SERIOUS brownie points

fudge brownies

Pizza. Spaghetti and meatballs. Cinnamon toast. Fried rice. Brownies.

What do these apparently random dishes all have in common?

They’re on my personal list of Foods I’ll Never Grow Tired Of.

I could eat any of these foods every day, any time of the day. Fried rice for breakfast? Done that. Cinnamon toast with the 11 p.m. news? Comfort, baby. Spaghetti and meatballs (pizza on the side) after church on Sunday? It doesn’t get any better.

And brownies. If I had to pick just one dessert to accompany me throughout eternity, it might just be brownies.

Not just any brownies, mind you. The brownies you’ll read about below. The ones I actually created myself, after years of fooling around with various recipes.

I’m under no illusion that these brownies are some momentous discovery, some miracle of culinary research akin to Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine. In fact, they’re exquisitely similar to many, MANY other brownie recipes.

But I’ve added a ”secret ingredient“ here, an amount tweak there, and a dab of technique to make what we here at King Arthur proudly call our Guaranteed Fudge Brownie, the ne plus ultra of brownie-dom—in our humble opinion.

Now, before you get all up in arms over this proclamation, notice that it comes with a disclaimer: These are the Best Brownies in the World IN OUR OPINION. Brownies are like wine, or cheese, or any other greatly beloved food. One man’s white Zinfandel is another man’s Chateau d’Yquem. To each his own Gorgonzola.

Brownies can be fudgy unto completely under-baked gooeyness, or they can masquerade as chocolate cake. They can be bitter enough to provoke a twinge behind the ears, or so sweet you wonder where the chocolate went. There’s the nuts/no nuts controversy. The fans of a pretty, shiny top vs. those who say, “Who cares, so long as it’s chocolate.” In short, to each his own.

But if you like a brownie that’s somewhere between bitter and sweet—call it semisweet; that’s midway between melted fudge and airy cake (we call it “on the fence”); and that, yes, has a GORGEOUS shiny top, a top that flakes off in tiny, delicate shards as you cut it—

Then this is your brownie.

Read our Guaranteed Fudge Brownie recipe as you follow along with these pictures.

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Let’s start with the chocolate. I use cocoa, rather than solid chocolate. I think it makes a richer, darker, tastier brownie. I especially like our Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa, a mixture of “black” cocoa (a super-dark cocoa); and Dutch-process cocoa, which is unsweetened baking cocoa that’s been treated to lower its acidity, letting its lovely flavor shine through.

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Next, the secret ingredient: espresso powder. Don’t tell me you don’t like coffee! You won’t taste any coffee in these brownies. Like vanilla, espresso simply heightens chocolate’s flavor.

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Now, for the lesson in technique. Put 2 sticks of butter and 2 1/4 cups of sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave till the butter melts.

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While the butter is melting, put 4 large eggs in a mixing bowl.

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Add the cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, salt, and vanilla, mixing till smooth.

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Take the butter/sugar out of the microwave.

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Stir till well combined.

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Then, put it back into the microwave, and heat till the mixture BARELY comes to a bubble, maybe 90 seconds to 2 minutes. You don’t want it to boil, so keep your eye on it. Remove it from the microwave when you see it starting to foam.

Why this extra step of melting the butter with the sugar? Our King Arthur product development director, Sue Gray, taught me this trick. Melting the sugar and butter together allows some of the sugar to migrate to the top of the batter during baking, forming that signature shiny/crackly crust.

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Add the hot butter/sugar to the chocolate mixture in the bowl.

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Stir together, then add the flour.

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Stir to make a smooth batter.

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Decision time: Do you want chocolate chips that show, and add a bit of chunkiness to your brownies? Or do you want the chips to simply melt into a rich smoothness, perfectly amalgamated within the brownie?

For chips that retain their shape and add chunkiness, let the batter cool for about 20 minutes before adding the chips, stirring occasionally to hasten the process. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 350°F, if you haven’t already done so.

For brownies where the chips melt right into the brownie, add them to the hot batter immediately, stirring to combine.

