Bear grease is a versatile fat—you can use it for everything from sauteés to confits, and apparently, you can also forecast the weather with it. In addition to its savory and meteorological applications, it makes a mean batch of brownies. Bear grease is somewhat liquid at room temperature, so it can be used as a 1:1 substitute for recipes that normally call for vegetable oil or melted butter.
Brownies, both the scratch versions and the out-of-the-box mixes, generally call for liquid oil or melted butter. This makes using bear grease in brownie recipes a snap. I’ll be quite honest—for the duration of my entire restaurant career, I tried my best to avoid pastry work, and most of the brownies I’ve made at home have come from red boxes, but once you make these brownies from scratch, it’ll be hard to go back to premixed varieties.
For this recipe, we’re melting the bear grease and dark chocolate together, which will give everything a rich taste and texture. I use a large mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water. This is a double boiler, which will keep the grease and chocolate from overheating and burning. Allow the chocolate and bear grease to melt together for around a minute, stirring frequently. From there, remove the bowl from the heat and add in the remaining ingredients in order.
You can substitute nuts, more chocolate chips, or whatever you want for the cocoa nibs, but I like them for the added texture, and they provide an additional layer of chocolate flavor.
The large quantity of dark chocolate counterbalances the sugar content, and gives these brownies a luscious fudgy texture, with incredible richness. These are decadent and luxurious, a far cry from the easy bake oven version. Eat them however you like to eat brownies, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better combo than topping them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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