Best Chocolate Brownies

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If one is going to take the trouble to make chocolate brownies, and incur the wrath of the Fat-god for eating them, one may as well make them right. Brownies from a box? No thank you.

I got this chocolate brownie recipe years ago from my dear friend Suzanne, who had adapted it from an Alice Medrich recipe from the book Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate she found in Epicurious.

Suzanne uses the same method and proportions, but instead of using vanilla, she flavors the brownies strongly with almond extract. So good!

They are the kind of brownie that can’t make up their mind whether they would rather be cake or fudge. The almond extract gives these brownies a wonderful flavor, a perfect blend with the cocoa and pecans.

Recipe updated, first published 2005.

Best Chocolate Brownies Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 16 to 25 brownies

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 140 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (90 g) pecan pieces

Method

1 Preheat oven and line baking pan: Preheat oven to 325°F (160°F), with a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper in such a way as there is an overhang on two opposite sides to make it easy to lift the brownies out when they're done.

2 Heat butter, cocoa, sugar, salt in a bowl over simmering water: Place the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized metal bowl. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a bare simmer. Set the bowl of the butter cocoa mixture in skillet of simmering water.

Stir the butter cocoa mixture until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth and hot to touch.

Remove the bowl from the skillet and let it cool down a bit, from hot to warm.

3 Stir in almond extract, eggs, flour, beat with spoon, add pecans: Stir in the almond extract. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, beating strongly after each addition.

Once the batter is well mixed and shiny and thick, stir in the flour. Beat for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon.

Mix in the pecans.

4 Pour batter into lined pan: Pour the batter into the prepared lined pan and smooth the surface evenly.

5 Bake: Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 325°F (160°C), until a bamboo skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes still a little moist with the brownie batter. Cool completely on a rack.

6 Cut: When cooled, lift up the sides of the foil or parchment liner to remove the brownies from the pan. Place them on a cutting board and cut into 16 to 25 squares or rectangles.

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Adapted from Epicurious, who sourced the recipe from Alice Medrich of Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate.

Links:

The Best Mug Brownie! here on SimplyRecipes.com

Best Chocolate Brownies

Showing 4 of 60 Comments

  • Bernie

    Made these for our annual family camping trip. They were q big big hit. Everyone thought they were the best! Three and four year old grandaughters thought they were “yucky”. Maybe have never eaten something with such dense chocolate flavor. Left out nuts and used vanilla.

  • Debra

    After placing dish of brownies on the table I overheard this comment while walking away, “This brownie is amazing!” My first bite totally agreed! Moist, rich, enough chocolate to satisfy any chocolate craving.
    Will definitel add recipe to my fav group of desserts.
    Baked as directed my batch was complete in 27 minutes. I tested once at 20, again at 24, dry cake tester at 27.

  • Lawrence

    Really good! Very cocoa-y and none of that weird boxed after taste sweetness.

  • MaryAlecia

    I reduced the sugar to 210 grams and enjoyed the level of sweetness. Baked for almost 40 minutes, 25 at 325 and 12 minutes at 350. They turned out wonderfully! This is a great recipe as is with room for modifications – always a plus in my book. Thanks, Elise!

  • dipti kalkonde

    Hi! tempting pics! I wanted to know if you have used self-raising flour? As you havent mentioned using baking soda or baking powder. I definitely ned to try this. Nothing better than a great brownie sans soda and baking powder, right?

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