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I prefer my chips to remain evident. This batter rested for 20 minutes before I quickly and gently stirred in the chips. If you beat or stir too long, the batter is still warm enough that the chips will dissolve, so take it easy.

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Line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment, and grease the parchment. Is this necessary, all of you without parchment ask? No. But it sure is nice to be able to remove brownies from the pan intact, without sticking and crumbling.

Scoop the batter into the pan.

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Shake the pan and/or use a spatula to smooth the batter into the corners.

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Bake for 30 minutes. Or 28 minutes. Or however long it takes your 350°F oven to bake the brownies PERFECTLY.

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Translation: A toothpick or cake tester, inserted into the center and poked around a bit, will reveal no unbaked batter—just very moist crumbs. Let me stress: VERY moist crumbs. In my 350°F oven here in the test kitchen, that’s a consistent 30 minutes.

Yes, this doneness test makes a divot in the center of your beautiful pan of brownies. But since you’ll cut them into squares anyway, so what? Save the divoted one for yourself.

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Loosen the edges of the brownies. A baker’s bench knife works well here, though a table knife would also do the job. Let them cool in the pan till they’re lukewarm. Then slice into 2” (more or less) squares, which is four rows lengthwise, and six crosswise: 2 dozen brownies.

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Now, take your bench knife (or a spatula) and insert it between the edge of the pan and the brownies. Lift up.

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The brownies should slide right out, so long as you’ve used parchment.

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See that gorgeous, shiny top? And note the lighter-colored chips evident on the left side of this brownie—that’s the look you’ll get when you wait for the batter to cool before adding the chips.

Serve with cold milk, or a cup of coffee. Heaven…

Carolyn commented below, “Will this recipe work in the Brownie Edge pan?”

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So far, so good.

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Will it overflow?

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Not at all. It’s PERFECT. Just bake about 5 minutes longer, as it makes a slightly thicker (1 1/2”) brownie, with edges on at least two sides. If you like brownie edges, or know someone who does—this pan’s for you. And as Janet (our Web designer and devoted brownie-edge fan) points out, “If you’re lucky you can have a piece with edges on THREE sides.”

Can’t beat that, huh?

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Guaranteed Fudge Brownies.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: The Night Kitchen Bakery, Philadelphia, PA: “Best of Philly” Fudge Brownie, $2.00

Bake at home: Fudge Brownie, 32¢

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Nancy

    Oh – these look divine! The trick of melting the sugar and butter together is very interesting. Thanks for the tip. Your photographs are incredible and make me want to rush out to get the ingredients to whip up a batch of these.

    Reply
  2. Bridgid

    I want to make these but my question is this: I really hate coffee. Can’t stand it. I made the whole grain chocolate lava cake (from the kaf whole grain cookbook, which I LOVE) and topped it with coffee instead of hot water, as suggested, and I hated it. The coffee flavor was there. It said it intensify the flavor & meld, but ick. The cake was lovely, no grainy-ness, it was wonderful, but then the coffee flavor hit.

    So…..question is: will I taste the expresso powder? I’d hate to make these and not like them.

    Also, I have made the fudgy brownies from one of the kaf cookbooks, and holy cow were they outstanding to the nth degree!! I made the macaroon topping for them and they were to die for!

    You don’t taste the espresso powder – it simply heightens the flavor of the chocolate. I’ve never heard anyone say these brownies tasted like coffee or espresso, so Bridgid, try and see for yourself. PJH

    Reply
    1. Susan

      I made these yesterday; no espresso powder.
      They are great.
      I also used only 2 c. flour; didn’t seem to bother.

  3. Megan

    yummy…love your blog and all the tips. My fav so far is the different gadgets at each station-shows off the personality of the cooks! Thanks

    Reply
  4. Keri

    I love the tip of melting the butter and sugar together. It does create a nice top!

    Is this basically the same recipe that’s in the brownie mix you sell? I just got a free package with an order and wow! were they good brownies. I won’t say how much I ate and how much I shared with my family.

    This is a variation of our Guarenteed Brownie Recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/RecipeDisplay?RID=4 Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  5. Marielle

    *thud*

    Now that I’ve picked myself up off the floor – how to convince hubby to postpone the southern poundcake tomorrow in lieu of brownies. I LOVE the tip for a shiny top.

