When I was first married (17 years ago), brownies were one of the things I baked using a box mix. I had tried several recipes, and could never get that crisp edged/soft center combo that makes brownies oh-so-good. Then I found this recipe. I have not purchased a box mix since. You can make them with or without nuts, or half and half. The recipe is so simple that the boys can make it on their own. I hope you enjoy it, so you, too, never make brownies from a box again.
Easy Chocolate Brownie Recipe
Adapted from Hershey’s Chocolate and Cocoa Cookbook
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour, unbleached, unbromated
- 1/3 cup cocoa, preferably organic, Fair Trade certified
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
Directions: In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Gradually blend dry ingredients into sugar mixture, stirring until just blended. Do not overmix. Nuts may be added at this time, or sprinkled over some or all of the batter in the pan just prior to baking.
Spread batter evenly in a greased 8 inch square baking pan, or an 8 inch round or heart shaped pan. I usually use my 8 inch pyrex baking dish, or double the batch and use a 9×13 pyrex baking dish. I’ve taken to sprinkling the nuts on half of the batter because my husband likes them but my boys don’t, so that way they can each grab what they prefer easily.
Bake metal pans 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F, glass pans 30-35 minutes at 335 degrees, until edges are set. Center will be soft but will firm up at the brownies cool. DON’T OVERBAKE! Only the edges should be set up when you take the pan out of the oven. If they’re coming out on the dry side, bake them for less time or drop the temp, or both. I always bake in a heavy glass pan, so that takes longer to bake then metal, and doesn’t dry out as quickly.
If you want to get a little fancy for Valentine’s Day (or other special occasion), you can bake in a 9-Inch Heart Pan and use some simple stencils with powdered sugar. I cut stencils out of some scrap paper and set them on the brownie.
I used my The Pampered Chef Flour/Sugar Shaker to sprinkle the top with powdered sugar (a sifter would work, too), and then removed the stencils. If sugar creeps in under the stencils, you can remove it by gently dabbing at the excess with a damp fingertip. Isn’t it sweet?
The boys couldn’t wait until daddy got home to sample it, but they did only cut off one edge so he got to see the letters.
If you’re looking for a recipe for gluten free, egg free brownies, you may want to check out this one at The Spunky Coconut. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve liked the other recipes I’ve tried from the site.
You may also enjoy Sourdough Brownies (they’re really easy and not sour at all – promise).