With very little effort you can make heavenly brownies from scratch. Not only will they taste amazing, but you'll avoid a lot of unnecessary chemicals. Just in the flour alone, a lot of mixes and commercial bakeries use bleached and bromated flour, i.e. potassium bromate, benzoil peroxide, or chloride dioxide. Ew! And that is just the flour! Going down the list you might find artificial colors and flavors and a bunch of other stuff you can’t pronounce.
So here is the brownie that most people think of when they dream about a chocolaty brownie with a flaky top. All made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Before you begin, consider investing in a scale! It will make your life so much easier and you never know, this may be the first step to winning The Great British Bake Off!
Butter (1 stick + 2 tbsp or 170g)
Sugar (1 cup+2 tbsp or 230g)
Eggs (2 large or 114g)
Vanilla (1.5 tsp)
Unbleached all purpose flour (1/2 cup or 70g)
Fine kosher salt (1/4 tsp)
Natural cocoa powder (1 cup or 80g)
Semi sweet chocolate chips (3/4 cup or 128g)
Preheat oven to 300 F
Melt the butter in the microwave until just melted. Add sugar with a rubber spatula and mix well. Combine the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix well.
In a separate bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well until combined. Add the chocolate chips, and incorporate.
Place parchment paper in an 8x8 in baking pan, and pour the batter in. Make sure you level you brownie batter in the pan. Sprinkle chopped almonds, walnuts, peanuts or any nut you love, maybe caramel pieces or simply garnish with course sea salt.
Place the pan on the top rack of the oven. Set the timer for 12 minutes, after 12 minutes turn the pan as most home ovens are unevenly heated and cook for another 12 minutes. Check them after 10 as not to over bake. Stick a toothpick in the center of the pan, if it comes out wet, they need a little more time, but if there are tiny crumbs on the toothpick they are done.
Note: This is a very forgiving recipe so don’t stress if it’s not perfect. You don't have to worry about your eggs being at room temperature, you cannot over-mix the dough. The only thing to be anal about is over baking. Do not over bake!
It's better to take out your brownies a minute or two earlier than you think they're done, since they will continue baking as they are setting up on the rack to cool.
P.S. If you like your brownies very fudgy, you can switch to melted chocolate, instead of cocoa powder, oil instead of butter or use just egg yolks instead of the whole egg.
P.P.S. If you like your brownies cakey, increase the ratio of the flour to butter, so a little more flour and a little less butter.
P.P.P.S. To get a chewier version, replace half of the sugar with brown sugar.