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Chocolate Rum Brownies

Image 1: Rum brownie batter in an 8x8 stainless steel pan in the oven; Image 2: Two baked chocolate rum brownies on a square white plate [1]

Tempting co-workers with afternoon sweets, especially when few people can say no to chocolaty goodness, is not the most helpful thing to do for a group of health conscious folks, however, many still appreciate an afternoon pick-me up so I didn’t feel too bad about bringing in brownies twice last week. Thanks to my co-workers’ willingness to be my brownie taste-testers, I have a delicious chocolate rum brownie recipe to share that’s received multiple approvals.

Have you made brownies from scratch lately? They’re incredibly easy to make, so if you haven’t, put the box aside and give it a try. You don’t even need an electric mixer.

Image 1: Ingredients - 4 oz. chocolate bar, butter, two eggs, baking powder, and a bottle of dark rum all sitting on a cutting board; Image 2: Melted chocolate in a stainless steel bowl with a bottle of dark rum [2]

There are a large variety of brownie recipes [3] out there, but your basic chocolate brownie recipe usually consists of ½ cup flour, ½ cup butter or oil, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and cocoa powder or melted chocolate along with a few other ingredients for an 8” x 8” pan. Of course some recipes include nuts and some don’t.

Image 1: Stainless steel bowl of dry rum brownie ingredients - flour, expresso powder, baking powder, salt; Image 2: Melted chocolate in a small stainless steel bowl being poured into the wet ingredients (eggs and sugar) in a larger stainless steel bowl [4]

For the real brownie lover, texture is often a question. Some recipes yield fudge-like gooey brownies, and some offer up spongy cake-like brownies. Personally, I love a brownie that’s in between these two textures. When making brownies, generally the rule of thumb is the more dry ingredients used the fudgier the brownie, and the more liquid ingredients used the more cake-like the brownie.

After two tries, I’m going with the recipe below for a chocolate brownie that’s a little fudgy, but not too much and that throws in a hint of rum just for a surprise flavor. Enjoy!

Chocolate Rum Brownies

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (organic)
2 oz. bitter-sweet chocolate
2 large eggs (organic or cage-free)
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 tablespoons dark rum
2 pinches salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (organic and unbleached)
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (instant coffee powder)
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth stirring often, then transfer to a separate bowl and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs for about 1 minute. Add sugar and a pinch of salt and beat until smooth (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add vanilla extract and rum, and mix well.

In separate smaller bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking powder and a pinch of salt. In the large bowl with the egg and sugar mixture, stir in the melted chocolate mixture. Then, stir in the flour mixture a little at a time with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix.

Using a spatula, transfer the brownie batter evenly into the greased baking pan. No need to spread batter around with the spatula. Just lightly drop the pan a few times on the countertop to get the batter to settle. Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes. Allow brownies to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before serving.

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