Simply Brownies

Sometimes you want a brownie that isn’t gooey – this is that brownie. It has a deep, rich chocolate flavor but is not overly sweet; more of a grown-ups brownie but the kids want seconds, too.

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 Tbsp. ( 1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large or extra large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
9 x 13 throw away aluminum pan from the grocery store (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x 13 pan (aluminum throw away kind does not allow the bottom of your brownies to burn). In a medium pan melt the butter and chocolate, set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Into a large bowl place the sugar, eggs & vanilla, and with an electric mixer beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, add the melted chocolate & butter and beat that in well, too. With a wooden spoon, mix in the flour, baking powder and chips. Spread in the pan and sprinkle the chopped nuts on top, gently pressing down to kinda have them stick into the chocolate. Or, you can can add them into the mix when you add the chips, I just prefer them on top of the brownies.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted near the center comes out with some moist crumbs. Place on a rack to cool completely then slice and serve.

Zesty Pecans

A great starter anytime of year, and they taste better the next day. They’re also good as a little gift.

1/2 stick butter, cut into chunks
1 lb. pecan halves
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place butter chunks on a cookie sheet with sides and place in oven to melt – takes about 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans and coat them well with the butter. Bake for about 20 minutes – stir and check them, every 5 minutes – it may take only 15 minutes to toast. Be careful not to burn. Mix all the other ingredients together and sprinkle all over the pecans. Toss very well, again, right on the pan and let cool on the pan.