14 tbsp. (1 3/4 sticks/7 oz./200g) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10 oz. (280g) best quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, or dark milk chocolate
1 3/4 cups (10 oz./280g) light muscovado sugar (regular light brown sugar may be substituted)
4 tbsp. milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (7 oz./200g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 oz./85g) sweet dried cranberries
1 cup (3 1/2 oz./100g) chopped pecans, walnuts or pistachios (optional)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Butter a non-stick 11-inch x 7-inch x 1.5-inch deep baking pan, or line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and butter paper or foil (I recommend lining the pan with enough parchment paper or foil so you have a 2-inch overhang on all sides, so you can lift the brownies out easily once they have cooled.)
2. Break the chocolate into pieces and place into a medium size saucepan, add the butter, sugar and milk, then warm gently, stirring frequently until melted and evenly mixed. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly (about 5 minutes), then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Fold in the flour, cranberries and chopped nuts (nuts are an optional ingredient.)
3. Spoon mixture into the prepared baking pan. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (do not overbake or the brownies will be dry.) Remove brownies from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then lift brownies out of pan using the parchment paper or foil overhang and transfer brownies to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove parchment paper or foil (if used) and cut brownies into squares when completely cooled. If desired, dust with confectioners' sugar.
Brownies will keep in a airtight container for several days.
Makes 12-16 brownies (depending on what size you cut them).
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall ©2007
Date: April 21, 2007