    Reply
  6. Sue

    Is this the same recipe that I found on a package of KA Flour? I can’t look right now to compare, but it rings some bells and the end product looks the same. If so, I’ve made these brownies and they are the best!!

    Reply
  7. Terri

    I think these are your On the Fence brownies from the Cookie Companion, right? These have been my favorite since I got the book about a year and a half ago. I’ve not made them with the espresso powder, though – will have to try that next time. I could eat half a pan of these in one sitting! My mouth is watering thinking about them.

    Right, Terri – They’re On-the-Fence… a venerable favorite. PJH

    Reply
  8. Bridgett

    Oh, these look so good! I love the tip you’ve given on the butter and sugar. It really does make these brownies look divine. And waiting until the batter is cool enough to handle the chips does appear to make a world of difference. I would vote for the whole chips too. Thanks for the great post.

    Reply
  9. Daniel Smith

    Those look delicious.

    How should one store uneaten brownies?

    Store them tightly wrapped at room temperature. A plastic bag works well for this. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  10. Eric

    This recipe doubles *beautifully* baked in a sprayed half-sheet pan, no parchment required. The political capital found in homemade brownies knows no bounds; so plan to give away half the batch and sit back and reap the rewards.

    Personally I stir in 2/3s of the chips, and sprinkle on the rest after smoothing the batter into the pan with an offset spatula. I also think these are EVEN BETTER the second or third day stored in a sealed container.

    This is, by far, one of the best recipes I’ve ever used. It’s totally consistent, everybody loves them, I’ve won (four?) blue ribbons with them. You will not regret making these.

    HI Eric,
    I totally agree with you on the doubling for a half sheet pan. This is my go to recipe for bake sales, potlucks, etc. Once the brownies cool, I top with ganache, and leave one 1/4 plain, 1/4 topped with nuts, 1/4 with chocolate sprinkles and 1/4 with colored sprinkles or pearl sugar. Never a crumb left! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  11. Anne

    this looks very good! except, we don’t drink (or eat powdered versions) coffee for religious and dietary reasons. can you recommend a good cocoa-enhancing substitute?

    What about Postum? Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  12. Jules

    These look great. I think these are in my near future. And I love the feature on the recipe page to switch between volume and weight! (Is that new, or have I just never noticed it before?) I seem to be pulling out my scale much more often these days for baking purposes, and it’s so lovely and precise.

    NEW as of last July – so “relatively” new, Jules. I love my scale – wouldn’t bake without it. PJH

    Reply
  13. kathrine wehrung

    Funny you just posted this because I actually just catered a small event today with this recipe! Everyone LOVES these brownies and they make me look really good haha! Thanks for the best brownie recipe in the world, seriously! The only thing is to get them baked just right, takes practice!
    Love you guys!

    Reply
  14. Sue

    Okay. I’m procrastinating. I work at home and just had to find the recipe I clipped from the bag of KA Unbleached AP Flour. The title is The Best Fudge Brownies Ever and it is the same recipe minus the espresso powder. These really are great brownies, and are now the “go to” brownie at our house. Next time I’ll add the espresso powder too! Thanks PJ and all the folks at KA Flour!

    Reply
  15. Trisha

    Frank, unfortunately, Postum was discontinued a couple of years ago. To my great disappointment, I might add. I really miss it!

    REALLY! I’ve still got half a jar of Postum here in my cupboard. Is it THAT old??? PJH

    Reply
  16. elianna

    Awesome recipe. Never made the KAF version…i once found a recipe called “mexican brownies” that’s pretty similar except you add cinnamon & leave out the espresso powder…anyway, they’re awesome. but i applied what i learned from the mex brownie recipe to other recipes for brownies…and i can totally second PJ on two things…the heating of the butter & sugar makes them AWESOME…and if you get them “perfectly baked”-which DOES take practice!!!-you can make almost any brownies out of this world. :)
    In all honesty…once I found the Mexican Brownies version I said i never would try another one…but i’m clicking “print” right now on your recipe! :) Looks awesome! thanks for the time & work you put into each of these posts…i am always telling people about this site! :) it’s a bakers training course in a nutshell. :) you guys are AWESOME!! :)

    Elianna, thank you SO much for your enthusiasm! PJH

    Reply
  17. Melinda

    Dang, I’m out of espresso powder or I’d make these right now. :(

    Melinda, espresso heightens the flavor of chocolate. Don’t let not having it stop you. Make ‘em now, and then make ‘em again with espresso for a richer flavor… both will be divine! PJH

    Reply
  18. lexee

    How long do these brownies keep?

