Brownies that Rock

I’ve been on a mission for oh…EVER to find the best brownie recipe out there  on the Interwebs.  I’m extremely picky when it comes to brownies. I like them fudgy and chewy, but they need a good crust too.  I prefer them with frosting  but OF COURSE I’ll eat them without frosting too!

You also know that I can’t lie and say I made up this recipe because I didn’t.  I found it online and it belongs to Hershey’s.  Here’s the original link.  This has been my brownie recipe of choice for the past year and a half and there is one reason I love this recipe.  Ok, there are a few, but I love it because it’s EASY to make, and TASTY and best of all, it’s VERSATILE! You can make hundreds of changes to the base recipe and it works.  After all, isn’t that what makes a recipe classic?  I did discover all the variations myself and I’ve made some pretty interesting adjustments when I’ve needed too.  This recipe also translates really well to a gluten free brownie.  All these notes will be included at the end.  Don’t worry.

Now, let’s get baking!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
*1/2 bag of melted chocolate chips. This is my addition. I ALWAYS add some kind of chocolate chip to the recipe. See notes below.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan. (As always, I line mine with parchment or foil so that I can lift it out and cut them easier.)

Stir together melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.


Add eggs.  Mix well.


Add cocoa powder. Mix well. (Add in melted chips if you are using them)

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, mixing until well blended.

Stir in additions if desired. (Andes mint chips pictured  in this batch)

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut into squares. About 16 brownies.

Some things you should know.

  • This brownie has a crunchy flaky top.
  • You can double this recipe and make it in a 9X13 (approx 30 mins baking  time)
  • You can TRIPLE it and make it in a quarter sheet/cookie pan with sides.  (approx 35 minutes baking time)

Ideas for additions (per batch) 

  • 1/2 bag of Andes mint chips per batch.  You can decrease this if you want. It makes a very minty brownie. Special Note: If  I am using mint chips, I will NOT add additional chips to the recipe. 
  • 1/2 bag of chocolate raspberry chips – melted and added to mixture before dry ingredients instead of the chocolate chips.
  • 1/2 c toasted and chopped pecans
  • 1t cinnamon and 1/2t cayenne for a kick (more/less to your liking)
  • 1/2 bag peanut butter chips- melted and added to mixture before dry ingredients instead of the chocolate chips.

Gluten Free –
To make these a gluten free treat, use 1/2c Bob’s Red Mill GF All purpose flour and follow the rest of the directions. I usually add mint chips to this one.  Because there is so little flour, the GF flour isn’t really noticeable but the mint certainly covers the difference in taste.  You may need to add 5-10 minutes of baking time, depends on the brand of GF flour you are using.

Happy GF Brownie Accident

Last night I made another batch of GF brownies but halfway through the process I ran into two hiccups.  The first hiccup was that I only had jumbo eggs. Normally, I use large eggs when baking.  I wasn’t sure if one jumbo egg would equal 2 large eggs, so I did some scientific experimentation.  Ok I really just measured how much egg I had.  One large egg usually is 1/4c so I’d need 1/2 c  of eggs for my recipe. I whisked two jumbo eggs and measured out 1/2 cup into my mixing bowl.  There was about 1/8 c of egg mixture left. I felt badly for wasting it, so I ended up throwing it in.  

On to the bigger hiccup.  I got to the point in my recipe when I needed cocoa powder, but I couldn’t find it. (I am not in my own kitchen in case you were wondering! Lesson learned: Assemble ALL your ingredients before you start baking.)   Really, so how does one make chocolate brownies without cocoa powder?  I was almost stumped.  Almost.  I had a bag of mini semisweet chocolate chips that I had planned on using in the brownies.  So I melted half a bag and added the chocolate goodness to my sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla mixture.  It tasted good, but not chocolaty enough so I added the second half of the bag (relax…half the bag was already going in plus there was supposed to be 1/3c cocoa powder).  My biggest concern was that the chocolate chips would also add extra sugar.  I was afraid they would be too sweet.  Only time would tell though, so off to the oven we went.

Normal baking time is 20-25 minutes at 350, but I find the GF brownies need additional time, plus the additional eggs and all the chocolate from the melted chips.  In the end, it needed about 35 minutes. (I had oven issues too.  If the display has too many buttons and options I lose my mind. I must have turned off the oven 3 times while trying to set the timer. I kept going in to see what time was left and I’d find the oven had turned off. )  

This recipe tends to produce a brownie top that can be crunchy and flaky. (See photo below)

It can be covered with frosting, but I didn’t add it to this batch.  The other hard part is making sure the brownie really sets before you cut into it.  Cookies can be eaten piping hot, but brownies really need time to set.  

At the end of the day, the “GF/Chocolate Chip Because I Couldn’t Find Cocoa Powder Experimental Brownies” were delicious. They were heavy, rich and yes fudgy due to the jumbo eggs and the melted chocolate chips. (See photo below)

I’ve been testing GF items (store bought and homemade) on various people for a while and they usually have something to say about them. Most of the time it’s not positive.  This brownie was happily received by a gluten free nose turner upper. 🙂  

There you go.  Long story made longer by my blogabbling.  Looky there, I just made a new word AND concocted a new brownie.

I shall now treat my awesome self to a nap. 🙂

You go ahead and start baking.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
*1/2 bag of melted chocolate chips. This is my addition. I ALWAYS add some kind of chocolate chip to the recipe. See notes below.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan. (As always, I line mine with parchment or foil so that I can lift it out and cut them easier.)

Stir together melted butter and sugar.

Add eggs and mix together.

Add cocoa powder and combine.  (Now add in melted chips if you are using them.)

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, mixing  until well blended.

Stir in additions if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Cut into squares. About 16 brownies.
CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk;
beat to spreading consistency.
About 1 cup frosting.

I find this makes A LOT of frosting. For a single batch, I usually cut this frosting recipe in half or more likely, I’ll make a double batch of brownies.

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One Response to Brownies that Rock

  1. Val says:

    You are the BEST!

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