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Mastic Brownies!

February 3, 2011
Brownies with Mastiha (Mastic)
As we all know, I am kind of obsessed with Mastiha (mastic), the Greek resin used to flavor creams and custards in the Eastern Mediterranean.  I chew on it, I cook with it, and most of my cosmetic products nowadays have it in them.  When I travel, it is one of the only things I miss from home.  So, the other day when I was at the Mastiha Shop in New York’s Lower East Side, I found a recipe for Mastiha brownies.  I never eat or bake brownies.  I am not much of a brownie/cookie person, I am much more of a cake/ice cream person.  Anyway, the mastiha factor changed this all, because my mouth started watering when I saw the recipe.  I love mastiha in chocolate, because it perks it up a bit, and gives it a similar nuance like orange peels do to dark chocolate.  Emma sent me an email a couple weeks ago about a Gingerbread with Frankincense in San Francisco, so maybe there is something to this idea of baking with resins.
 
The recipe was really easy to make, and I shared it with some Turkish friends, who gobbled them up right away.  The recipe is adapted from Mastiha Cuisine by Diane Kochilas, available at the Mastiha Shop NY and on their online store.  There are many other delicious recipes in this book!

Mastiha Brownies
2 sticks salted butter, plus more for buttering
8 ounces dark chocolate (you MUST use a good quality chocolate here)
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons mastiha powder (you can grind the resin or buy the pre-ground powder)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
½ cup chopped walnuts

Butter a 13x9 inch baking dish.  
Preheat the oven to 350F.  
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bain marie, and set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs, sugar, mastic, and vanilla in a bowl.  Once mixed, beat in the chocolate.  
Stir in the flour until well blended.  Add the walnuts, and pour into the pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is a bit crackly.  
Cool and serve.  
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