Brownies: The Classic Recipe

Here’s a recipe for brownies that’s not so far off from early brownie recipes, save for the fact that it has a good deal more chocolate. I confess I mostly swiped it from Dorie Greenspan, but if you’re going to steal, why not steal from the best? The woman is deeply serious about brownies. Her most recent book, Baking: From My Home to Yours contains over a dozen recipes for them. That, my friends, is commitment.

2.5 ounces (5 tablespoons) butter, in pieces
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
½ teaspoon salt
1.75 ounces (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 325. Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lining it with aluminum foil and buttering it.

Combine the chopped chocolates in a microwave-safe bowl and insert into a microwave. Zap on high for 20 seconds, stir, then apply as many more 10-second bursts as it takes to melt it all the way, stirring for 30 seconds to a minute between heatings. When the chocolate is smooth, add the butter and stir until completely melted (apply microwaves once more if need be). Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs one by one, then the vanilla, espresso, salt and finally the flour, whisking only enough to incorporate it. Fold in the walnuts with a spatula.

Bake on a middle rack for 25 minutes, then rotate and check for doneness. The brownies will take about 35-40 minutes. Cool the brownies completely, then gingerly lift them out of the pan on the foil (if you can recruit an extra set of hands for this, so much the better). Cut into 2-inch squares.

4 thoughts on “Brownies: The Classic Recipe”

  1. Hi, we have made the brownies this weekend. Incredibly delicious!
    Many greetings from Neuenkirchen, Germany


    1. Thomas! Thank you! I’ve been eating German food all week up in northern Wisconsin…pickled fish, beer and sausages of all kinds. Next year maybe we’ll go fishing in Germany instead! Cheers,

      – Joe

  2. Dear Joe, lovely Joe, Great Joe,
    I visit your blog often and I just have to say thank you for such a great writing and advice and of course ,the recipes. lately, I’ve been wanting to make some brownies , I tried out a recipe a couple of days ago and didn’t like my results. after having looked at a few more recipes, I keep migrating to the ones that use unsweetened chocolate such as this one, however I live in Athens Greece, and unsweetened chocolate is really expensive and never mind that i’ll have to trek from one side of the city to the other . Do you think I could replace it with unsweetened cocoa powder, and if so how? Any advice would be great!!!

    1. Hello Erica!

      That’s a good question. I would simply use whatever chocolate you can find. If you add cocoa powder the consistency of the batter will become very stiff and hard to manage because cocoa is so absorbent. Also it might throw off the chemical leavening because of its extra acidity. Any chocolate you find will work great in this recipe!

      Have fun and happy New Year!

      – Joe

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