Daily Herald
Shirley's Fudgy Brownies
Published: 2/11/2009 12:01 AM

11/2 cups pecans

11/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 1-tablespoon pieces, divided

Nonstick cooking spray, optional

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 ounce German's Sweet Chocolate

4 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

11/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon salt

11/2 cups spooned and leveled bleached all-purpose flour

Arrange a shelf in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300 degrees.

Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. While the nuts are hot, stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter. When cool, coarsely chop and set aside.

Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or Release foil (nonstick side up), allowing overhang on both long sides to make removal easier.

Place the remaining 11/2 cups butter around the edge of a microwave-safe glass bowl. Place the semisweet and sweet chocolate in the center. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave on 100 percent power for 1 minute, stirring at least 2 times, and then 15 seconds more, stirring 1 time. Or, place the chocolates and butter together in a stainless-steel bowl. In a large skillet, bring water to a simmer. Set aside until the water is no longer steaming. Place the bowl of chocolate and butter in the hot water, being careful not to get water or steam into the chocolate. Stir the chocolate every few minutes until melted.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork just to blend whites and yolks. With a minimum of hand stirring, stir together the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. By hand, with a minimum of stirring, stir together the egg mixture and the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out. Soak cake strips in water and wrap around the outside edge of the pan as directed. Place the pan on the arranged shelf and bake until brownies just begin to pull away from the edge of the pan, about 1 hour. Err on the side of undercooking rather than risk drying out the brownies. A toothpick inserted should come out wet with gooey chocolate.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Remove the brownies from the pan, using the parchment or foil overhang to help lift out the brownies. When completely cool, wrap the brownies well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Place the brownies on a cutting board and remove the parchment or foil. Place another cutting board on top and turn over so that the brownies are right side up. Trim the edges and cut into 2-inch squares. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store refrigerated.

Serve 24.

"BakeWise" by Shirley Corriher (2008 Scribner, $40)