My last Prompt workshop was last night, and so I brought these brownies for my fellow writers. When they saw the fresh raspberries on top, one person commented, "Uh oh, was someone at a u-pick farm this weekend?!" and the rest of the group cracked up. That's what is so great about writing with the same people for 2 hours a week, 10 weeks in a row. If that same dialogue exchange had occurred on the first or second week, it wouldn't have been funny, but after spending so much time listening to someone's writing, you get used to their style and start to feel like you know them as a person, even if they write only fiction. I'm not very secretive about the fact that a lot of what I write is based on something that has happened in my life, so it was obvious that my "Once upon a time, there lived a girl who was addicted to u-pick farms," story was about.... me. Hence why they found it funny that I was off-loading rich, fudgy brownies topped with berries onto them so I wouldn't have to eat them all.
4.25 oz (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp table salt
7 oz bittersweet chocolate (I love Trader Joe’s 72% dark Pound Plus bar for this, which is a great deal on decent chocolate at $4.99 per 17.6 oz bar)
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp raspberry liqueur (I use Clear Creek Distillery's liqueur)
4 large eggs
9 oz (1 cup + 3 Tbsp) granulated sugar
6 oz fresh raspberries
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with butter or non-stick spray. I also then lined it with a piece of parchment paper folded and cut slightly to fit the pan, then sprayed that as well, for easy removal from the pan.
2. Chop the 7 oz of bittersweet chocolate very fine. I whirl it in my food processor to make that happen much faster than chopping by hand.
3. Add the 2 sticks of unsalted butter to a medium-sized saucepan and melt over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. With a non-stick spatula, stir in the chocolate. The residual heat of the pan/melted butter should be enough to melt all of the chocolate if you chopped it finely like I told you to. Set aside for a few minutes to cool while you mix together the other wet ingredients.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine together the eggs and granulated sugar, then add in the vanilla extract, raspberry liqueur, and salt. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter.
5. In a separate large mixing bowl, place the all-purpose flour. Add about 1/3 of the chocolate mixture to the flour, stirring to moisten all of the flour (I did it this way because the first time I just dumped all of the flour into the wet ingredients and ended up with visible white lumps of flour in the final cooked brownie because I didn't want to keep stirring and make them tough). Once the flour is incorporated with the first part of the chocolate batter, add all of the rest of the chocolate mixture and stir just until combined.
6. Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle the fresh raspberries on top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Because the raspberries on top start to release their juice as they cook, it might seem like your brownies are not done yet after the specified cooking time, but as long as there's not raw batter at the bottom of the pan, they're just super moist- or at least that's what my writing group told me when I said I was worried that I should have cooked them longer. "NOOOO!" they cried, "Brownies SHOULD be fudgy!!!" It's possible they were just being nice, but I may have consumed one or three small squares myself since yesterday, and I'm pretty satisfied with my creation.