Classic Brownies

Yes, pretty much all old-school brownie recipes had nuts in them. If you don’t like nuts, just hang on, I’ll put up a recipe without them. These are about as moist a brownie as I like. Some recipes have so little flour in them, they might as well be fudge. Not being a fudge person, this is as far as I’m willing to go. Start by lining an 8″ square pan with aluminum foil. Cut two long strips that are just under eight inches in width…

…and lay them in. Grease the pan with butter.

Now then. Melt your chocolates together in the microwave as directed in the recipe below. When the chocolate is fully melted and still warm, add the butter pieces and whisk until they’re melted as well.

Whisk in the sugar.

Yes, it will make the chocolate appear as though it’s “seized”. Trust me though, it hasn’t. Add the eggs one by one…

…and your espresso powder and vanilla.

Lastly, and lightly, whisk in the flour and salt. Whisk only as long as it takes to incorporate the flour.

Then, with a spatula, fold in the nuts.

Then just spread the whole mess into the pan and bake about 35 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

There now, that was pretty easy, wasn’t it? Miracle devices, these bar cookies. So little hassle, and so much reward.

To de-pan them, cool the pan on a rack until the brownies are room temperature, then just lift them out in one piece by grasping the edges of the foil lining (it helps to have another set of hands for that maneuver).

8 thoughts on “Classic Brownies”

  1. Hi Joe!

    I just tried this brownies recipe last night. The result was great, and it definitely will be a keeper. I reduced the amount of the sugar, since I don’t really like if it’s too sweet. I like this, thank you for sharing the recipe. 🙂

    Midia

  2. How long is the shelf life of these brownies and is there anything I can add to make them last longer, apart from freezing.

    1. Hey Annette,

      They’ll last quite a while since all the chocolate, sugar and butter makes staling less noticeable. Wrapped in plastic wrap they should last a week or so at room temperature, but I’d suggest running some tests to see. They’re sweet and buttery enough that you don’t have to worry about things growing in them. Best of luck!

      – Joe

  3. Hello Joe

    Thank you for this lovely recipe. I have a question. Almost every time I bake brownies I end up with some version of Fudge no matter whose recipe it is. I sure it’s something I do. Same happened with this recipe too. I tried Dori Greenspan, Alice Medrich and David Lebovitz’s recipes without any success. I can bake an impressive cake and very nice biscuits (cookies) but not brownies. They always end up as fudge, more importantly, I notice that the butter floats on the top excessively as if the fudge is drowned in them. Please help.

    1. Hello Kiran! First let me ask where you live, because sometimes bakers outside the US have problems with brownies through no fault of their own, it’s a flour problem.

      – Joe

      1. Thank you Joe. I currently live the U.S. I use Gold Medal unbleached plain flour and Dutch Processed Valrhona cocoa ((unless the recipe calls for natural cocoa) and Valrhona chocolate (usually 70%) for baking.

        I previously lived in England and its the same situation there as well. I could make all other confections/cakes but not brownies. They end up as a fudge. Delicious but not brownies.

        1. Hey Kiran!

          The most likely culprit is over-whisking or over-beating your batter. Thorough whining and beating is a virtue most of the time, but not for brownies. Brownies are the spineless wonders of the baking world, loaded with fats, sugars, and non-gluten solids of various kinds. They have practically zero structure, almost complete invertebrates. Which means that when you whisk them a little too much, you’re setting them up for a fall. Whisking introduces air bubbles which are a form of leavening. When they heat up they fill with steam, causing the whole mass to rise.

          That rise is only temporary, however. Eventually the steam bubbles — which are very unstable, lacking any reliable starch-and-egg structure around them — blow up and pop. This creates a sort of cascade effect where the weight of the collapsed batter falls on the wobbly bubble below, popping it, and so on and so on until all that’s left is a puddle of fudge. Which, let’s face it, is a decent consolation prize, but not a brownie.

          So just stir until you see a few streaks left in the batter, Kiran. You should be good to go after that! Thanks for the question!

          – Joe

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