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Several plain fudgy Brownie squares on white surface

Best Fudgy Brownies

This is my favorite homemade brownies recipe, the one I use to make a brownie cake (with dulce de leche and meringue) and the ones I keep frozen at all times for last-minute snacks or dessert. The recipe is one-bowl simple, gooey, full of chocolate flavor, and can hold add-ons wonderfully without compromising its texture.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 medium squares

Ingredients

Units
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract, or 1 teaspoon instant coffee (dissolve it in the vanilla), optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract, optional
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Butter or spray a 9-inch (20x20cm) square baking pan and line it with a strip of parchment paper. See Notes below.
  3. In a large bowl, melt butter and chocolate, see Notes below for methods.
  4. Add the sugar and mix for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the vanilla and other extracts if using, and mix well.
  6. Add the eggs and beat by hand until very well mixed.
  7. Add the dry ingredients, sifted (flour, cocoa, and salt). Fold well until the batter is shiny and smooth.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly jiggly in the middle.
  9. Let cool for about 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  10. Run a smooth-bladed knife along the edges and lift the parchment paper to transfer the brownies to a rack to cool completely before cutting. 
  11. You can pop them into the fridge for a few hours to make cutting them easier. 
  12. They are better the next day, in my opinion.
  13. They keep for a few days and can be frozen for up to a month, well wrapped.

Notes

  • Chocolate: use your favorite dark semisweet chocolate for this recipe. I like Callebaut 54% chocolate wafers or Ghirardelli Premium baking bar.
  • Cocoa powder: always use unsweetened. I like Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, Ghirardelli Premium baking cocoa, and Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder. And, in my experience, the dark ones are the best (this does not apply to the super dark used for making homemade oreo cookies known as dark cocoa powder).
  • How to melt chocolate and butter
    Microwave: this is the easiest and fastest way to do it. Simply put both ingredients in a microwave-proof bowl and microwave in 15-second spurts, whisking well after each time. This last part is very important as the chocolate sometimes holds its shape but is melted inside. You don't want to overdo it and chance scorching the chocolate. 
    Stovetop: you can use a small saucepan with water where the bowl with the chocolate fits on top but doesn't touch the water. The butter and chocolate will melt with the vapor from the water. This is a safer way because it's harder to scorch chocolate this way, but it takes much longer. 
  • How to line the pan: measure the width of the pan you're using and cut a strip the same size. The length of the strip is given by the width of the parchment paper you bought. Butter or spray the pan and add the strip of parchment paper, allowing the grease to act as glue. Add the brownie batter, bake it, and after it's cooled down, run a smooth-bladed knife along the sides. Now you can aid yourself by lifting the two pieces of paper to remove the whole block of brownies from the pan.
  • More chocolate: stir 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into the batter. 
  • Dessert-style: serve squares of these homemade brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Or berries.
     
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Brownies & Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/12
  • Calories: 297
  • Sugar: 22 g
  • Sodium: 118.1 mg
  • Fat: 18.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.5 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 77.9 mg

Keywords: fudgy brownies