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.
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
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).
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.
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.