Independence Pass Brownies

What would the Fourth of July be without a sweet treat or two?  In honor of Independence Day (a bit early), I decided to post Independence Pass Brownies from Susan Purdy’s Pie in the Sky cookbook.  I don’t even want to mention how long ago I actually baked and photographed these brownies, but they were delicious enough to be memorable and they’re *perfect* for a holiday barbecue or picnic.  High-altitude bakers, have at it…

I decided to go with an 8 x 8-inch pan because I like thicker brownies.  (The linked recipe at the bottom of my post suggests an 8 x 11-inch pan, which would work just fine.)  I buttered the pan and set it aside.

In a large bowl, I combined 1/2 cup of Dutch-process cocoa powder, 1/2 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) of all-purpose flour, 1 cup (minus 1 tablespoon) of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of table salt.  In a separate bowl, I whisked together 3 large room-temperature eggs, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter (melted and cooled).

Next, I made a well in the middle of the dry ingredients in the large bowl.  I poured the egg-butter mixture into the center and worked in the cocoa-flour mixture along with 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips.  (You can substitute your favorite kind of nut for the white chocolate chips, if desired.)

Once the mixture was thoroughly incorporated, I poured the batter into my prepared pan.  I baked the brownies on the center oven rack at 375F for 20 minutes, which was the shortest recommended baking time.  My test toothpick came out clean (instead of with the recommended few moist crumbs attached), but I thought the whole pan turned out soft and perfect.  I let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack and then cut them into squares to serve.

Independence Pass Brownies

These were so freakin’ good.  They were rich, soft, and super chocolate-y, and I *loved* the chunkiness the chocolate chips added to the texture.  Thankfully, my guests did a pretty good number on the batch…  These brownies are t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

As always, remember to use top-quality cocoa powder and chocolate chips for best flavor!

TIPS:  I know better so I’m not sure why I didn’t do it the first time around, but next time, I’ll toss the chocolate chips with a bit of flour before I add them to the brownie batter.  This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan.

Recipe link: Independence Pass Brownies

p.s.  I would highly recommend checking out my all-time favorite Fourth of July dessert – Red, White, and Blueberry Cheesecake Tart – if you’re looking for holiday recipes.

p.p.s.  I made the Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce again last night (but on a real grill this time!).  I served them with Tabbouleh and the flavor combination was out of this world.  Give them a try!

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