Despite all the fun-sized candy bars, peanut butter cups, and gummy worms eaten with abandon this time of year, I argue that we still need more chocolate. And that's not just because I am a chocolate fiend (which, if you're curious, I am) — it's because Halloween would be infinitely better with these brownies.
They are as dark and decadent as they come. They're insanely moist, rich, and chewy, speckled with chunks of melty chocolate that pool into hot puddles of your favorite chocolate as they bake.
Brownies as Dark as Night, Thanks to a Secret Ingredient
Midnight is not a term I used lightly when developing these brownies — these are strikingly dark in color. That's because of black cocoa powder, a type of Dutch cocoa powder that's processed in a way that makes it completely black in color. The processing also makes it almost fat-free, so it's recommended to be combined with natural or regular Dutch cocoa powder in order to ensure what you're baking is far from dry or crumbly.
Here, I combined it with regular Dutch cocoa powder, which is also quite deep in color, to ensure these brownies are as dark as night. Black cocoa powder is easy to find online and is a great addition to your pantry if you're looking to make super-dark chocolate cake and cookies, but if you don't have the space for it, you can use all regular Dutch cocoa powder for slightly less midnight (but still Halloween-worthy) results.
Molten Midnight Brownies
16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup black cocoa powder (or an additional 3/4 cup Dutch-process)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (about 1 1/3 cups), divided
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F. Line a 9x13-inch metal, glass, or ceramic baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two opposite sides.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the sugar, both cocoa powders, and salt. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Whisk in the vanilla, followed by eggs, one at a time, whisking vigorously to blend after each addition. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until just combined. Stir in 1/2 of the chopped chocolate; do not overmix. Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining chopped chocolate evenly over the top.
Bake until the brownies pull away from the edges of the pan, the top begins to crack, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out still slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes in a metal pan or up to 35 minutes in a glass or ceramic pan.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely. Using the parchment overhang, lift the brownie slab out of the pan. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 32 pieces.
- Storage: The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.