Buttermilk Brownies

Buttermilk BrowniesFor a couple of weeks now, I have been in a kind of ‘brownie mood’.  This is a bit odd for me.  I really like brownies and if you look through my recipe archive you will find a ridiculously high number of recipes there for me to try.  But when it comes down to it, they are kind of rich for me.  A good chocolate cake?  More my style.  My chocolate needs to be broken up by something.  Something like….whipped cream or peanut butter or carmel or marshmallow.  Something!  Lately though, I have been after the texture of brownies.  The chewy, dense kind of brownie.  I made a batch for the Super Bowl and while they tasted great, the texture was crumbly and annoying; not worthy of passing on to all of you.  So I kept paging through my recipes, still looking for that chewy, gooey brownie.  Or at least one I could modify to be that way.

I failed.  Miserably.  What I ended up making were these buttermilk brownies-the opposite of what I was originally looking for.  The first batch I made were so good, I turned around and made a second one so that I would know if they were reliable or not (the method is kind of weird) and, in turn, be able to post about them here.  All thoughts of dense and chewy were gone!  This is one of those recipes that I know I will be making for a dozen different reasons in the future.  These are most definitely cake-like.  If you are a lover of a soft, moist brownie, I have found the perfect one.  What cemented it for me was the taste.  They are sweet, but not really all that rich.  And while I don’t usually frost my brownies, these need it.  Of course, now that my husband has confessed to me (after more than 10 years of marriage and not saying a word) that he actually prefers his brownies frosted, I need to make it up to him!

I mentioned above that the method for this recipe is kind of odd.  Somehow, they still turn out fantastic though.  I know this is the first of many brownie recipes that I will post here so please don’t take this version as some kind of ultimate ‘brownie recipe to end all brownie recipes’!  There are so many different kinds of them out there-all of them just as good-that there is plenty of room for a version to go with every occasion and every mood.  I am very much looking forward to my next testing session.  Maybe carmel brownies next…
Buttermilk Brownies Buttermilk BrowniesButtermilk Brownies
Adapted from BHG
You will notice below in the instructions for these brownies that this recipe can be baked in either a 9X13 inch pan or an 11 X14 inch glass Pyrex pan.  I have tried both, and although they turn out excellent either way, the bigger pan bakes up much better.  Use the large one if you have it.

2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Combine the above ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt together:
1 c water
1 c (2 sticks) butter
1/3 c cocoa powder

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until smooth.  Bring the mixture just to a boil and then pour into the dry ingredients with the mixer on very low.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mix again until everything is incorporated.  With the speed on low again, slowly add:

1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Mix until incorporated.  Add, one at a time:
2 eggs

Mix and scrape the bowl if necessary.  Turn the speed up as high as you can without making a mess of your kitchen (this is only about medium for mine) and beat the batter for 1 minute.  Batter will be very thin! Pour the batter into a greased 11X14 inch glass Pyrex dish or 9X13 inch pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with a crumb or two attached.  During the last 10 minutes of baking, make the Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting.

Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

In a medium saucepan (I just use the one from earlier in the recipe), melt together:
1/4 c butter
3 T cocoa powder
3 T buttermilk

Whisking constantly, bring the mixture just to a bubble!  Remove it from the heat and add 2 1/4 c of powdered sugar, whisking vigorously until smooth.  I add it in a bit at a time so I don’t make a huge mess.  Once it is whisked smooth, spread it over the hot brownies you just took out of the oven, smoothing to cover the whole pan.  Cool completel to room temp.