Almost all brownies are good if you don’t overcook them. This is true of box mixes, thick cakey brownies, or thin fudgey ones. Really the only way to make a brownie bad is to overcook it.
I consider myself a brownie artist. Indeed, I have quite a reputation. Everyone secretly hopes that I will bring my brownies to the potluck. And even I will overcook them once in awhile. I have been making brownies since I was 9? 11? does it matter? A LONG TIME. I was given The Fanny Farmer Cookbook by my mother and there was a simple brownie recipe and I made it and I have never looked back. Sure, I have tried other recipes. There was a “low fat” brownie from a Gourmet Cookbook that I worked on in my twenties. It was made with cocoa (see? none of that cocoa butter to make it extra fattening) and levening and it made a taller, denser brownie than the my Fanny Farmer standby. But it was a brief flirtation. That extra ingredient of baking powder just made it seem overworked.
After all these years, I use this recipe as a template. Because it does not rise at all, you can use any flour– gluten does very little to effect the texture. I have made it with canola oil instead of butter (a little greasier and chewier), cocoa powder instead of chocolate, brown sugar instead of white. I have loaded them with chocolate chips and nuts, sprinkled them with coconut, swirled them with peanut butter or cream cheese and gently folded in raspberries and baked them in a cake pan (instant “flourless” chocolate cake, pass the whipped cream please). SO LONG AS YOU DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM, they are all wonderful. And, amazingly, to this day, I can’t tell you how long to set the timer for. Set it for 12 minutes and then check every 3, then every 1. The top should look done, a little shiny, but the center should still be fudgy. A toothpick will have chocolate sticking to it– not batter, but fudgy goo. LET THEM COOL a bit– still warm is great if you are eating them with ice cream. But cool them completly, even freeze them, for a clean cut.
My Mom’s Brownie Recipe
Melt in a pan over a double boiler or very low heat (or in a bowl in the microwave):
2 squares (2 oz.) bakers chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
Add and mix:
1 Cup sugar
Add and mix:
Add and mix:
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
Line a brownie pan with aluminum foil, spray with oil and pour batter in.
Bake 350, until not overcooked (see note above)
This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9 x 12 pan.
Make sure you share.