Double-Chocolate Brownies for the brownie throwdown!)

Today was the day of the great brownie throwdown!! A coworker’s wife and I both made brownies from scratch, which my coworkers taste-tested and voted on. I baked Martha’s Double-Chocolate Brownies from her Cookies cookbook; it said in the blurb that they are the most requested brownie recipe and always get rave reviews. Sounds foolproof, no?? Well, I followed the recipe, save for subbing margarine for the butter (a bad move, I know – I wouldn’t have, except that I didn’t have the butter on hand!) and 2 oz Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate for 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, plus adding 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder for “depth of flavor”. Bad moves all around! The texture was fantastic and the color was good, but the taste wasn’t sweet enough, I don’t think. The espresso powder might have made it very slightly bitter, too. I really don’t like Hershey’s chocolate OR cocoa. I think I’m going to have to start a cocoa search. Maybe Nestle is good? Or Ghirardelli? Or some random, no-name Dutch-processed brand? Better chocolate would be a good bet, plus using good quality unsalted butter. Well, mine were good, but hers were better (sweeter) and won hands down! She had almost the exact same recipe except for she had twice the chocolate overall, all semi-sweet, and no cocoa. Lessons learned! Seeing as it was only my second brownies-from-scratch baking adventure, I’d venture to say it wasn’t so bad! I’ll have to keep practicing … oh, the sadness!

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