April 5, 2014


I have a lot of homework and college stuff to do this weekend, so I probably shouldn't be cooking much. But during one of my study breaks, I was scrolling through some recipe websites and I saw these brownies. They looked so good. So, so good. I started thinking about brownies and how even though I cook all the time I still love a good box mix brownie because they are fudgy and chocolaty and delicious. Also easy. Like I said, I have a lot of stuff to do, and I don't have much time to satisfy my chocolate craving.

Anyway, I clicked on that recipe and started drooling at all the pictures. I noticed I had all the ingredients and started getting out my mixer and apron. And then I saw how much butter I had to use. Three sticks in one small pan? No thank you. I want chocolate, but I don't want to eat obscene amounts of butter. So I did some more research and salivated over more pictures and finally found this one. It has only one stick of butter, so it isn't nearly as bad for you, and it is full of chocolate. Even better, it's all in one bowl and is ready to bake in about 10 minutes, so you can start gorging on brownies in less than 45 minutes.

This recipe is extremely easy, but there is some science behind the perfection. You start by whisking cocoa powder and sugar together. I prefer dark chocolate cocoa powder rather than unsweetened so that my brownies aren't quite as bitter. You don't have to sift anything because the coarse sugar granules break up any lumps of cocoa, and even plain granulated sugar is coarse enough to do the job. The mixture should feel powdery but grainy at the same time. They should make sandboxes out of this stuff or something because it's just fun to play with. Is that weird? Either way, if you want brownies, you have to stop sometime. You then stir in some melted butter. You want it to be fairly hot because the heat wakes up the cocoa and intensifies the chocolate flavor. You'll notice it darken significantly, and it should be very fragrant. The eggs go in next. The butter should be just warm, and wait until it cools down a bit if it's still hot so you don't cook the eggs. I also stir in a splash of vanilla because vanilla just makes everything better. Finally, I stir in the dry ingredients, which includes a little bit of flour, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of baking soda. There's only a little bit of flour so that the brownies stay fudgy and moist.

If you like cakey brownies, this recipe will convert you. I don't particularly like fudge, but there is something about a rich, dense brownie that just lures me in. These are addictive. They are packed with chocolate, and you can use whatever type you want. There's the cocoa powder in the batter and also some chocolate chips folded in. I prefer plain semisweet chips, but milk, white, mini, or jumbo would be delicious as well. You can even sprinkle some M&Ms on top for some color. I know I just found my go-to brownie recipe, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

1 Stick Butter
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
3/4 Cup Cocoa
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 325F and line an 8-9" square pan with parchment. Grease.

Melt the butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Whisk the sugar and cocoa together, then add the butter. Whisk in the vanilla, and add the eggs one at a time, stirring until incorporated. Fold in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until just cooked through.

Makes 16
Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit

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