flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir in nuts. Spread brownie batter over cooled crust and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, then cut into squares. For the Basic Butter Cookie Dough:
Add 1 tsp baking powder to 4 cups flour.
Add 1 tsp salt.
Mix well.
Cream 3 sticks butter and gradually add in sugar.
One eggie-weggie in.
Two eggie-weggies in.
Turn to low and gradually add in flour mixture.
Rosie makes a mess.
Butter pan, line with foil, and butter foil. By the way, I don't use a 9 x 13 pan, as called for. I use 12 x 16 inch pans, so I get more cookies, and I adjust the cooking times accordingly.
Plop in half the dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and spread out crust.
Chill until firm. About 20 minutes. For the brownie batter:
Ingredients for brownies: 1 1/2 sticks butter 10 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate 1 1/2 cups pack light brown sugar 3 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla 3/4 cup flour 1/4 cup + 2 TB cocoa powder 3/4 tsp salt and ...
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
I melted the butter and chocolate over medium low heat ...
... whisking until smooth.
Then I added the eggs ...
... and it was at this point where I realized I was supposed to add the brown sugar at the beginning with the butter and chocolate.
Oh well. Too late now, since I've already added in the eggs. Also, if you noticed in my mise en place, I had 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar. I can't believe I ran out of light brown. Even Rosie screws up sometimes.
Flour in.
Cocoa in.
And finally the chopped, toasted pecans.
Stir to combine.
Action shot!
Here are my butter crusts.
Be carefully getting these out of the oven. I had one of those big mitts and stuck thumbkin right into the crust.
Pour chocolate mixture over top.
Spread evenly.
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

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