It’s Brownie Time!

Today, I want to share with you the only brownie recipe you will ever need in your life. None of this light and fluffy cakey nonsense. These are hardcore fudgy brownies worthy of a whole glass of milk (provided, you know, that you’re not lactose intolerant). The best and worst thing about this recipe is that you can go from, “Gee, some brownies would be really nice,” to OM NOM NOM in under forty-five minutes, with items you probably have in your cupboard right now.

Before I give you the goods (Patience, Iago, patience!), I have a story. Early on in my friendship with my best friend, she was having a rough time of it. I picked her up on her way home from class and took her to my apartment so she wouldn’t have to be alone. We talked for a bit, bitching and such as you do, and I suggested whipping up a batch of brownies. Now, she is not much of an experienced baker and didn’t want to be a bother, but I insisted. We continued to chat, and all of a sudden, BAM! We had brownies. She was amazed that it happened like magic. In fact, I think she keeps me around just for the prospect of spontaneous brownies. [Note: When I showed her a draft of this, she said, “Spontaneous brownies? Please make spontaneous dissertation chapters!” I guess my duties as a bff have increased over the years.]

This recipe is one of the few I have memorized; it’s my quick and easy go-to dessert when I need a chocolate fix or forgot I was supposed to bring something to a party. If you’ve never baked before or are looking for a way for your kids to get their hands dirty, these brownies are a great place to start because they’re easy to do, hard to mess up, and there’s not much to it. As a note, I originally came across a version of this in Taste of Home, that staple of comfort food and American grandmas, but I’ve stripped it down a lot over the years.

And now that I’ve sufficiently built them up, here is how you make…

Baseballchica03’s Heart-Stoppingly Delicious Fudgy Brownies

a plate of brownies with powdered sugar on top

[makes one 8×8 square pan; 9×9 will work but you’ll have a thinner brownie]

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp butter, softened (NOT melted)
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/4 tsp salt

add-ins like chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, nuts (if desired)
confectioner’s sugar (if desired)

The Plan:

You may look at that ingredient list and say to yourself, “My, that’s an awful lot of butter.” Not to be all Paula Deen about it, but it is! That’s what makes them so fudgy instead of fluffy and cake-like. You can fiddle with the proportions a bit if you want. A little less butter will make it less rich, but I wouldn’t stray any less than 2/3 at the bare minimum.

The rest of the recipe is really pretty standard as far as baking goes. Cream the butter and sugar, add the vanilla and eggs, mix all the dry stuff together, then add the dry to the wet a little bit at a time. Mix it just well enough to get all of the dry stuff incorporated. If you stir it too much beyond that, the brownies will start to get tough-chewy instead of delicious-chewy.

Technically, you could just toss it all into a bowl and mix it up, but baking is a lot more like chemistry than cooking is. As a general rule, creaming butter and sugar with vanilla, and adding the dry parts to the wet parts last gives baked goods like brownies, cookies, and cakes a better texture. The more you know!

At this point, you can fold in any mix-ins that you’d like after the batter is otherwise ready. Nuts can be tricky if you’re bringing the brownies to a party, but if you’re staying home and no one in your house objects, some crushed walnuts are amazing. Another fun one is mini M&Ms that you can pick up in the baking aisle at the grocery store. Or dried fruit, chocolate chips, even swirl in some raspberry preserves or a cream cheese filling to make a marbled brownie. The second best thing about this recipe is its versatility!

Finally, grease your 8×8 pan well and pour in the batter. You’ll probably need to smooth it around with a spatula to make it even. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes until the top looks dry and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Wait as long as you possibly can (about two minutes?) and dig in!

You can also dress these brownies up if you want. Wait until they’ve cooled completely and sprinkle with a little confectioner’s sugar for a pretty look. (You can even cut them first, make paper stencils, and dust designs onto the top.) They’re delicious with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream! They can also be frosted, but proceed with caution or face a mid-afternoon sugar crash. If you have leftovers (ha ha ha!), they’re pretty tasty plain after a night in the fridge.

I have a special note for boxed brownie bakers. Look at the ingredients list. Now back to me. Now back to the ingredients list. Now back to me. These are the brownies your brownies could taste like. You COULD add water, oil, and eggs to a box of powdered something you don’t know what it is. Or you could put flour, cocoa, sugar, butter, and eggs together for something vastly more delicious. It’s almost the same amount of steps. Think about it.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for your brownie intake levels after reading this post. None!

By BaseballChica03

Political hack. Word nerd. Stays crispy in milk. Oxford Comma user. Blogger since 2001.

24 replies on “It’s Brownie Time!”

I discovered the Brownie recipe on the back of the Fry’s Cocoa containers and have not strayed since. It is obvious quite similar to the above…slightly different proportions but still LOTS of butter and sugar, and in the end that is what matters.

I like to bake my brownies in muffin tins. One batch of Fry’s Cocoa’s brownies gives me 18 muffin tin sized, individual brownies that have it all; chewy outside and lovely dense inside. *drool*.

Sounds delicious!

I never really understood all the fancy stuff people try to do with brownies to jazz up the recipe. The best thing about brownies is that they’re so basic, so lovely in their simplicity. You know what you’re getting. You don’t need much more than butter, sugar, flour, cocoa. Why make it fussier than it has to be?

OK People! I am here to TESTIFY today about @baseballchica03 and her brownie recipe.

I am not a baker. But Mr. Blue loves him some chocolate, so I tried to bake these for him–and figured I’d sample one before he got home, in case I had somehow made them poisonous or something. The result?

*pauses to cram in another mouthful of warm, buttery, chocolate goodness*

These things are so good. And so easy! I prepared them while on the phone and only half-paying attention to the recipe. The only problem is that he won’t be home for another hour and there’s supposed to be some left for him…

I am a fabulous chocolate chip baker but a so-so brownie maker.. I usually just doctor the box mix with chocolate chips, espresso powder, and walnuts (which is delish btw). I’m definitely going to try the recipe though. If you can get a good deal on one, I advise you to get a Kitchen Aid mixer. I love mine so much and it makes me eager to want to bake all the time.

“Baking is more like chemistry than cooking is.”
Exactly why I don’t bake. If you fuck up cooking, there’s almost always a way to salvage the dish and turn it into something edible. But once you put a cake in the oven, you’re past the point of no return. Plus, electric mixers scare the shit out of me. These brownies do sound delicious though, I must pester someone more skilled than I to make them.

You won’t want to use just plain cream cheese; it won’t spread well and it will just melt and goo instead of cooking. Also, it won’t be very sweet. So you’ll probably want to blend cream cheese with powdered sugar and egg at the minimum, vanilla and maybe some butter if you want to be fancy. (I also once made it once with a dash of maple syrup in the cream cheese part, with walnuts in the brownie batter and OH MY GOD I could have eaten the whole pan myself.)

Check out Smitten Kitchen’s marbled cream cheese brownie for a particularly tasty cream cheese filling.

I recently made dark chocolate brownies out of the box. I added cinnamon and a bit of vanilla extract. I also had some leftover semi sweet bakers chocolate that I melted and swirled into the top of the batter. They were sooooooooooooooooo good.

I definitely want to make some from scratch and will be trying this out

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