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“Baked” Brownies

Renato (left) and Matt
       I would have to say that Andrew is not ‘a gusher’.  He is not a person who cares much about celebrity.  And because we live around an awful lot of them, a Seinfeld sighting or showing a property to a colossal media star is water off his back.  (I, meanwhile, have gone practically catatonic at the sight of Martha Stewart at our local nursery.)  So you can imagine my surprise when we were doing our Williams-Sonoma Artisan’s Market for Monte’s Ham.  They were staging this artisanal food event and they’d lined up some wonderful local New York talent (if I do say so myself)–none more illustrious than Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of “Baked”, the Red Hook, Brooklyn Bakery .  Before I knew it, Andrew was introducing himself to the two guys and waxing poetic over how much he loved their recipes and their cookbooks, how many recipes he’d used from their first “Baked:New Frontiers in Baking” (2008)Explorations” and how much he looked forward to working with their new one “Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented” (2010)  And on and on and on…

        Matt and Renato could not have been nicer.  But then, they really are very talented and very smart.  We’ve featured several of their desserts before–Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie, Lemon Lime Bars and Lemon loaf—but today in our 12 days of Christmas recipes I wanted to share their recipe for Brownies.  What could make a more perfect gift than a beautiful box of brownies?  Now there are numerous kinds of brownies—ranging from practically molten inside to lovely chocolate cakes, from brownies with dried cherries to brownies with nuts and even brownies with chocolate chips in them.  Matt and Renato’s recipe is for purists.  It is a dense, chocolate-rich and slightly fudgy brownie absent any nuts or additions of any kind.  And, when I went to write this, I discovered that the “Baked” Brownie was awarded “Best Brownie” by both America’s Test Kitchen and the Today Show.  So here’s the recipe including Matt and Renato’s note about making a great brownie verbatim:

Baked Note:

A great brownie is easy to make, but here are a few pointers: (1) Use a dark unsweetened cocoa powder like Valrhona. A pale, lightcolored cocoa does not have enough depth. (2) Make sure your eggs are at room temperature, and do not overbeat them into the batter. (3) Check your brownies often as they bake. An even slightly overbaked brownie is not a Baked Brownie.”

5 thoughts on ““Baked” Brownies”

  • OMgosh Monte – Allow Andrew to gush! Matt and Renato Vs. Seinfeld or Martha, come on! I believe you were redeemed by the lovely,(and holy smokes, this one really is amazing,)brownie recipe you have shared. You are forgiven, you New York local artisanal talent you… I'll bet you floored them too.. C:

  • So I have changed my mind and am using this recipe for Fathers' Day with GF flour in lieu of regular flour. The rest works beautifully! Have a very special Father's day Monte!

  • So thrilled to hear that. Last night, Andrew made Ooey Gooey's recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies and a Red Velvet cake. It was quite the Father's Day Dinner–we had one father, three godfathers and one grandfather and everyone loved the dinner! Hope your Father's Day will be as happy as ours! Just wish my family were closer!

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