    I am looking for a good recipe to make and ship to Thailand. Would these be a good candidate? If not, do you have any suggestions for other recipes that ship and keep well?

    Thanks!

    Hi Lexee – Best to make a nice, crisp cookie, like Vanilla Dreams. Or even better: biscotti. You’ll find all kinds of biscotti recipes here. Have fun – PJH

    Reply
  19. Bridget

    I love your list and wholeheartedly agree….I will never get tired of those foods, either! We were having a family discussion on our top 5 dessert this week and brownies were on everybody’s list!

    Reply
  20. ancameni

    I have made the On-the fence brownies since i ever laid first eyes on the recipes. Until then i never knew what brownies i liked, cakey or fudgey. Now I know it is on the fence. I do not make any other ones.
    I have made those brownies the other day and for some odd reason decided not add espresso powder. What a mistake. the esspresso powder add depth or whatever you call it. it intensifies flavor and i would not do it without.

    ancameni

    I agree about the espresso powder – it adds richness of flavor, without any coffee flavor. Thanks for chiming in! I keep trying to convince people about espresso powder… it feels like my goal in life sometimes! PJH

    Reply
  21. Wanda

    When I clicked on the link & the page loaded & the first thing I saw was that brownie. WOW my heart skipped a beat. Brownies are my favorite. I have never tried espresso powder in my batter, but I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the great blog.

    Reply
  22. SimplePleasure

    wow! gotta try this recipe! I have always been wondering how to get that shinny top some how I never could figure it out. One time by accident I was able to baked a brownie with that shinny top but I never did figure out how
    *blush* Now I now so I’ll give it a test tonight

    Reply
  23. Natalie

    I made these tonight for my family, and they have been declared “The best brownies in the world.” Friends offered to ‘independently varify’ my family’s claim, and I was met at the door with shreiks of joy – and unshered into the kitchen to watch grandma, mom, and teenager devour them with the last of the milk. The teenager then posted on her Facebook page “I just ate the best brownies ever. Ever. Everrrrrrr.”
    There is no ego boost quite like a complimentary teenager.
    And speaking of Facebook, may I recommend KAF create its own ‘official business’ Facebook page?

    Ah, Natalie, music to our ears…. the approval of a teenager, AND posting on Facebook – truly we’ve “succeeded”! I’ve been thinking we should sign the King up on Facebook – he could have all kinds of fun. We currently have a KA group – “Fan of King Arthur Flour” – but not a page for King Art himself… PJH

    Reply
  24. Pingback: SERIOUS brownie points. | King Arthur Flour - Bakers’ Banter | bigforkgolf.com

  25. Denise

    Oh my!! These brownies look fantastic!! I agree, I think that brownies are my very favorite dessert. I could never get tired of them.

    I did have a couple of questions. Can you use the Double Dutch Dark Cocoa in all recipes that call for cocoa? I’ve seen some recipes that call for cocoa and others that specify Dutch processed cocoa. I’m sure there’s a difference in the depth of flavor but are they otherwise interchangable?

    On a completely different note, how do you get your brownies to cut so neatly? I’ve tried the bench knife, a plastic knife, serrated knives, and they brownies always clump up on the knife and I don’t get those nice clean lines. I don’t seem to be underbaking them.

    Thanks again for the wonderful recipes. I was going to make lava cakes this weekend but I may put that off and opt for these brownies instead! YUM!

