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Old 08-06-2006, 10:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
Arlien, in my experience there should NOT be any baking powder in Brownies. That's the main difference between Brownies and cake.
To be clear, The Joy of Cooking's recipe for brownies that I suggested has no baking powder -- it makes the sort of dense brownies I prefer, but they're not so dense and gooey that you would mistake them for fudge rather than baked goods.

Some recipes for cake-like brownies do call for leavening, which is why I suggested that one a possible problem might be outdated baking powder.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:18 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
Arlien, get an oven thermometer. ... The other option is to ask your landlord to have an appliance repairperson come in to do the calibration.
Good advice.

I'd also try calling your local gas company (if it's a gas oven) as many of the gas utilities will come out and check your gas appliances and adjust them if necessary.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:23 AM   #23
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One other thought -- a thorough cleaning of the oven might help (no offense, but I think you did say the oven was there when you moved in). If the heat sensor is caked with grease and soot, it won't get a proper read on the temperature -- the gunk on it can act like insulation, causing it to read low. In older ovens that I've had, the sensor looks like a long metal probe and is attached to one of the interior walls of the oven. A little Easy-Off and some elbow grease might help.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:56 AM   #24
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Hi Arlienb ~ After you have checked, cleaned, and adjusted your oven, try this recipe for brownies. I can't remember where I found it or, perhaps, who gave it to me, but it is my favorite and everyone loves the brownies. Good Luck with your oven and the brownies. Let us know how it goes!!

Irresistible Brownies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, well beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package (12 oz. or 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 13"X9" baking pan. Combine the melted butter and sugar. Mix well. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, eggs, and vanilla. Stir with a spoon until batter is well blended and smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spread batter in baking pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Bake 30-35 minutes until just set. Cool on wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares. Makes about 24 brownies.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:45 AM   #25
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thanks for all the advice! i do have an oven thermometer which i haven't used recently so i'll do that--thanks marmalady! as for doing the cleaning...we've done major scrubbing with those special oven cleaners and its as "clean as it can get", considering. oh well. maybe it's time to ring up those professional cleaners. thanks for the recipe!
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:51 AM   #26
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before i start baking this recipe from joy of cooking, two more questions for those who've tried and tested it: do i use unsalted butter or salted butter? isn't the 2 cups sugar too much? thanks! p.s. i've checked the oven temperature...it does give the right temp at a given setting(according to my old oven thermometer), but everytime i open the door, it does go down by 50 F, which must mean i SHOULDN'T open the door if i don't have to. unfortunately, i have the old oven where the doors are solid--without any viewing window--so i do have to open it to check if it's done. I JUST HATE MY OVEN!!! but there's nothing i can do...my landlord's mentality: if it generally works, why change it?
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:01 AM   #27
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Good Luck, Arlienb, with your brownies. You asked about salted/unsalted butter. I always use unsalted butter, especially if the recipe calls for salt. As for the sugar, 2 cups are probably okay. Again, it depends upon your recipe -- if you use unsweetened cocoa powder, then you will need the sugar.

Sorry about your oven -- I am a landlord and I can understand why he/she isn't too excited about buying you a new oven. BUT ... here is an idea -- you might want to call (or ask your landlord if it is okay to call -- he/she may want to make the call) the gas/electric company (ours comes out for free) and ask them to check your oven (connections, safety, leaks, if it is gas, etc.). Then, if there are problems, your landlord will be more apt to correct them or, perhaps, get you a new oven.
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #28
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thank you, auntieshelly! i prefer using unsalted butter myself, and i vaguely remember there was a reason for it (lighter cakes?) which i wasn't sure would apply to brownies. as for the landlord-oven issue, well...i can understand his side, considering my only apparent flops with baking/cooking are with brownies. maybe brownies are not as resistant to fluctuations in temperature as others are...that's my own interpretation of it.

thanks again!
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