For anyone with a sweet tooth and limited knowledge of baking, making chocolate brownies from scratch can be a daunting thought. And there are so many options! Do you want dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Cake-like or fudge? Are you aiming for something gluten-free and still delicious? There questions are absolutely imperative to answer before beginning on a brownie-baking excursion.
However, with that in mind, we are introducing one of our favorite recipes for decadent dark-chocolate brownies. The ingredients are simple, the instructions are a cinch to follow, and you can feel like an accomplished baker while indulging your inner chocoholic.
Prep time – 10 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
You will need:
- 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs (3 for a cake-like consistency)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (add 2 more tablespoons for richer flavor)
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Where to start:
Heat your oven to 325-degree Fahrenheit, and line a baking pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Or you could also spritz the pan thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare your chocolate in a medium sauce pan by adding 1-inch of water, heating the pan until the water is subtly simmering. Then, combine your butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set the bowl above the simmering water until the droplets skim the underside.
Stir the chocolate mixture occasionally until warm and smooth.
Take your bowl off the pan and turn off the burner. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or spatula, and add the eggs one at a time. Fold in each egg and smooth the batter before mixing in another egg.
Add the flour and stir thoroughly until the mixture looks well-blended, smooth, and thick. At this point, you can add the nuts if you have chosen to go with that option.
Spread the batter evenly into your lined pan, and bake on the bottom rack for 20-25 minutes. Or until you can insert a toothpick or the blade of a knife and come out almost clean.
Note: Some brownie-lovers prefer their brownies more decadent than others. Check your baking pan often to monitor the completion of your confections.
When you’re satisfied with the brownies, remove them from the oven and set the pan aside until cool. Remove your brownies from the pan by cutting them into neat sections. You can ensure clean-cut lines by setting the brownies – pan and all – into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes for firmness.
Voila! Your brownies are ready to be enjoyed.
Note: Some ovens are different than others, and there is never a guarantee that one batch of brownies will bake the exact same as other ovens.
You can ensure your brownies bake perfectly by checking that they have a crispier edge and a slightly gooey center. If you find that the outside is cooking quicker than the inside, reduce your heat and check your brownies every few minutes until they have finished baking.
Other things to consider:
If you have a food allergy, such as gluten intolerance or nut allergies, opt for a nut-free, gluten-free batter. There are numerous flour options available in local supermarkets – each gluten-free and perfect for baking your beloved brownies.
For nut-allergy sufferers who prefer to add something into their brownies, you can substitute nuts for M&Ms, chocolate chips, chocolate chunks (highly recommended), or dried fruit (raisins, cherries, strawberries, etc).
These brownies are also great for parties or holiday events! You can make them extra delicious and special by icing them with your favorite frosting flavors. Throw on sprinkles, and you have a doubled sugar rush that will leave an instant positive impression on your guests.
With any kind of cooking, there will always be a period of trial-and-error – one where you can and are expected to find out what works best for you by trying different ingredients and baking methods.
We encourage you to experiment with the aforementioned recipe and really make the suggestion all your own. There are tons of unique ideas to incorporate into this recipe – ones that could make your dream brownies into a quick and delicious reality.