West 10th Street Brownies
In 2011, I took a baking class at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) at 50 West 23rd Street in New York City (Amazing class! I would recommend any of the classes offered at ICE. Check them out at ICE Culinary ). The class was called “The Best Brownie Workshop” and was a collection of Nick Malgieri’s brownie recipes. Nick is the former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World, is a 1996 inductee into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. His twelfth and latest book is NICK MALGIERI’S PASTRY: FOOLPROOF RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK. He was voted one of the ten best pastry chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines in 1998 and 1999, and he is the director the baking program at ICE. Check him out at Nick Malgieri.
Of course, I keep all the folders and pamphlets from past classes I take and these brownies have been a ‘go to’ for me for years now. I haven’t made them in quite some time, but it was a colleague’s birthday and these brownies were the perfect solution.
Story behind the West 10th Street Brownies:
“The name of this recipe is because I found it in Greenwich Villiage a few blocks from where I live. As I walked east on Tenth Street, I saw a yellowed index card lying on the sidewalk. When I picked it up and saw written in spidery hand in blue fountain pen ink a recipe for ‘The Best Brownies in the World.’ Well, I put it aside in a miscellaneous recipe file, and a few months later tried it. They turned out to be sensational and certainly a contender for the title.” – Nick Malgieri
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
15 Minutes 30 Minutes 45 Minutes
Yields: ~24 2-inch Brownies
- 16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tsp of Cinnamon (*my personal addition the the recipe*)
- 1 cup (6 ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips
- 19 x 13 x 2-inch pan
- Set a rack in the middle level of the oven, preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter the pan well
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add the 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. *If not all the chocolate has melted, add back to very low heat and stir constantly. Chocolate can burn rather quickly, so make sure to remove from heat just before it is fully melted*
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt & vanilla until just mixed.
- Whisk in the sugar in a constant stream
- Whisk in the chocolate butter mixture
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and cinnamon, switch to a rubber spatula and fold into the chocolate/egg mixture.
** Fold technique: The reason the flour is folded into this recipe rather than just mixed is to keep the air inside. This is what creates the airiness and volume in cakes and brownies. To fold in the flour make horizontal sweeping motions, like you’re folding what’s already in the bowl over the flour that you’ve added. Each time I do one sweeping motion I rotate the bowl slightly so that I’m folding from different angles and making sure I haven’t missed any of the flour. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as well.** Careful: One of the biggest mistakes people (including myself sometimes) make when it comes to brownies is over mixing. **
- The batter may still be warm from the melted butter and chocolate. If so, set it aside until it has cooled to room temperature (test it with your fingertip). Once cooled, fold in the chocolate chips until just combined.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish and level with an offset spatula
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let them cool completely, roughly 1 – 2 hours.
- Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight is best.
- Once cold, transfer to a cutting board, measure two-inch squares and cut into pieces and eat them!
Giving It Another Shot!
I started on my bread making adventure when I was in college. The outcome was great, but the process had some major flaws… One major flaw in particular: I blew a fuse in the apartment EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. The apartment was somewhat drafty and to let the bread rise in a dark, quiet, warm place I would need a space heater in the back of the apartment. Never fail, 20 minutes later, the apartment was dark and shut down.
I decided to give it another go now when I moved to NYC… same problem. This apartment was much smaller and I decided it was probably a fire hazard and I should just quit the whole bread attempt. There are literally millions of other things to bake, stop with the bread Kristin!
Well, I’m stubborn and in a new apartment, but this time, IT WORKED! And it was delicious!! I decided on Challah Bread and ended with some fabulous french toast for breakfast!
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
3 – 3.5 hours 30 min 3.5 -4 hours
Yields: 1 Loaf
- 2 Tsp of Active Dry or Instant Yeast
- 1 Cup of lukewarm Water
- 4 – 4.5 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tsp of Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 Large Egg Yolk (Keep the Egg White for the Egg Wash you’ll use later)
- 1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil
- Sprinkle the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand until you see a thin frothy layer across the top of the mixture. When you see the froth, this means that the yeast is active and ready to use.
- Whisk together 4 cups of flour (save the last 1/2 cup to the side), sugar and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re kneading by hand)
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs, egg yolk and oil. Whisk these together to form a semi-liquid mixture pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.
