My mother often made these brownies on the spur of the moment. She’d see a bunch of kids in the house, and an hour later, she’d offer all of us a treat. “Let’s have a bite of brownie!” she would announce, and proceed to hand out small, warm squares.
I have no doubt that this recipe came from the back of a box at some point, but I only have the small index card she wrote in her beautiful penmanship. It’s a simple formula: chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, and flour, all stirred together in one pot.
These brownies are fudge-like, dense, and very chocolatey. They’re also very sturdy, which makes them ideal to send to someone who needs some TLC or to take to a picnic or potluck.
Bake the brownie mixture in an 8-inch square pan lined with parchment paper, and use the parchment paper handles to lift the block of brownies from the pan before slicing. It also helps to refrigerate the brownies until cold before slicing; this helps them cut beautifully with clean edges and look professionally-made.
Begin in one saucepan that will hold all the ingredients later. Melt the butter, then melt the unsweetened chocolate. Cool this mixture until the bottom of the pan is no longer hot, then stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and baking powder.
Finally, stir in mini bittersweet-chocolate chips. The chips are my own addition since I think they’re irresistible in brownies.
The chocolate chips won’t melt completely in the brownie, giving you nice chocolate bits in every bite! If you aren’t a fan texture in your brownies, you can skip the chocolate chips — you’ll still have fudgy, delicious brownies.
Stack them on a plate and serve them up. You’ll thrill the kids – and everyone else in the house, as well!
Fudgy Chocolate Brownies Recipe
- 3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut up
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (6 ounces) mini bittersweet-chocolate chips, optional
1 Heat the oven to 350F and prepare the pan: Line an 8x8 baking pan with a sling of parchment, long enough so that the parchment hangs over the sides of the pan. Coat the exposed sides of the pan with cooking spray (also, a little cooking spray under the parchment will help it stick in place, if needed).
2 Combine the dry ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3 Melt the chocolate and butter: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. It should not brown at the edges.
Add the chocolate and let it melt, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture is smooth.
4 Set the pan on a cooling rack to cool until you can touch the bottom of with your hand comfortably.
5 Make the batter: Using a rubber spatula, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until it combined. The mixture may look crumbly or smooth after mixing; either is fine.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until no more white patches show. Stir in the chips until well distributed.
6 Pour the batter into the pan. Use a spatula to spread it to the edges of the pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan once or twice hard on the counter to settle any air pockets; you can also poke the air pockets with the tip of a paring knife.
7 Bake the brownies: Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly puffed and just set. If in doubt, it's better to under-bake these brownies a touch rather than over-bake. (The toothpick test doesn't work well for these brownies because the chocolate chips get melty!)
8 Cool the brownies completely: Set the pan on a wire rack until completely cooled.
9 Once cool, cover the pan and refrigerate for several hours or until firm and cold. This makes the brownies easier to slice cleanly.
If you're eager for brownies and can't wait for them to chill, skip this chilling step and serve them warm or just-cooled! They will be a little crumbly when you cut them.)
6 Cut the squares: Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to make sure the block of brownies is loose, then lift from the pan using the parchment paper sling. On a cutting board, slice the brownies into a 4x4 grid (to make 16 squares) or into a 5x5 grid (to make 25 mini-brownies).
Brownies can be served right away. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week. (They will keep for longer, but may start getting dry and crumbly after a while.)
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