In general, I am not one for repeating myself. I think this comes from years of being stepped on, despite my protestations. To be clear, I mean that literally–I have been stepped on A LOT. I don’t know what’s going on with you, world, but I do, in fact, exist, and I try my best to annunciate clearly when I shout, “Excuse me!”
I think the greatest of all the times that this has happened was on St. Patrick’s Day two years ago, at a cozy, little pub in Sarasota, Florida called The Shamrock. Despite my many protesting interjections, a very tall un-gentleman stepped on me when I first arrived, when I was simply standing at the bar, AND when I was leaving. Those who know me well know that I can certainly shout, and those who were with me that night can attest to the fact that I did. Sure, he could’ve had too much to drink…but, as someone who has experienced this quite frequently (with grocery carts at the supermarket, with automatic doors not detecting my presence, with regular people just doing regular things in public near me), he also could’ve-after my third or fourth, “Excuse me!”-just gotten out of my way!
Given that all of these experiences have collided into the bitter taste of hatred for repeating myself, it’s surprising that we meet here today to talk once more about the beloved recipe I found for cocoa brownies. Yes, this is the same one we talked about last summer. And I’m just going to say this again for good measure–these are absolutely amazing. I know, I know. All that talk about what a drag it is to repeat myself, all that time it took for you to get through my boring anecdote, and here we are, listening to me ramble on about something I’ve already told you. Friends, I can explain: when you have a favorite recipe, sharing it once is simply not enough.
This time, I’ve switched things up. These are still as fudge-y as ever, but I have made a few improvements in the name of dutched cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chips. For those of you who are unfamiliar, dutched cocoa powder has been alkalized, meaning it reacts differently to acidity in comparison to normal unsweetened cocoa powder. This results in an aromatic, rich chocolate flavor that makes all other options pale in comparison. Because of the neutral quality of dutched cocoa powder, you can’t always switch it out with the regular stuff. In the case of my favorite brownie recipe, however, substituting a quarter of a cup is, quite simply, a clear and resounding, “YES!” I doubt that the world will hear me, based on my past experience with unheard exclamations, but at least you’re listening.
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
1/4 cup dutched cocoa powder
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
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 powders, 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). Gently fold in chocolate chips. 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.