    Denise, Dutch-process cocoa should be used in baked recipes that call for it – i.e., recipes with chemical leavening (baking powder, baking soda), as the pH content of Dutch and natural are different, and the leavening is geared for whatever cocoa is called for. Most older recipes assume natural cocoa. And if you see a recipe calling for baking soda, you can pretty much assume it uses natural cocoa. For other recipes without leavening (e.g., hot fudge sauce, candy), you can use Dutch process for a richer, “truer” chocolate flavor.

    As for cutting – dip the cutter in hot water between slices. That helps. With these brownies, I actually don’t have any problem with sticking. And yes, plstic does seem to work better than metal on sticky bars. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  26. Chris

    I make a brownie from a recipe my aunt gave me called Wheat Ranch Brownies. It is very old but very similar. I can’t wait to make this one now. My problem is, now that I am watching my cholesterol would it be ok to use eggbeaters in this recipe? I would not dream of replacing the butter but I wonder about the eggs. One other question, can I make this in a smaller version as there is only hubby and me?

    Chris, try the eggbeaters; they’ll be slightly less moist and rich. And you can halve the recipe and make it in an 8″ square pan or 9″ round pan. – PJH

    Reply
  27. Theresa

    I’ve made this recipe so many times and it has never failed me! The first time I didn’t get the nice shiny flaky top layer, but apparently I’ve corrected whatever mistake I made because now they always come out perfect. I now put in a little espesso powder in every chocolate recipe that I bake :) It really does make the chocolate flavor so much richer and you DO NOT taste any coffee.

    Reply
  28. Katie

    Anne,
    Try Cafix as a substitute for the espresso powder. A friend of mine swears by it. It is made from malted barley, barley, chicory, figs, and beet roots. It is available in many grocery stores, as well as Amazon.com.

    Reply
  29. Cynthia

    I made these last weekend and sent them to my son in NYC who has been haunting his mailbox since I told him they were on the way… but I used last year’s version… cut into hearts for Valentine’s Day… which leaves a lot of wonderful scraps for snacking, putting on ice cream, snacking some more, crumbling over pudding, snacking, rolling up into little balls of chocolate wonderfulness… did I say snacking?
    I also made a bunch of “Black Forest Brownies” for hubby and I to keep (and to take as a dessert to a friend’s house for dinner). Next time, I’m just putting the dried cherries in THIS recipe. It’s ‘way better!

    Reply
  30. MrsM

    I’ve made the On-The-Fence Brownies, and they are wonderful. I don’t keep espresso powder here, I just substitute King Arthur’s Black Cocoa Powder.

    Reply
  31. Louise

    I’m a big NUT lover…can I add a cup of walnuts to this recipe? If so, would that change the baking time? We are in the same league. I think a brownie isn’t right unless there are lots of nuts. 1 cup of nuts would work well. A cup of walnuts shouldn’t change the baking time. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  32. SallyBR

    Just made those yesterday to bring to work today – honestly, they are the best I’ve ever had, exactly the way I dreamed a brownie should be. I did not use espresso powder, by the way, so those wondering about skipping it, go ahead and give the recipe a try.

    Not too sweet, intense chocolate taste, I doubt they will last until the end of the afternoon

    Reply
  33. MrMike

    Two questions:

    1. Is this the same recipe that is on the back of the bag of KA Flour? If so, yeah – they’re the bomb.

    2. If one didn’t happen to have espresso powder should one add a tiny bit of brewed espresso, a tiny bit of fine ground beans, or just skip it?

    THANKS

    Mr. Mike, I lose track of all the recipes on all the bags over the years, but it probably is the same – maybe minus the espresso powder on the bag. It’s a flavor enhancer – you can leave it out. I think it would actually be cool to ice these with chocolate ganache made with brewed espresso – wow, now THAT would be beyond decadent… PJH

