Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Perfect Fudge Brownies

When I have shared my brownie recipes on here before, it's usually been "S'mores Brownies" or "Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies", but I've been wanting to share just the basic recipe for what I think are perfect fudge brownies.  These are the starting point for all of my brownie creations and flavor variations now.

After much tweaking and brownie experimentation, this recipe has become the only brownie recipe I use anymore.  And when my sister made them, she agreed that they are the last brownie recipe she will ever need.

What makes them perfect, in my opinion, is that they are so intensely dark, chocolatey and fudgey.  With no leavening in the batter other than the eggs, they puff up slightly while baking, and then flatten down again while cooling, resulting in a dense, rich and incredibly moist brownie.

I've never been one to prefer the brownie crust over the gooey center, so I would never bother with one of those "crust only" pans.  I like every part of the brownie and the textural differences between the chewy crust and the moist center are what makes a brownie so wonderful.

The espresso powder is my favorite secret ingredient for chocolate, and if you've never used it before, I think you will love the way it enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

Equally wonderful are bittersweet chocolate chips.  After the brownies cool, the chocolate chips firm back up and add a lovely texture.

And while the plain brownies are pretty perfect, I love to add other flavors to the brownies with frosting, such as cappuccino or peanut butter buttercream.  For the sake of sharing just a simple recipe with you, though, I garnished these with pretty powdered sugar polka dots.

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Perfect Fudge Brownies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Hershey's "Special Dark")
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Baker's Note:  For a bigger batch, double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan.

Preheat the oven to 325.  Line a square 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over two sides.  Spray with non-stick spray.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Stir in the chocolate chips and sugar and stir until melted and smooth; remove from the heat.  Stir in the cocoa powder, salt, espresso powder and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined, then stir in the flour just until moistened.

Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly into the pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes; the top will be slightly puffed.

Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting or spreading with frosting.  For easy removal from the pan, lift the parchment paper by the overhang to remove the brownies from the pan, set on a cutting board and cut into squares.

Yields 9-12 brownies

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen