Max disappeared into his room for a few minutes and then this happened. Never mind that mess in the background. One more week and they’re in school, this place will be tolerably clean again, but I digress.
Then he decided that it was time to “conquer a brownie battle” . I obliged considering I was dubbed his “sidekick dragon-lady” and I take my character very seriously and also …I like brownies. It makes sense.
I make cookies and brownies materialize so ubiquitously that I often forget to include them in my recipe arsenal. I surmise that everyone already knows their favorite brownie recipe, so there’s no sense in inundating you, my clever and knowledgable readers, with unnecessary and trivial things such as brownies.
But, wait just a minute. Maybe this assumption I’ve made on your behalf is all kinds of wrong.
Maybe you don’t have a favorite brownie recipe yet. I didn’t have a favorite brownie recipe until last year! In fact, I wasted a lot of time and energy on years of
crappy disappointing brownie recipes, one just as disastrous as the next.
So, maybe you’re just like me three years ago; kitchen surfaces showing their brownie battle wounds and you, randomly being splattered in chocolate and the only thing to show for it is overly fluffy, grossly gooey or the worst –“I can’t believe I wasted that much good (expletive) chocolate on a wrongly written baking time” brownies. It’s a thing, yes, wrong baking times are out there and some are even in print. You’ve been warned.
Maybe you always turn back to box mixes because it’s just easier than the obnoxious recipe that calls for things you never have on hand. Things like time, patience, Himalayan salt and fifty zillion egg yolks. The entire point of brownies is that they’re uncomplicated and cut straight to the point with little fuss. You can slather them in chocolate frosting, drop handfuls of peanut butter chips into the batter before baking, you can add that bowl of candy to the batter that’s sitting around after Halloween or (if you’re fancy) swirl in some goat cheese lightly doused with cinnamon and sugar if that’s your thing. I kept it simple and added one single Hershey kiss to the center of each brownie this time.
Best Brownies Ever
Hardly Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Optional: 9 Hershey’s Kisses, or 3/4 cup of your favorite add-in (chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips, nuts, chopped candy, cream cheese swirl, etc)
- Optional: confectioner’s sugar or a drizzle or light coating of frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8×8 inch square glass or metal brownie pan. Note: As always, if using metal, baking time will be less than when using glass so please be aware of this.
- Place strip of fitted parchment inside of greased pan and rub butter over parchment.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot filled with two inches of simmering water until only a lump or two remain. Remove bowl from heat and stir until thoroughly melted.
- While whisking constantly, add sugar, eggs. vanilla and salt.
- Continue to beat until smooth and velvety.
- Fold in flour until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish
- Place one unwrapped Hershey kiss into the center of each brownie portion (3×3 grid)
- Bake in preheated oven for twenty-six to twenty-nine minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out fairly clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack until warm. Grab parchment at sides and lift out of brownie pan.
- Served most deliciously while warm with ice cream.