Some things are negotiable (like adding capers to things…in which case, I always lean toward “no”), and others are mandatory. I think it’s time that I make a declaration. I wish I were responsible for this recipe, because-here it is-the world needs these brownies. I’ve spiced up banana pancakes. I’ve appalled France by adding kalamata olives to soup. I’ve combined rosewater with marshmallows to make some pretty cool crispy treats. Yet, as far as I am concerned, the minute that the diligent cooks at the Bon Appetit test kitchen concocted this recipe for cocoa brownies, everything went right, everywhere, for a moment.
Seriously, every time I make these, I am surprised at how delicious they are. Considering the number of batches I have made, this should no longer occur. But alas, I can’t help it—every time I bite into these gooey, crispy, melty, mushy, so-chocolaty-it’s-fruity bars of cocoa depth, I find myself wondering how on earth something that tasty can exist. Especially when I consider the fact that it takes me exactly six minutes to whip up a batch and pop it into the oven. Granted, I have had a lot of practice, but still. I want to apologize to you ahead of time, because this is your new addiction. You’re welcome.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup Scharffen Berger natural unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened cocoa powder will do, but if you have the funds, try the Scharffen Berger!)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease an 8x8x2 inches glass baking dish and set aside. Melt butter in a small sauce-pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25-30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Once cool, remove brownies out of pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares*.
*The original recipe states that this should be cut into 16 squares. Go ahead and do this, but let’s face it–if I adhered to those guidelines, I would be eating four at a time. Nine is a good number, and it makes the brownies a good size.