I really don’t like brownie mixes from boxes. They all have that same “from the box” aftertaste, which to me is a dead giveaway that the brownies are not homemade. Brownies are not hard to make, but I concede, finding a great recipe is a matter of trial and error.
And then there’s the question of what kind of brownie lover you are- Chewy? Cake-y? With nuts? Darker? Lighter? Added flavors like chili powder, mint or caramel swirls entice you?
Personally I am a dark and chewy type, and I usually make my brownies by melting really good quality dark chocolate in a double boiler with butter and sugar, eggs, vanilla and I use a small amount of flour to keep the brownies moist. Really it’s mostly chocolate, butter and sugar. This recipe is all about the ingredients. You have to start with really good chocolate and the butter is important too. The brownies actually have to be baked in a pan lined with tin foil because they are so sticky and moist. Here’s a glimpse at these brownies, one of my favorite recipes:
The Dark and Moist Brownie
- 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Line a 9-inch x 9-inch pan with foil. Grease the foil with butter.
Melt the chocolate and butter and stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is a uniform consistency (you can use a double boiler, but I just put a small bowl in the microwave and stir and check every minute or so to make sure it doesn’t burn). In a separate medium size bowl, beat the egg and sugar until it’s a light yellow color and creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and stir. Add the vanilla, flour and salt, mix until combined and pour into the pan.
Bake at the 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick just comes out clean. I start checking at 18 minutes – do not overcook.
You can jazz the brownies up with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you’d like, but they are equally delicious straight up.
However this weekend I decided to stray from the norm and try a new recipe, mostly because I had this bag of chips hanging around too long and I finally decided to make a recipe right off the back of the bag. I was so pleasantly surprised and happy to find an alternative for when the ooey-gooey won’t cut it:
(my photo is up top. This is from Hersheys.com)
Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, Dense and Amazing Brownies
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted and divided
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan or two 8-inch square baking pans.
Stir together cocoa and baking soda in large bowl; stir in 1/3 cup butter. Add boiling water; stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter; stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla and salt; blend completely. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan, 30 to 35 minutes for square pans or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost with ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING. Cut into squares. About 36 brownies.
I added chopped walnuts and these were delicious. I also accidentally used only 1/2 cup of butter instead of 2/3 cup and when I made them again with the full amount of butter, I realized I preferred them with less butter. It created a more dense and chalky chocolate, rather than a moist brownie. So when I don’t want something so ultra gooey as the first recipe, but I want something dense and with that extra chocolate walnut punch, this is what I make.