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perfect brownies

I think brownies are highly personal.

Fudgy, chewy, cakey, crisp, frosted, bare, bittersweet, full of stuff.

Brownie People like their brownies a certain way.

I am Brownie People for sure.

Mine has to have fudginess and chewiness.

They have to be absolutely naked - no frosting, no nuts, no nothing.

Just pure chocolate-cocoa love.

With a crackly top.

I've probably tried at least a dozen different recipes to come up with this one -- my hands-down favorite.

I've tried unsweetened chocolate and semisweet, lots and lots of cocoa-only brownies, 1-tablespoon-of-flour brownies, 5-egg brownies...and more.

It was really hard (well, not exactly hard, really) taste-testing all of those chocolate failures (not exactly failures, either, but not perfect, you know?).

Finally, I found this guy.

This super fudgy guy with chewy edges and that crisp, crackled top.

I did him up with gooey coconut on my first run.

But he's so good all on his own, too.


Perfect Brownies 

For cupcake and coconut-stuffed heart-shaped versions, click here.

UPDATE: After baking these many times, I want to tweak the baking times. The first time or two I made these, I used Hershey's "Special Dark" chocolate chips, which have a higher fat content than real dark chocolate -- therefore, the brownies took awhile to bake. However! If you use bittersweet/dark chocolate chips, like Ghirardelli's 60 percent Bittersweet Chocolate chips (which is what I always use now), the brownies take less time to bake -- start checking on them around 30 minutes.

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips (I used Hershey's Special Dark choc. chips the first couple of times, now I use Ghirardelli's 60 percent Bittersweet chocolate chips, about 3/4 cups)
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking pan with foil so that the foil hangs over the edges like handles for easy lift-out later. Butter the foil.
In small bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour and salt. Set aside.

Melt butter over double boiler. Add sugar and chopped chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is fairly smooth (it will be grainy). Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.

Add eggs to lukewarm chocolate mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and beat on medium for about 3 minutes, until smooth (see note)
Pour into lined pan and spread evenly over the bottom. 

If you used real dark/bittersweet chocolate, start checking on the brownies after about 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet). If you used Hershey's Special Dark chips, bake for about 40-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out mostly clean (not wet).

Allow the brownies to cool for a few minutes in pan on rack, until you can safely move the brownies (still on the foil) from the pan onto the rack without any breakage/falling apart.

Remove carefully from pan and allow to cool on rack.
To store, wrap in plastic or store in airtight container at room temperature.

Note: The beating time is necessary in this recipe, so don't hesitate to use the mixer. I've tried several different brownie recipes and techniques, and I'm usually a big whisk fan, but the batter needs the beating time listed. It part of what makes them perfect. 

Reader Comments (10)

O! M! G! Made these last night. The BEST homemade brownie I have EVER eaten. Will never need another brownie recipe again. THANK YOU! ps...I used the Special Dark Chips as well....can't even imagine using anything else.

(Chesterfield, VA)

September 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

I'm so happy to hear that you liked them! These are my FAVORITE brownies, so it's great to hear you thought they were the best, too! Thanks for writing in!

September 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

I made these and just blogged about them. They were truly delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

~Monica h

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica h

Glad to hear it, Monica! Thank you!

February 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

These look like brownies I must try. Can you tell me, if I want to double the recipe, is a 9x13 too small ?? please email me directly, so I can have time to make them before the is the 12 th !! denise

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Hi Denise -- I emailed you, but it's a good questions, so also wanted to post an answer here.

I haven't doubled the recipe yet, but I think they should work just fine in a 9x13 pan.

I'd still start checking on them at about 50 minutes, and then every few minutes after that, until your tester comes away mostly crumb-free or clean, depending on whether you want fudgey or chewy brownies.

These are thick brownies and my oven runs a little hotter, so it may take a bit longer.

Thanks for posting your question, and I hope all goes well with the brownie baking!

Happy Valentines Day!

February 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

thank you for this recipe! i have been looking for the perfect brownie for a few years. this IS the one at our house! i used dutch processed cocoa and added 1/2 c chopped walnut. really fantastic. i start checking at 40 min. my first batch i checked at 50 and it was a bit too done around the edges... now i know to check earlier :)
found this recipe on pinterest.
have a great day and thank you again!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertracie

Thanks for writing in Tracie! I love to hear how these turn out, it makes my morning! :)

March 4, 2013 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

I am calling off the seemingly endless search...... I have now found THE.PERFECT.BROWNIES!!!!! The flavor is perfectly deep chocolate, not too sweet and the texture is oh so gooey and chewy (as long as you don't over cook them - not that I will openly admit to doing that the first time around). In side by side taste-offs (and there have now been three) these guys win by a landslide every time. I thank you! But, my hips do not.

April 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Danielle -- awesome! I've made these so many times and they are still my absolute faves! Also -- thanks for mentioning the over-baking!! I've been meaning to update this recipe with adjusted cooking times when using either Hershey's "special dark" chocolate chips versus real dark chocolate chips. I'm updating this baby right now! Thanks for writing in!

May 22, 2014 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

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