Palm Beach Brownies
Makes about 2 dozen brownies.
Note: Adapted from several Maida Heatter cookbooks, including “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts.”
• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus 2 tbsp. for pan
• 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
• 5 eggs
• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp. almond extract
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1 tbsp. dry instant espresso powder
• 3 3/4 c. sugar
• 1 2/3 c. flour
• 8 oz. (2 generous c.) walnut halves, roughly chopped
Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Invert a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and drape it with a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side down, long enough to cover the pan’s sides. Using your hands, carefully press down on the foil around the sides and the corners to shape it over the pan to create a foil liner. Remove foil, turn pan right side up, place foil liner in pan and carefully press into place. Place 2 tablespoons butter into prepared pan. Place pan in oven for 1 to 2 minutes to melt butter, then brush melted butter evenly across bottom of foil-lined pan.
In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), combine chocolate with remaining 1 cup butter, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and butter have melted and are thoroughly combined and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, beat eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, espresso powder and sugar for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 9 additional minutes. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl, reduce speed to medium, add cooled chocolate-butter mixture and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low, add flour and mix until just combined. Stir in nuts.