Since we were going out of town this past weekend, I had to be SUPER motivated and bake earlier in the week. I was really happy that I decided to make these brownies instead of skipping the week. They ended up being really delicious and and I’m so glad I found the time to make them!

I didn’t have any raisins in the house, so I decided to substitute craisins instead. Although I’m not a huge fan of raisins in a lot of baked goods, I would have given them a shot. The craisins ended up being a tasty surprise that really complemented the cinnamon well. I also didn’t have any dark rum so I subbed Jameson’s Irish Whiskey. 

I did not get my craisins to flame — I may have not added enough alcohol– I’m not positive. Maybe next time! 

I ended up having to bake the brownies approximately 67 minutes. This is very unusual because typically my oven bakes things in less time than specified in the recipe, so I was surprised by this. When they came out of the oven the brownies had a pretty thick crust on the top, that although tasty, sort of fell off when I cut the brownies.  I was scared to move them out of the foil because they seemed to be pretty delicate, so I just ended up wrapping them up and taking them to work that way. 

The brownies were selected by Di at Di’s Kitchen Notebook. Here is the recipe with my alterations in bold:

French Chocolate Brownies

– makes 16 brownies –
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) I used it–with some hesitation-ended up so tasty
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden I used craisins
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum I used Jameson’s Irish Whiskey
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped I used Ghiardelli bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you’re using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It’s important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you’ve got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it’s better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you’ll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won’t be completely incorporated and that’s fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they’re even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

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