    Reply
  34. Candace

    PJ – In reference to an earlier post about shipping these brownies to Thailand, I’ve been meaning to ask this. I have a “school son,” a former exchange student from Indonesia. His most favorite bit of American cooking was chocolate chip cookies. I’d love to surprise him at college (in Indonesia) with a batch, but can’t figure out the details. Do you think some kind of crisper cookie base (maybe not – end up as crumbs?) and mini chips would withstand the trip better than a classic CCC recipe? Any ideas the KAF gurus (or Bloggers) have will be appreciated. Thanks! Have you thought about making the chocolate chip cookies into bars? They’d survive the trip better and are delicious. Just take the batter and spread it into a 9 x 13 pan and bake in a 375 oven for 20 minutes. Molly@KAF

    Reply
  35. Karen

    I just made these very brownies last night, brought them to work this morning, and all that’s left on the plate is a few crumbs. They were snatched up, and then word spread (you know how it goes at the office). I cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter – they turned out so cute! I did the same thing at Christmas and kept the scraps in a sealed container. They were still tasty weeks later … I had forgotten about them. PJ, you’re brilliant. This is, no doubt, my favorite brownie recipe.

    Reply
  36. carmel

    I love this blog, thank you thank you!

    PJ, is there anything special about melting the butter+sugar together for other recipes as well? I’m thinking it could save me a step while making cookies. Any ideas?

    And I’m just going to throw this out there: I make spicy brownies and they’re fantastic. I add a bit of dried chiles (ancho chili) and cinnamon. It sounds weird, but for a little something different, they’re amazing.

    Carmel, I’ve made brownies with black pepper, and brownies with cayenne – WHOOO-EEE. Interesting. I thinnk if you melt butter and sugar together for cookies, the cookies will be flatter/spread more. But give it a try – PJH

    Reply
  37. Maggie Poort

    These brownies are almost exactly my grandmother’s recipe from years ago; and they are delicious! I was intrigued by the second cooking of the butter and sugar, I will be sure to try it when I make them. I will try your recipe soon, it’s a bit different (she didn’t use any baking powder), but making brownies always reminds me of the best cook I ever knew, my grandma martin. thank you.

    Reply
  38. Alison T

    What if you just double the vanilla in lieu of the espresso powder? I have the same issue with respect to religion/dietary. I don’t know if the Cafix stuff will actually act as a flavor enhancer from a food science perspective, but I would defer to the KAF folks on that… Looking forward to trying this out!

    You can certainly leave out the espresso, Alison – it’s a flavor enhancer. Add any other flavopr you like – mint, raspberry, extra vanilla… anything that marries will with chocolate. PJH

    Reply
  39. Linda

    I love the fact that your pan looks as old as some of mine do, and that you made a divot in the middle, then let us see it. :) The divot is a great tip, and your description and closeup of the proper crumbs is very helpful. The moistness factor is probably my biggest problem in baking.

    Reply
  40. AndyC

    These look wonderful; can’t wait to try them. I agree about the nuts, but my hubby can’t chew them. What I’ve done in the past is to measure the correct amount of nuts, then grind them up and add them to the batter with the flour. If the recipe calls for oil, I reduce it about a teaspoon or so, because the ground nuts will release a little oil when baking. That way we get all the flavor and health benefits and no chunks.

    Reply
  41. Fred

    I’ve been making this brownie since it first started appearing on your bags of flour, and as everyone above says, it is fantastic! I too don’t think I would like the expresso flavoring–I have memories of my mother making mocha frosting on deep chocolate cake when i was a kid and anything similar makes me sad. However, I’m mostly writing about the technique issue.

    I’ve tried mixing this recipe the way you suggest and then tried a few variations that would permit me to join the cocoa and the flour and the salt and baking soda and then add the whole thing (like a brownie mix) to the wet ingedients which i’ve previously blended. The tricky part is to not have the sugar so hot the eggs cook, but your 110 works beautifully, so i just mix all the wet ingredients and all the dry ingredients in separate bowls and stir them together til moist. There is no difference in texture or flavor, but it is easier to incorporate (i always had a tough time getting all the flour to disappear before the batter got stiff) and the brownies are gorgeous. The batter done this way is also cool enough so the chocolate chips retain their shape, and as someone suggested i put half the chips in the mix and half on the top–exquisite!

