Sunday, May 1, 2011


photo by Anthony Palatta

I've been watching Martha Bakes on the Hallmark Channel, and when I saw this recipe for fudgy brownies, I thought I'd give it a try. I wasn't thrilled with the results, and I'm not sure if the problem was with me or the recipe.

My first issue:  Martha has you dust the baking pan with cocoa powder rather than flour, which prevents the white streaks that you'd get if you used flour but gives a bitter taste to the edges of your brownie.

Actually, when I make brownies, I find that buttered parchment or a buttered pan works just fine, so why use cocoa powder or flour?

Next, the brownie batter has only brown sugar, which again gives the brownies a darker, earthier taste than white sugar, which has a cleaner, sweeter flavor.

Finally, the recipe calls for an 8 x 8 pan, but when I filled mine, the batter came up the sides way higher than it did on Martha's show, resulting in thick brownies that never quite cooked through and were impossible to cut cleanly. I noticed that a reviewer left a comment on Martha's blog complaining about the same thing, but then after a website redesign, that comment was gone!

I think if I were to try this recipe again, I'd use a buttered 9 x 9 pan, and maybe do half white and half brown sugar and see how it goes.

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