Did you know Valentine’s Day is a long and time-honored tradition in many countries? The practice of giving cards or trinkets to someone you love on February 14, Valentine’s Day dates back to the Middle Ages, but Valentine, the Saint lived long before that, during Roman Times.
Legend has it that around 270 AD Roman Emperor Claudius outlawed marriage of young men, thinking that would make them better soldiers. Valentine, a Christian bishop took pity on these couples and married them in secret. When he was found out he was jailed and executed.
Another version of the story says Valentine was imprisoned for trying to help Christians escape Roman prisons. While in prison he fell in love with his jailor’s daughter and before his death, sent her a love note signed “from your Valentine”.
Today Valentine’s Day is a holiday honoring romance and love, symbolized by love notes, flowers, hearts, cupid and of course chocolate. So what better way to celebrate this passionate holiday than with these gorgeous brownies.
I have to admit I am not a fan of brownies, they are usually too fudgy or too cakey and most come out of a box which are even worse. These brownies are the number one chocolate winner of Cooking Light magazine’s Chocolate Challenge and I love them. But not everyone does. They are a cross between a cakey and fudgy brownie and have an intense dark chocolate taste, so if you’re a milk chocolate kind of gal you may want to pass or maybe try one bite.
CLASSIC FUDGE BROWNIES
Traditionally these brownies call for ½ cup walnuts but I skipped them for the kids who liked them plain. They are good either way.
Adapted from Cooking Light January/February 2102
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat white flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (do not use Dutch Processed)
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup 1 percent milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup walnuts optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Mix flours, white sugar, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk with wire whisk.
3. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl or large 4-cup measuring cup, microwave at HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Then stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk chocolate mixture and 1/2 cup chocolate to flour mixture; stir to combine.
4. Pour the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with nuts, if using. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. This will not look like a lot of batter but it will rise as it cooks. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 20 pieces.
NOTE: To avoid getting crumbly brownies dip your knife or spatula in warm water before cutting into the brownies.