Finding the perfect brownie recipe is as personal as driving a manual versus an automatic, or choosing boxers over briefs. Some people like their brownies gooey, fudgy, and on the cusp of raw. Others like them fluffy, cakelike, and cooked all the way through. But part of the beauty in finding your favorite is not in the actual brownie but in the quest. You've got to kiss a lot of frogs to land the prince; you've got to bake a lot of brownies to find "the one."
It's not hard to find a good brownie recipe these days. The viral nature of 'food blogging' has turned the retro American classic into an online global sensation. There's Katharine Hepburn's time tested take, or the oh-so-famous brownies from Baked (which themselves brought new meaning to the term internet sensation). You can bet I've tried them all—and due to my insatiable appetite for chocolatey perfection— will continue to do so with every hot new recipe that pops into my Google feed. Because what's the hurt in trying them, except maybe a few extra pounds.
If you are lucky enough to find your "one," then the sky is the limit. You can add peanut butter, marshmallows, or candy bar bits. You can frost them, sandwich them, even fry them if you so choose. This tried-and-true brownie recipe took me years to nail down, but still never fails to hit the right spot. It's loaded with three types of chocolate (well, technically four, but who's counting) to really knock the flavor ball out of the park. They are fudgy yet light, sweet but not too. And like most good things in life, only need an iced cold glass of milk to help wash them down.
Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies
Makes 9 - 12 squares
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter
2 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup good-quality semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
For the brownies, preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Melt butter, bittersweet chocolate, and semisweet chocolate together over a double boiler (or in the microwave on medium power for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through) until the mixture is melted and smooth. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla at high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Fold the melted chocolate into the egg mixture thoroughly.
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate-egg mixture until just combined and no flour is visible. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with an off-set knife if necessary. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Bake the brownies for 27-29 minutes, until only a few moist crumbs are visible when pricked with a toothpick. Let the brownies cool completely before serving, preferably overnight.
Recipe sponsored by Cool Whip Whipped Topping.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)