Brownies are a delicious, tender, right of passage for any beginner cook. While you can’t go wrong with any brownie, everyone is likely to have their own favorite twist. This brownie recipe is perfect for those who like a sturdy, slightly cakey consistency to their brownie that isn’t overly sweet.
Today’s Pantry Essential: Baker’s Chocolate
Baker’s chocolate is the perfect option to have on hand for a variety of chocolate baking needs. These baker’s bars are typically of higher quality, last longer, and aren’t coated with anti-melting agents compared to their chocolate morsel counterparts.
The Science Behind GREAT Brownies
In case you didn’t know, I am a trained pastry chef. I decided on becoming a pastry chef over a culinary chef due to the science. With cooking there is a lot more creativity and forgiveness in recipes. With baking, you can change things up, but it’s much more of a balanced science experiment. You can’t change one aspect without knowing how it’s going to affect the others. You have to account for it all.
One of my goals on For the Love of Leftovers is to equip you with knowledge and confidence to be able to make adjustments when you need to in order to get your desired outcome – yes, even in baking! So let’s get nerdy with these brownies.
Fudge Brownies vs. Traditional Brownies
These are more of a traditional brownie. Fudge brownies are much more dense in the middle and on the gooey side. I personally haven’t met a brownie that I didn’t like, but some prefer one over the other.
The texture difference comes down to sugar content, eggs, and chocolate. Eggs provide lift and structure to baked items. When paired with baking soda, these brownies get a much more uniformed rise and bake. Fudge brownies often don’t have baking soda and as a result you’ll notice a denser crumb inside and even the color difference.
A higher sugar content will also provide a more chewy, fudgey brownie. The chocolate that we’re using in this recipe will provide more structure to the brownie as well when compared to recipes that use cocoa powder for their chocolate additive.
Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.
- Add nuts, chopped candies, or chocolate morsels for a twist.
- Use a different extract for added flavor.
- Add toppings such as frosting and sprinkles, or caramel drizzle.
- Use as the base for any ice cream sundae.
Tips for good food on a budget!
Craving brownies but don’t have chocolate on hand? Skip the chocolate and make a blondie instead!
This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Melt the brown sugar in a small pot with water and butter. Once sugar is fully dissolved, add finely chopped chocolate. Let rest to melt.
- After 5 minutes, whisk well to combine and create a ganache.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Pour into a parchment lined 8×8 pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
How to store and love your leftovers
- Refrigerate: Typically brownies can be stored at room temperature for 5 days. However, to make them last longer or if it’s warmer than about 70F, wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze: Pre-cut the brownies and double wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and in an air tight container. These will keep for for 2-3 months.
- Reheat: Thaw wrapped at room temperature. You can microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel for 30 seconds on low for a warm brownie experience.
Put warm brownies on the bottom of a sundae!
Not necessarily. A boxed mix will typically be cheaper, but to know your ingredients and easily be able to make variations, homemade brownies are the answer.
Yes brownies can be over mixed. When using a whisk at the end, the batter becomes quite thick. Alternate with a rubber spatula and more of a folding method to keep the air in the batter and from becoming too dense.
The quality of a brownie relies on the quality of the chocolate used. Bakers chocolate at 60% or higher is the best quality and closest to pure chocolate that you can get. Chocolate chips have a higher content of wax to help prevent them from melting.
Other Desserts You Will Love
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Classic Homemade Brownies
- 2 large bowls
- rubber spatula
- parchment paper
- 8×8 pan
- cutting board
- 1-1/4 cup all-purpose (0.33)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (0.03)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (0.01)
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (0.71)
- 1-1/2 cup brown sugar (0.89)
- 1 Tablespoon water (0.00)
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (1.16) baker's chocolate bar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (0.03)
- 2 eggs (0.26)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the bottom of the pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the brown sugar, water, and butter. Whisk until fully melted and sugar is well dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour over chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes, then whisk to smooth adding the vanilla extract.
- Allow the chocolate mixture to come to room temperature, about 7 minutes, before adding the eggs. Whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix with a whisk, switching to a rubber spatula as it thickens.
- Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out with an offset spatula, pushing the batter to the corners of the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Remove from pan to cut into 12 squares.