The Palm Beach Brownie recipe from Maida Heatter is the best ever! These brownies are rich, creamy and smooth on the inside, and the outside is crisped to perfection.
My mom started making this Palm Beach Brownie recipe when the Book of Great Chocolate Desserts by Maida Heatter first came out in 1980. These brownies are somewhat legendary in my family and in the close circle of friends I grew up with. (You know who you are!)
Inspiration for Palm Beach Brownies
I hadn't made these for years, and I was so excited to crack this wonderful cookbook open again. I just love how tattered and chocolate-stained most of the pages are. This book has been cherished and loved.
About the Palm Beach Brownie Recipe by Meaida Heatter
Simply put, this brownie recipe is amazing! I think the espresso powder, almond extract, and the length of time the eggs are blended are the keys to its deliciousness.
- The espresso powder intensifies the chocolate flavor.
- The eggs are blended (with the sugar, salt, vanilla, almond and espresso), for 10 minutes. This helps create the rich and creamy texture.
- The almond flavor makes the brownies interesting without tasting like almond. It leaves one thinking there's a unique flavor in them, but they can't quite put their finger on it.
There are three small changes I made to the original Palm Beach Brownie recipe . . .
1. I lowered the oven temp to 375° F from 425° F. I did this because my mom had long ago penciled in this change in her book.
2. I omitted the 8 ounces of walnuts. Only because I prefer my brownies without nuts. Add them if you like them. 🙂
3. The amount of sugar in the original Maida Heatter recipe is quite high -- 3 ¾ cups! It works and it's delicious. However, I lowered it to 3 cups and it's just as good. 🙂 (You could probably take it to 2 ½ cups if you're so inclined.)
- I like to melt the chocolate and butter together at least an hour before I'm ready to make the recipe. It has to be cooled before it's mixed with the other ingredients, so this way, it's totally ready when I am.
- Be patient after they're baked and let them cool completely. They'll be much easier to slice and will look much prettier.
Can you freeze these brownies?
Yes! They freeze and thaw beautifully. I would freeze them for no longer than a month, if possible.
I think that Maida Heatter describes these perfectly . . .
"These are the biggest, thickest, gooiest, chewiest, darkest, sweetest, mostest-of-the-most chocolate bars with an almost wet middle and a crisp-crunchy top."
And what could be better than that?!
Enjoy every last crumb of my version of this delectable Palm Beach Brownie recipe.
Oh, and if you're interested in the best gluten-free brownie ever, you will love my Coconut Flour Brownies.
Palm Beach Brownie Recipe
- Set the oven and prepare the pan. Adjust the rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan with foil. Grease the foil with the 1 tablespoon of butter. The easiest way to do this is to add the butter to the foil-lined pan and place it in the hot oven for a minute or so. Then use a pastry brush -- or the butter wrapper -- to make sure the butter evenly coats the bottom and sides of the foil.
- Melt the chocolate and butter. Melt the chocolate and 8 ounces of butter together in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat -- or in a heavy saucepan over very low heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir to mix, remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Finish the batter. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs with the vanilla, salt, espresso, and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes. On low speed, add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat only until mixed. Then add the flour and again beat only until mixed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top.
- Bake. Bake for about 35 minutes, reversing the pan front to back as necessary during the baking to ensure it bakes evenly. Cover loosely with foil for about the last half of the baking time to prevent over-browning. At the end of 35 minutes, the brownies will have a thick, crisp crust on top, but if you insert a toothpick into the middle, it will come out wet and covered with chocolate. And that's exactly what you want. They're done!
- Cool. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool for at least a few hours. If you can, refrigerate them them overnight before cutting. A serrated knife will cut them easily.
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