Basic Brownies

31 Aug

Brownies. Alright, so brownies aren’t the most exciting or impressive dessert, but I think it’s important for everyone to have a good brownie recipe in their back pocket (or a box of good brownie mix in the cabinet…I’m all for that too).

I’m taking this batch to a tailgate tomorrow for the first football game of the season!  Brownies are the perfect tailgate/potluck/barbeque dish.  You can easily throw just about anything into them to make them more awesome (peanut butter, nuts, caramel, marshmallows), but make complex flavors and you risk having more people not like them (nut allergies, people who don’t like caramel or marshmallows, etc.).  Everyone loves the basic brownie.

Plus, it’s really hard to make a batch of brownies that people won’t eat.  You use enough chocolate and butter and any recipe is a winner.  With two sticks of butter, five eggs and a cup and a half of chocolate, this looked like one of those winners, and after baking and tasting, I can tell you it sure it.

There’s not really much to say about these brownies.  If you like brownies, you will like these.  They’re flaky on top and the perfect mix of cakey and fudgy on the inside…moist and rich, but not too heavy or sweet.  They taste like those great boxed brownies, but are easy enough that that extra bit of work is worth it to say they are homemade.


     First, preheat your oven to 350, grease a 9×13 pan and get some water simmering for a double boiler.  You want a large mixing bowl to fit snugly in the pot (so that when you’re stirring the contents it won’t spin around or fall out), and the water in the pot should not touch the bowl (you want the steam to be the heat source).

While you wait for the water to warm, in a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients—flour, salt, and cocoa powder.


Then cut up two sticks of butter into smaller chunks in the large mixing bowl that will head to the double boiler.


And get your sugars and chocolate ready in two smaller separate bowls.  (I know it’s a lot of dishes, but only the one large mixing bowl actually gets ‘dirty’).


By now, the water should be simmering.

     Put your butter bowl on the water, and let it begin to melt, slowly incorporating the chips, whisking until everything is smooth.

     It only takes about three minutes for everything to melt together.  At this point, turn off the heat to the water bath, and pour the sugars in while the chocolate is still over the warm water, whisking until smooth (mine stayed a bit gritty)

     Remove the bowl from the water bath.  It should be at about room temperature after the addition of the sugars.  Just make sure it’s not too hot when you add the eggs…don’t want to scramble them.

Whisk in the first three, then the last two, and the vanilla.  You want the eggs to just barely be incorporated.  Overmixing at this stage will create a more cakey than fudgy brownie.


You can’t really tell in the picture, but the batter takes on a really funky consistency at this point…almost like pudding.  Don’t be concerned (It’s also really reflective, apparently based on the picture quality).

Then sprinkle the dry ingredients on top and fold them in until just barely combined.


Into the 9×13 pan and into the 350 oven for 30 minutes.

     Ta da!  Beautiful, beautiful brownies!

     You want to make these.  Your friends will be impressed.


The Basic Brownie

From Brown Eyed Baker

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (or chocolate chips)
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan.  Get water simmering in a saucepan for a double boiler (large mixing bowl should fit snugly in your saucepan; water should be slightly lower than the bowl)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. Get your sugars measured and ready in a separate small bowl; Get your chocolate ready in a separate small bowl
  4. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl over the simmering water.  Once it begins to melt, begin slowly adding chocolate and espresso powder and whisking together until smooth.
  5. Turn off the heat to the double boiler, but keep the bowl over the water and add in sugars.  Whisk until combined and remove the bowl from the pan.
  6. Once the mixture has cooled slightly (should be near room temperature after adding the sugars), whisk in three eggs until just combined, and then two more and the vanilla; do not over mix at this stage or the brownies will be cakey.
  7. sprinkle flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and fold it in until just barely combined; Pour into the greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.





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