I have always loved to bake. You know this. I’ll also be the first to tell you that my great love of it has taken on a whole new meaning in the last five years because I’m forever shadow boxing my son’s nut allergy. He’s never had things like peanut M&M’s, Chunky Bars, and various other beloved treats of mine, and I feel bad about that sometimes…like he’s missing out. And because I can’t stand that, I feel I have to make sure he gets as close to taste perfection as he possibly can. And no, that doesn’t mean that dessert items with nuts are my favorites over and above other treats. It’s just a ridiculous pity driven complex I’ve developed. In fact, if given the choice between every candy bar available, I’d choose a KitKat or Mounds. So, there ya go.
Nevertheless, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect brownie for a long time, and it certainly pre-dates my son’s allergy. I just became stupidly more determined to find one after he was diagnosed. I don’t like cake-y brownies. Never have. My Mom used to bake the Hershey’s Cocoa can recipe as her go-to brownie. Gack. It just doesn’t work for me. It isn’t chocolatey or chewy or fudgy enough for me.
Backing things up a bit – Years ago, when I first moved into my condo (1997, to be exact), the first thing I baked was a batch of brownies. They were ok. I mean, brownies are rarely bad. And these weren’t bad. They were just cake-y. Again.
After experimenting, tasting, and joining a cookbook club, I discovered that melted chocolate chips taste infinitely better as the fudgy base than cocoa could any day of the week. Several tweaks, and a few years later, this is the final result.
This recipe requires no frosting, nuts or chocolate chunks to make it perfect. If you want to add them, fine. Go ahead and insult their perfection.
I will say, though, these brownies provide an excellent homemade base for a brownie trifle. I’ll post that next. It’s super easy, and a crowd favorite.
- 10 tablespoons salted butter
- 5 ounces Baker's SemiSweet Chocolate Squares (or chips)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Hershey's Cocoa
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease or spray 9x9 baking pan.
- Microwave butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl (large enough to accommodate all ingredients) in 30 second intervals until almost completely melted.
- Add white and brown sugar, vanilla, then eggs. Stir after each addition.
- Add cocoa and flour.
- Stir until well combined.
- Pour into 9x9 pan. Spread evenly.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until well set. Toothpick inserted will NOT come out clean. These are very moist.
- Allow to cool and cut into about 12ish squares. Honestly, I have 9. ;)