- Pour the yeast mixture over the egg mixture and mix with a spoon until you form a shaggy dough that is difficult to mix
- With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes (or, if by hand, turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes). If the dough seems sticky, like bubblegum, add the excess flour, a teaspoon at a time, until it feels tacky, but no longer sticky. The dough is finished kneading when it is soft, smooth and holds a ball-shape.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere quiet, warm, and dark. I placed mine in my over (with the heat off!). Let the dough rise until doubled in size, roughly 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Braiding the Dough: There are two routes you can go here: (1) Standard 3-stranded braid, or (2) 6-stranded braid.
- 3-Stranded Braid: Separate the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll into a long rope, 1 inch thickness and 16 inches long. Cinch at the top, fold under and braid down. Cinch at the bottom and fold under.
- 6-Stranded Braid: Separate the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into a long rope, 1 inch thickness and 16 inches long. Cinch at the top and fold under. The game plan here is “over two, under one, over two” always starting from the far right rope. Carry the right-most rope over the two ropes beside it, go under the middle rope, then carry it over the last two ropes. Lay the rope down parallel to the other ropes. It is now the furthest-left strand. Continue using the right-most rope, follow the pattern and make the braid as tight as possible. Your braid will start to shift left as you go and it is OK to lift it up and recenter if you need to. Once you reach the end, squeeze and cinch the ends of the rope together and tuck them under the loaf. If the rope seems too long, it is OK to plump it together carefully.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the loaf on the paper. Sprinkle with a little flour and drape a dishcloth over the top. Place the pan in a warm spot, away from drafts and let rise until puffed and pillowy, roughly an hour (Do NOT place in the oven this time because half way through you’ll need to turn the oven on to pre-heat). Try not to peek! :)
- About 20 minutes before baking, heat the oven to 350 degrees F. When ready to bake, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush all over the Challah. Be sure to get into ALL the nooks and crannies as well as down the sides of the loaf.
- Place the Challah in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The challah will be done when it is deeply brown.
- Let the challah cool on a cooling rack until just barely warm.
- Finally — Slice & Eat!!
No kidding, we ate this bread all weekend! It was a perfect addition to short-ribs, it made fantastic french toast and mid-day sandwiches. You name it, if we could make the bread fit, we did! I hope you enjoy it as much as my home did!
Friday Night: PIZZA NIGHT!
Growing up, my sister, brother and I would always have certain nights we’d get really excited about! Mainly, Sunday spaghetti and meatballs (The Sopranos night when it was still airing), our birthdays where we picked any meal we wanted, and Friday Night: Pizza Night. As I’ve gotten older, the typically Friday night doesn’t include Pizza anymore, but when it does, I really enjoy making it from scratch! It also helps that I just received a new Pizza Stone be Emile Henry from Crate & Barrel and was excited to use it!
I love my pizzas super cheesy with pepperoni and lots of tomato sauce! I found a great recipe on House of Yumm for a No Yeast Pizza Dough that was easy to whip up in about 5 minutes. The best part about it, you more than likely have all of the ingredients already in you cabinet: flour, baking powder, salt, milk & butter. In the time it takes you to make the dough and pop the pizza in the oven, Seamless would’ve just processed your order, it’s that easy!
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
5 min 10 min 15 min
Makes 1 large pizza
- 2 1/4 Cups of All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbs of Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp of Salt
- 1 Cup of Milk
- 1/4 Cup of Butter (at room temperature)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
- I used a pizza stone which does not require any greasing, but you can also use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attachment) combine all the ingredients and mix on low speed until one ball of dough forms. If you don’t have a mixer, you can do this by stirring with spatula, or your hands, until the ball comes together. It’s a bit of extra work, but you’ll have some killer arms!
- Sprinkle flour onto your rolling pin, on your hands and lightly onto the counter you’re working on. Remove the ball from the bowl and pat down to form a solid ball.
- Roll the dough into a ball and set onto the prepared baking sheet. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough to the desired thickness. Average is about 1/4 of an inch, but it’s not a science, it’s your preference. The thicker the dough, the longer the pizza will need to be in the over, but be careful not to make it too think that you end up burning the toppings just to cook the dough!
- Cover the rolled out dough with tomato sauce leaving about an inch around the edge for the crust. I blend together Rao’s Marinara Sauce with their 4 Cheese Sauce.
- Add the rest of your toppings! I added sliced Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and a little grated Parmesan on top:
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes on the bottom shelf of your oven until you see the crust browning and the cheese melting. Your nose is your best tool! When you start to smell the pizza, check it. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for roughly 5 minutes. Then, ENJOY!
As you can see, it was a success in my house!!