I have a love-hate relationship with brownie mixes. I like the convenience, but I almost always hate the flavor of the cocoa. It’s usually too high tasting. Which I don’t know how to describe except for that. Anyway, last week I made the mistake of purchasing a box of brownie mix. I did so because one, I was craving brownies, but more importantly, two, it was on sale. So I made the brownies, had barely a bite and left the rest for my family to consume. Which they did. Though both my mother and myself were disappointed with the results. So last night, when I was supposed to be finishing my reading assignment for my class discussion this morning, I decided to take a break to make myself some homemade brownies with the leftover unsweetened cocoa baking squares (previously used to make the instant chocolate fudge frosting for my birthday cake).
Using a combination of Deb’s “Best Cocoa Brownies” recipe and some ideas of my own, I give you…
Unbelievably Delicious Brownies
1 1/4 sticks salted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
3 ounces unsweetened cocoa baking squares (or 3 squares of Baker’s Chocolate)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa squares, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (if you have a bain-marie, now is the time to use it. If not, just make sure the bowl does not sink into the pot, you just want it to sit on top of it. Warning, it will get VERY HOT. Handle with care. Also, you could do this in the microwave as well). Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is gritty but entirely incorporated. Carefully remove the bowl from the hot water and set aside until the mixture is warm, not hot. Since I wanted to use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I poured the mixture into the KitchenAid bowl and popped it in the fridge for about 5 – 7 minutes to let it cool.
Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time if mixing by hand, if using a mixer, you may add them all at once. Mix until combined. Once everything is incorporated, begin to mix in the flour until you have a nice smooth, chocolate batter. (If you want to add mix-ins like nuts, coconut, chocolate chunks, etc… now is the time to do so. Though I would recommend that you try this recipe once with nothing added just to experience the moist, chewy, chocolate-y decadence.) Pour the batter into your prepared dish.
Bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until a jiggle of the dish shows that it is mostly set, and a toothpick in the middle returns with a slight bit of moist batter. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner and transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut into 12 – 16 squares (my family likes large brownies). Enjoy!
Try and tell me these aren’t the most amazing, perfectly chewy, wonderfully chocolate-y brownies you’ve ever tried.
Try not to eat them all in one sitting!