Skip to main content

"Just Right" Brownies From Scratch

I figured brownies would be an acceptable way to break the radio silence here. Between school and incubating the 4th little egg to join our nest (expected to hatch in August :) ), I've been too tired to be terribly creative in the kitchen, and have been depending mostly on our tried and true favorites for dinners. But my husband and older kids are planting the raised beds as I write, the end of our homeschool year is in sight, and I hope to blog a few garden updates, homey things, and recipes before getting swept up in another newborn whirlwind. 

Yesterday was my current youngest's 3rd birthday, and she requested brownie sundaes for dessert.  I've tried a number of different homemade brownie recipes in the past, including the much talked about one from Baked, but in truth have usually preferred brownies from a box.  Whaaa...?  I think the homemade versions, while very good, always feel just a little too complicated to me with their additions of coffee or espresso, multiple types of sugar, etc.--and they taste it, too. These brownies are just right.  That perfect, uncomplicated, chocolatey and fudgey box-mix brownie taste and feel without any dyes, preservatives, or other nasty filler stuff. They take just a few minutes to whip up.

This recipe's base comes from an unassuming little cookbook called Cookies: Food Writers' Favorites, edited by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker.  Amazon has some used copies available.  In the book the recipe is titled Just Brownies, but I've made some changes to use cocoa powders and a little oil instead of unsweetened baking squares, a little salt, and subbed chocolate chips for walnuts. 

A note on cocoa powders: my local bulk cooking/baking supply store sells Callebaut products and I believe that the cocoa I get there is relabeled Callebaut powder. The Royal Dutch Cocoa has wonderful flavor with no bitterness, and the Black Cocoa is coal black, giving a more appealing, rich color than its lighter counterpart. I love baking with these cocoa powders and have not tested this recipe with others, but I expect it would fare just fine with Hershey's or another brand. Or, do as the original recipe suggests and melt three 1 oz. squares of unsweetened chocolate with your butter, and omit the cocoa powders and oil. 


Just Right Brownies

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
6 T. Royal Dutch Cocoa
3 T. Dutch-processed Black Cocoa
3 T. vegetable oil
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. AP flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 8x8x2" pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together melted butter, cocoa powders, and oil until smooth. Stir in sugar, mix well.  Blend in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and salt, mix well. Stir in flour, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour/spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set.  Don't overbake.  Allow to cool completely.

For Fudge Frosting: Whisk together 2 T. melted butter, 2 T. Royal Dutch Cocoa, 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar, and 2 T. whole milk until smooth. Spread on cooled brownies, then allow to set before serving.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clay Cookie Craft

Though school is out for the summer there are a few things my little lass and I are still trying to work on consistently--reading, piano, and art.  Now, I have some fine art background but I don't consider myself very crafty, at least when in comes to coming up with fun projects for kids.  I loved this project from The Little Hands Art Book because it combined some great elements of cooking, sculpture, and painting.  I like crafts that actually teach something.  The bonus here is that we ended up with some great looking little cookies for my daughter's play kitchen.  Here's the salt dough recipe you need to get started (click on the photo to see it full size):


We left out the alum and baked the cookies.  We also halved the recipe.  I had my daughter (who is 4) pour the ingredients into a bowl and after I got the mixing started, I taught her how to knead the dough like bread.


The dough becomes smooth and pliable.


I split it into two sections to make it more manageable and l…

Quadro: The Coolest Toy You've Never Heard Of

Usually the content of my blog falls under either parenting, homemaking, or food.  Sometimes you get a poem or some thoughts as I meditate on what God is teaching me through his Word.  Usually my goal is to encourage, inspire, and perhaps amuse.  Today, my aim is not so noble--I just want to share a unique thing my family has been enjoying. 


This is Quadro--modular building toy, a prop for imaginative play, and active play equipment. 

Winters are always rather intense in our neck of the woods, but this one has been particularly frigid.  Nevertheless, my son asks to go outside to play pretty much every day.  I've had to say no a lot, or risk little frostbitten fingers or losing short stuff in a snow bank.  How's a little guy to burn off energy when running circles through the living and dining rooms gets old and his best playmate (his older sister) is busy with school?  This was one of our considerations as my husband and I discussed Christmas gifts for the kids this past yea…

My Unexpected Love for Cloth Diapers

I like to write about things I am very interested in and excited about.  Presently, I'm pretty excited about cloth diapers. 


We've been full time cloth diapering for several weeks now and I like it a lot more than I ever expected to.  In fact, I feel pretty stupid for not switching sooner.  I know it will change some when we introduce solid foods, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  Right now, I'm just thrilled at how easy it is, how cute and colorful everything is, how much less garbage I have to walk out of the house every day, and that I got to cancel all my Amazon diaper subscriptions.

Shortly before making the switch to cloth I saw this image in a Facebook community.  It's from a display at The Giggling Green Bean, via DirtyDiaperLaundry.



I wouldn't call myself a tree-hugger, though I do believe it's our responsibility to steward God's creation well.  But this image made me feel a little sick, and it's just an illustration of one …