Best Cocoa Brownies
Happy National Dark Chocolate Day!
One day during my first year of food blogging, I complained to my friends online that I wanted brownies. My friend Emily shared this delicious brownie recipe with me.
I loved it. I wanted to originally title this post “OMG: Brownies,” and although I didn’t, they’re still that good. These rich cocoa brownies are almost as dense as fudge when they’re completely cooled.
This brownie recipe was the sophisticated adult favorite in the brownie taste test I did back in 2010 – the brownie that you only needed to eat a little of to be pretty satisfied.
Recently I’ve been revisiting some of my old favorite recipes. This recipe for brownies, originally from Smitten Kitchen, was the 20th recipe I wrote about. I’m so glad I pulled them out for another try. Not only are they delicious – you can easily have a batch of these brownies in the oven in 15 minutes.
I’m a huge fan of cocoa-based brownies. Brownies are so much easier to make when you don’t have to melt chocolate. For this recipe, you melt butter together with sugar and cocoa, then stir in eggs and vanilla, then flour. Butter can be melted in the microwave or on the stove. The brownies only bake about 30 minutes.
One of the beauties of this recipe is that it makes an 8×8-inch pan of brownies. It’s the perfect amount of brownies for one or two people – although I will admit that a dedicated couple can polish off one batch of these brownies in 24 hours. These brownies also freeze well.
There’s still room in life for cakier brownies, like the Hershey’s Best Brownies (my childhood favorite that I have memorized) that I make for a crowd and top with M&Ms, or the Fudge Brownies that I melt chocolate chips inside. But I love this recipe for cocoa brownies for keeping for myself at home.
(I do have to share with Alex. Alex prefers these brownies on the warm side. Unlike some other brownies, I prefer them on the cooler side when they’ve had a chance to set up. To each his/her own.)
These delicious cocoa brownies are dense and fudgy, perfect for satisfying those cravings for something seriously rich and chocolatey.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
Combine butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until butter is melted. Stir together until smooth. Set aside to let the butter cool down until it's just warm.
Stir in vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix in flour until just combined, then beat for 40 strokes. Spread into a well-greased 8x8 inch pan.
Bake in lower third of oven at 325F for 20-30 minutes. (Mine is closer to 30, in a glass pan.) When you insert a toothpick inserted in the center, it should have moist crumbs sticking to it. Cool completely before serving (if you can; we never do).
This recipe was adapted, slightly, from Smitten Kitchen.
(Post updated with new writing and photos. Originally published February 1, 2010.)