These are the fudgiest, most heart-stoppingly bad for you brownies that you will ever taste. And the best thing about them is that they're really basic and easily modifiable. You can add nuts, chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, frosting... But they're just as delicious naked paired with a great, big glass of 2%.
- 1 2/3 cups butter, softened
- 2 2/3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup baking cocoa
- ½ tsp salt
- confectioners’ sugar (to sprinkle on top if you so desire)
Butter and Sugar
Soften up your butter. (Say, that’s a lot of butter! If you use a little more [oh, God!] it’s even fudgier. If you use a little less, it’s not quite as rich. I’ve played around with the amounts a bit, and 1 2/3 to 1 3/4 cups seems to be just about the right amount.) Measure out sugar in a large mixing bowl while you wait for the butter to soften.
Whoops! I let it get a little too melty. (Don’t do that.)
Cream the butter and sugar.
Other Wet Ingredients
Next, add the vanilla...
…and the eggs.
It looks kind of vomity about midway through the mixing. I promise that the final product tastes better than this looks.
Once the wet stuff is mixed thoroughly, set it aside for a moment. Measure out the flour into a separate bowl.
Add the cocoa...
...and the salt.
Mix the dry ingredients well so that they will blend with the wet stuff more evenly.
Mixing Wet and Dry
Add the dry mixture to the butter/sugar/eggs gradually. I usually do it about a quarter of the bowl at a time. The batter should get pretty thick by the end.
Mix it well, but not too much. You want to make sure that everything is blended, but if you go too overboard with the stirring, the brownies will end up tough.
Grease up a 13x9x2 pan.
Spread the batter into the pan as evenly as you can. It’s very sticky, so this part is really annoying.
Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes. It’s done when the top looks dry and the center has set. Don’t be an idiot and tip the pan before the center has set, or else your brownies will end up all cracked, something like this:
Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar if you’re so inclined, but make sure the brownies are completely cool before you do. (I learned THAT the hard way the first time. If you don't wait for it to cool, the heat from the brownies turns the sugar into a sort of paste, and it loses its pretty powdery look.)