The best brownies I’ve ever made. Ridiculously fudgy, chocolaty brownies made with ingredients you probably already have on hand… a recipe to keep forever.
It came to my attention recently that I have a number of different brownie recipes scattered across my blog, entwined with other recipes for brownie-cookie hybrids and brownie-ice cream mish-mashes. However, what this space was lacking was its own, stand-alone brownie recipe.
I decided that it was about time I provide one of those, and so I recently embarked on a mission to develop the very best brownie recipe I possibly could. Rich, chocolaty, fudgy squares so saturated with chocolate they nearly melt in your mouth… the epitome of brownie perfection.
There was a lot of frustration and a lot of disappointment along the way. Batch after batch of sub-par creations were tossed in the trash (the more edible creations were pawned off on family members, who always seem eager to devour my recipe fails).
Finally, the recipe that succeeded and proved itself to be a winner (which, after developing, I then proceeded to make it 3 more times just to make sure it was really as perfect as it seemed to be) turned out to be only a few shades different from one that I’ve developed in the past in my Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies. A few tweaks and this brownie stands alone proudly in fudgy, crackly-topped wonder.
This recipe uses both cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate. In order to get the most chocolate flavor possible, the cocoa powder is “bloomed” in near-boiling water. By stirring the cocoa powder into the hot water, the powder’s full chocolate flavor potential is released in a way that simply stirring it into butter and sugar fails to do.
I also used instant coffee to complement the chocolate and make these brownies as rich as possible, but my brother said he could detect the coffee flavor and didn’t like it. The rest of my family did (and I personally loved it), but decide for yourself whether you like a hint of mocha to your brownies or not and leave the coffee in or out accordingly.
I prefer to make these brownies in an 11×7 pan because they come out thicker and even fudgier, but they come out just fine in a standard 13×9 pan as well (just with a few more minutes of cook-time… it’s all addressed in the recipe below).
Best Ever Brownies
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder dutch-processed
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate chopped into pieces (or semisweet chocolate chips, not chopped)
- 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee optional
- 1 cup butter cut into pieces, 2 sticks
- 2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs lightly beaten + 2 yolks (room temperature preferably)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease and lightly flour 11 x 7 pan (or 13x9 pan if you do not have 11x7) and set aside
In small saucepan, heat ⅔ cup water until it just begins to boil. Add cocoa powder, semisweet chocolate, and instant coffee. Immediately remove from heat and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and silky.
In large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter on 15 second increments, stirring at intervals until completely melted.
Stir in sugar and vanilla.
Stir in chocolate mixture, stirring until completely combined.
Add eggs and egg yolks, stirring until completely combined.
Sprinkle salt over batter and stir in.
Gradually stir in flour until completely combined.
Spread batter into prepared pan and bake on 350F for 30-35 minutes if using 11x7 pan and 25-30 if using 13x9 pan (time may vary depending on your individual oven. To check if brownies are done, insert a toothpick into the center of the pan. If it comes up wet with unbaked batter return it to the oven and continue to check every five minutes. When the brownies are completely done, the toothpick will be slightly fudgy and may have a few crumbs, but it will be a a fudge-like consistency and not a wet batter consistency.
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