Atomic Brownies

After WWII, “atomic” was a synonym for “great” or “super.” Even strippers billed themselves as “Atomic Bombs.” Recipes for atomic brownies started appearing in cookbooks at the same time, but they’re about as atomic as a stripper.

Brownie Base

1 cup unsalted butter
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
1½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Chocolate Drizzle

1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the butter and chocolates in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring until mixture is melted and smooth. Whisk in sugars, eggs, vanilla extract and milk, blending until smooth. Add flour and salt just until mixture is combined, stir in nuts and spread into 13 x 9-inch baking pan lined with greased parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or so. Cool pan completely on a wire rack. For the drizzle, bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove pan from heat and add chocolates, whisk until smooth and cool until thickened. Pour over brownies, and cool in the refrigerator until firm before cutting into bars.

World’s Best Slutty Brownies

Preheat oven to 350. Cream two sticks softened butter with a cup of granulated sugar and a half cup light brown sugar until well-blended. Beat in 2 large eggs and a tablespoon vanilla extract. Separately, add a teaspoon baking soda and a teaspoon salt to 2 ½ cups flour,  blend into the butter/eggs, along with 2 cups chocolate chips to make a dough. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil, coat generously with cooking spray, and mash the cookie dough onto it. Add a layer of Double Stuffed Oreos. Top with a brownie batter made with a family size box of good brownie mix. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. And yes, slackers, you can use store-bought chocolate cookie dough. But it won’t be as good.

Guinness Stout Brownies

You’ll often find recipes using an alcoholic beverage, particularly wine, of course, but also rum, bourbon, and beer. While some teetotalers recoil at making such recipes, if the dish is heated to anywhere near the boiling point, the alcohol evaporates, leaving only the flavor of the beverage. To concentrate the flavor of the beer in this recipe, some people will actually take an entire bottle of Guinness and boil it down to the 12 ounces called for here for more intensity, but that’s just an option.

4 eggs
3⁄4 cup superfine sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup cocoa
1 1⁄4 cups Guinness stout

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter an 8-inch-square pan. Combine the eggs and sugar, beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Melt the bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. I do this is in a glass bowl the microwave. Beat into the egg mixture. Sift the flour and cocoa together and beat into the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the Guinness, which should be at room temperature. Pour into the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing. You can dust this with confectioner’s sugar, if you like, and you can also add a half cup chopped nuts; pistachios would be appropriate.