A few weeks ago, Matt Lewis tweeted something that got me excited. It was about a baker named Lesli in Milford, Connecticut, opening her own shop. Matt is one of the guys behind the cookbook Baked and the stores in Red Hook, Brooklyn and Charleston, SC. He also is respsonsible for, at least in part, peanut butter crispy bars, Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie, pumpkin whoopie pies and malted brewer's blondies, which we will post soon. He's got significant idol status in our house.
But what was interesting to me was that he said Lesli, the baker setting up shop, was responsible for Baked's brownie recipe. The Baked cookbook catapulted Matt into sugar infamy, but we knew him from his first project, Chocolate Bar in NYC and its namesake cookbook. The cookbook has the very best chocolate cake recipe ever (yes, will post). And brownies that will make you cry. In a good way. Because we've made them so many times, I knew that a woman named Lesli was credited with the recipe. I took a chance and posted to Baked's Facebook page to see if it was the same Lesli. Jackpot.
These brownies are perfect. Completely perfect. Karen and I went on a brownie quest a few years back. Brownies matter to us like no other food category. They must be moist, deep in flavor, and neverever cakey. Cakey brownies are a horrible sin (Just call it cake. Don't pretend it's a brownie. It's not. It's cake). As soon as we made Lesli's brownies, the quest was over. We found it.
Everything else stops, and it's just you and the brownie.
And then you finish.
And then you have another.
And you thank God you live in a world where the brownie has achieved perfection in your lifetime.
It was worth the wait.
Lesli is opening up her Scratch Baking shop in Milford, CT. I have two friends that live there, and one close enough she should just make the drive (Jen Thomson Caplet, I'm talking to you). She's at farmers' markets this summer. You must seek her out and eat whatever she makes. It will be good. She deserves riches. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Drive to Connecticut.
Make her brownies. And thanks, Matt, for sharing her with us.
recipe | deep dark brownies
- 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1/4 t salt (we use Kosher)
- 1 T cocoa powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3/4 t espresso powder
- 5 oz semisweet chocolate
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1/4 c light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (you know how we do the chunks)
Sift flour, salt, and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Give them a pep talk and let them know you'll be back soon.
Get a medium to large saucepan (size matters here, because all the ingredients are going in here eventually). Combine the butter and espresso powder and heat over low heat. Stir constantly until the butter melts. Add the chocolate, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the sugars, stirring until combined.
Add eggs and vanilla. Stir until the graininess disappears.
Sprinkle the neglected flour mixture into the pan. Stir just until combined. Don't overstir or you'll make them tough. This is a moral failure. Then add the chocolate chunks.
Pour the batter into the baking pan. Smooth it out. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Don't overbake. Just bake it for 29 minutes and call it a day. Place them on a rack and let them cool as long as you can.