Slabs of butter are what make pastry so good.
Once I encased that into the dough, I folded it, rested it for an hour, then rolled it out like this:
Then I folded it, and now it’s resting again for another hour. It is one of those recipes that really tests my patience. So in between I’m making brownies. With more butter. Browned butter to be more exact and delicious.
As I prepared them my dad told me stories of the “snow of ’67” when the drifts were taller than his room window, which naturally led to a indoor snowball fight with his siblings. At this point all I’ll be able to tell about the “snow of 11” will be that I baked some (hopefully) excellent brownies.
If you’d like to tell the same tale, here’s the recipe. (I doubled it for sharing purposes, especially in these blustery times).
Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts
from Bon Appetit February 2011
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
2 tsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup walnut pieces
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8 x 8 x 2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1⁄4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.