So I recently had a startling revelation: I actually do have a sweet tooth.
After years and years of staunchly denying my sweet tooth, telling people that I have a ‘salty tooth’ in reference to my preference for chips, fries, pickles, and all things salty, I finally realized I’m a liar because I effing love sweets and what the hell was I ever talking about?
(Related: I also feel very ‘wtf’ in retrospect about my high school appearance, past boyfriends, and 90% of the mix-tapes I own that I once thought were great).
So yeah. I’m coming out with it: I have a sweet tooth. A massive one, in fact. I mean, as far as I’m concerned I could easily double-fist a basket of piping hot onion rings and a handful of macarons simultaneously. Just call me ‘classy’.
I figured this revelation out when I would look at my bank statements and realize I spent $70 on macarons from Laduree every time I visited New York. Or how whenever I visit a bakery, I have to try every. single. thing. and I secretly enjoy every. single. bite. It isn’t research; it’s because I’m a fat-ass who freakin’ loves food. End of story.
And brownies? LOVE ‘EM. While I’m still not wild about chocolate (you will not, in fact, find me shoveling a chocolate bar down my gullet — yet), I do love me some brownies. They’re pretty impossible to resist at any point in their short lifespan, but I’m especially weak for them right when they come out of the oven. They’re all hot and gooey, with those crackly-crisp tops. If there is anything sexier, let me know.
But so often, brownies are disappointing. It’s like when you highly anticipate the newest season in your favorite series because it’s about a circus and OMG, SOMUCHCREEPYPOTENTIAL but then they totally BLOW IT by making every lame character sing like this is some kind of disturbed Glee spin-off and you’re like, you really only had one episode with a ventriloquist doll? Really? and then you kinda sorta vow to never watch it again because it was such crap.
Hypothetically speaking, you know.
I’m here to change your views on brownies. Those “fudge” brownies that are drier than a Sahara desert in summertime? Never again. Brownies that are labeled as “chewy” but taste like chocolate cake? Sayonara, losers. And brownies that are too sweet, too fudgy, not sweet enough? Later dude. It’s time to say goodbye to mediocre brownies and HELLO to the most amazing, best, fudge brownies ever. I don’t like throwing around ‘best’ and ‘perfect’ all the time since I know brownie recipes can be subjective, of course. I don’t want to step on your ancient Grandma Mildred’s recipe, or your favorite boxed mix, but for me personally, this is my new favorite.
This recipe comes from a delicious bakery here in Sacramento called Ginger Elizabeth. If you’re ever here, I highly recommend stopping by for a sweet treat and some of their amazing hand-crafted artisanal chocolates.
But in the meantime… make these!
- 1 & ¼ cups unsalted butter
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I recommend a high-quality vanilla like a Madagascar Bourbon)
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 & ¼th cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp - 1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional but recommended for a flavor boost; start with ½ tsp for a deeper flavor and use 1 tsp if you want something stronger)
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking bar
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate chips or baking bar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together. You can either do this in a microwave-save bowl in the microwave, heating at 45-second increments, stirring after each round until smooth, or you can do it in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, like a double-boiler method (just make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl). I did the microwave method and it worked just fine.
- NOTE: if you are using baking bars (such as Baker's), break them up into individual, segmented pieces before melting. This helps expedite the melting process and make for a smooth batter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla with the paddle attachment until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the chocolate butter mixture until smooth. Then, add in the flour, espresso powder (if using) and salt until a soft yet thick batter has formed.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (not super wet). Here's where it's up to your preference. I baked mine for exactly 37 minutes, creating VERY fudgy brownies that almost seemed slightly undone which is how I like it. If you want something still fudgy but more structured, bake up to 45 minutes. Do not overbake, as brownies WILL continue to cook and set up once they cool.
- Allow brownies to cool, preferably overnight, before cutting into bars. Brownies may slightly sink in the middle during cooling; this is normal. If you'd like, you can frost them or sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Serve room temperature or warm, and store leftovers airtight at room temperature for up to a week. These would freeze well, too - wrap individually and freeze up to 3 months.
Oh my fudge.
I mean, these are positively irresistible! Like I said, buttery, fudgy, moist and chewy with those delectable crispy-crunchy tops that add such great texture to these monstrous fudge-bombs. As you may have noticed, there is no leavening in these brownies since they’re already so thick and tall on their own. Even for a 13×9″ pan, these bake up some seriously thick brownies. Feel free to substitute an 11×16 pan or something larger like a sheet pan if you’d like; just reduce the baking time and mind the brownies so they don’t burn or overcook.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some lost time to make up for 🙂
Have a delicious day!!