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Plain Brownie squares on white surface

Best Ever Brownies

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 medium squares 1x
  • Category: Brownies & Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is my favorite recipe for plain brownies, 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.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups (105g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) 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 (180g) unsalted butter
  • 6 oz (180g) dark chocolate (I use 60 to72%), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (200g) white sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room tº

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Butter or spray a 9-inch (20x20cm) square pan and line 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 sifted flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix well by hand until batter is shiny and smooth.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a bit jiggly in the middle.
  9. Let cool for about 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  10. Run a smooth-bladed knife along the egdes and lift 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 up to a month, well wrapped.

Notes

Some of my favorite ingredients:

Chocolate - Lindt's Excellence 70% Dark chocolate; Green & Black's Organic 70% Chocolate; Ghirardelli Premium 60% Baking bar;

Cocoa powder - Ghirardelli Premium Baking Cocoa; Hershey's Special Dark baking cocoa

Extracts - Nielsen Massey Pure Madagascar Vanilla extract; Simply Organic Pure Vanilla extract; Simply Organic Almond Extract; Nielsen Massey Pure Almond extract; Flavorings Organic Coffee extract

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 the 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 that comes up when the water heats. 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 a glue. Add the brownie batter, bake it, and, after it's cooled down run a smooth-bladed knife along the sides that had no paper. Now you can aid yourself by lifting the two pieces of paper to remove the whole block of brownies from the pan.
     

Keywords: one bowl brownies, fudgy brownies