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  • By Candy Sagon
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, February 10, 1999; Page F09

    How did downtown's Renaissance Mayflower Hotel control the horde of reporters, photographers, lawyers, House managers, senators and members of Congress (not to mention Monica Lewinsky) who descended on the historic building for the impeachment depositions?

    With brownies, of course. Thick, chewy, chocolaty brownies.

    A tuxedo-clad waiter sweetened the mood of the hungry reporters and photographers hanging out in front of the hotel by serving them brownies, and generous platters of the sweets (along with sandwiches and cookies) were brought to the plush presidential suite where the depositions took place.

    Hotel pastry chef Stephane Giannoni made dozens of trays of his special brownies in honor of this media moment and now you, too, can make brownies to appease your own horde.

    The Mayflower Brownies

    (Makes 24 very large or 48 small brownies )

    Confectioners' sugar for dusting the pan and for topping the brownies

    1¾ pounds semisweet chocolate

    1½ pounds (6 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional for greasing the pan

    3 cups sugar

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    11 eggs

    2 tablespoons vanilla extract

    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-by-13-inch baking pans with butter and dust with confectioners' sugar.

    In a saucepan or double boiler over low heat, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together. When chocolate has melted, take off the heat, stir to combine and let the mixture cool until just warm to the touch.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Stir to mix thoroughly.

    Add the eggs and vanilla to the cooled chocolate mixture, blending well. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds just until ingredients are blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

    Bake in the preheated oven until the cake starts to come away from the sides of the pan, about 35 minutes. Cool and dust with confectioners' sugar before slicing.

    Per brownie (based on 48): 343 calories, 5 gm protein, 34 gm carbohydrates, 24 gm fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 11 gm saturated fat, 63 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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