A Bittersweet Goodbye

Goodbyes are almost never easy. And after working for nearly 33 years at Mercer County Community College, I was retiring and ready for new adventures. But before I bid adieu to my colleagues, I wanted to bake up a batch of my appreciation for all of the years of accomplishments, blood, sweat and tears endured with these folks.

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OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I spent more time with many of them than I did my own friends and family—and actually, I consider quite a few of them real good friends now! But that’s the way of the work world, no regrets. I pondered over what I could bring to my office farewell get together, and realized most people I know can’t resist a decadent, fudgy, chocolate brownie.

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Ooey, gooey and chewy—these chocolate lovers dream brownies are made with cocoa, semisweet, bittersweet and dark chocolate—the whole enchilada! Below is a single recipe, of which I made three batches, but only doubled the ganache topping, which was plenty.

BTW, lining the pan isn’t busywork; it makes it super easy to remove the brownies.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 4 ounces each semisweet AND bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) dark chocolate morsels

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.
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  2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
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  3. Place butter and chopped chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan.
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  4. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not over mix). Add chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
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  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
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  6. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares.
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  7. Drizzle ganache over cooled, cut brownies. Let ganache harden somewhat before packing. (It likely won’t harden completely.) Do not stack on top of each other.
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  8. Store in single layers in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

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Get ready for choco-shock!

For Dark Chocolate Ganache:
HEAT cream in 2-cup microwave-safe glass measure or small bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 60 seconds. Slowly add morsels. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir well. Refrigerate any remaining ganache. Makes 1 cup. (Since I made three batches of brownies, I doubled, NOT tripled, the ganache.)

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