These brownies are really decadent, but find yourself an excuse to make them and you can thank me later. We had our Covid Movie Trivia Club meeting last weekend, and as this month’s hosts had chosen the theme: Westerns. When we chose the movie category we were challenged to create a themed cocktail and send out the recipe so the rest of our Zoom posse could mix up a matching libation to enjoy the evenings trivia round. If you know me at all you know that is SO not my game. Trivia yes, beverage while enjoying said trivia also a yes. But I am always going to go for a nice glass of red over a cocktail. I decided to placate them all by baking these brownies, and I think it worked.
Melt the chocolate and butter until it is nice and smooth. Be sure to choose a bowl that will be big enough for mixing the batter because all the magic happens in one bowl here. Once the chocolate and butter are melted set the bowl on a folded dishtowel to mix in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. This is not so much for protecting your countertop (my counters are granite which can definitely take the heat), but as you whisk in the sugar the bowl will start to spin and I find the dish towel keeps that to a minimum and helps steady the bowl. As always, I highly recommend Nielsen Massey vanilla, but I’m not going to bore you by going on and on about how much better it is yet again.
Folding is a skill and this is an excellent opportunity to practice. You absolutely need to incorporate all that flour, but you don’t want to just stir it in. Use the largest spatula you have (I have a fairly big one that I use any time folding is required) and scrape all the way around the side of the bowl and underneath flipping the batter on the bottom of the bowl onto the top. Keep repeating the process until the flour is completely incorporated. You do not have to have it completely mixed between each addition, but it should be close. The final fold should yield a completely homogeneous batter.
Let the brownies cool in the pan for at least half hour, then invert to a wire rack and gently peel off the foil. Cool COMPLETELY before slicing. Did I say completely? Good, because I meant completely. If you slice them while they are even a little bit warm they will stick to the knife and you’ll have a lot of waste. I slice them width wise between the candy bars (should be six rows) and then cut those into fourths. There will be that nice raw edge of toffee visible on the side of the brownie.
I may not be much on themed cocktails, but it turns out Jason’s love of whiskey fit the theme quite nicely! I had a lot of fun assembling these swag bags for trivia night. How cute are these Mason jar shot glasses? I love them and am going to use mine as a salad dressing container for my lunch box! We had chosen the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo for our movie, so the quote was a nice touch.
English Toffee Brownies
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 6 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 English toffee candy bars
- Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 325°. Line 9×13" baking pan with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray foil lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium sized bowl to combine, set aside.
- Melt chocolate and butter in large glass bowl set over pan of simmering water (double boiler) until smooth. Remove bowl from double boiler and set on dishtowel.
- Gradually whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, everything should be well combined. Whisk in Vanilla.
- Add flour mixture in 3 additions, folding in until batter is completely smooth.
- Pour half batter in prepared pan. Unwrap candy and lay evenly over brownie batter, there will be space between the candy bars. Top with remaining half of batter, gently smoothing to even out surface.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center (between candy) comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool 30 minutes in pan. Invert to wire rack and peel off aluminum foil. Cool completely before cutting.