    Good ideas, Fred – thanks! PJH

    Reply
  42. Victoria Mississippi

    These brownies are absolutely the best and your guarantee stands! My family went crazy over them. My husband did tell me not to bake them while he is dieting anymore — he couldn’t resist. The espresso powder wasn’t strong and added depth to the taste. Also used your Double Dutch Dark Chocolate — it made all the difference. Thanks for great recipes! Victoria

    Reply
  43. Loader Lady

    Can’t wait to try these, but as I’m a person who can’t stand the taste or smell of coffee, I’m not putting expresso powder in mine. I don’t have any anyway. Is there anyone out there who can’t stand coffee who has made this recipe and can state categorically that they can’t taste the powder? You can just leave the espresso powder out if you are worried about tasting the coffee. I’m not sure you would notice it but I’m a coffee lover so I’m not the best judge. Molly@KAF

    Reply
  44. ChocLover

    This looks like the same recipe on the back of the flour, except for the coffee. I LOVE that recipe and everyone asks for it. The double dutch chocolate does add a better flavor (I resorted to hershey’s for a while). Yummy!!

    Reply
  45. iii_bake

    I have been hunting for the shiny top for years and have already given up.
    SO delighted to spot this recipe. But i falied.
    Mine came out dull n matt.
    I used Valrhona cocoa n the flour i had ( i run out of KAF).
    What could be the reason?
    SOS It sounds like the sugar wasn’t dissolved enough. The cocoa and the flour would not make would not make a difference for the shiny top. Molly@KAF

    Reply
  46. Mariana

    Other chocolate-flavor enhancers (caffeine-free) Trisha might try are cinnamon, a tiny touch of cayenne or other ground hot pepper (ancho comes to mind), or a bit more vanilla. Raspberry and orange are lovely with chocolate too, but they are not so much flavor enhancers as companion flavors. I’ve seen de-caf espresso powder, if that would be acceptable.

    Reply
  47. Kathleen

    Just as everyone else has said, these look totally mouth watering and delicious. I’ll have to order some of the double dutch cocoa, as I have found that KA’s superior products makes a superior baked product. As the saying goes “you get what you pay for.” I hate coffee even though both my parents were coffee addicts, so if you also do not like coffee you will NOT taste the expresso powder in your finished baked goods. Give it a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Thank you for the tip about heating the butter and suger. I’ll have to try that to.

    Reply
  48. Morten

    These brownies are great! Just make sure to let them cool off before eating them, even though it’s hard…

    Living abroad, I have a hard time getting hold of flavoring. I was thinking of using vanilla sugar instead of vanilla extract, but what about espresso powder? If I use freshly brewed espresso instead of espresso powder, how much should I use, and should I e.g. add more flour to get the same consistency?

    Not sure about the brewed espresso, Morten – you could try substituting 1/4 cup espresso for 2 ounces of the butter. Or just plain leave it out, though it does add depth of flavor. Give the brewed espresso a try, and let us know. – PJH

    Reply
  49. James Ortiz

    OK on the question from Denise asking if you can use Dutch-process cocoa in other recipies can you use natural cocoa in reciepes that call for Dutch cocoa? Is there a rule of thumb on how to adjust for the exchange for the levening? I bought one of those “Volume packs” from my local warehouse grocery store, I got lots natural cocoa left from the holidays!……it was a good deal.

    James, you might want to add some baking soda to any chemically leavened recipe calling for Dutch-process cocoa where you want to use natural. How much? Depends on how much cocoa. I’d say, maybe, 1/8 teaspoon to every 1/4 cup of cocoa called for? It’s a guess, but probably a reasonable one. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
    1. "David Sifre"

      Out of curiosity, why not replace the baking powder with baking soda when using natural cocoa? I thought, for leavening you were supposed to use baking soda with natural cocoa and baking powder with the dutched cocoa. So why would you use both?

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      David, I haven’t made these brownies with natural cocoa using the baking soda substitution, so I’m not sure exactly how much you’d use. I’d guess 1/4 teaspoon, since baking powder is about 25% baking soda… but I’m just not sure. I’m also not sure where you’re seeing to use both baking powder and baking soda? I guess I’m a bit confused – could you clarify? Thanks – PJH

  50. Kimberly D

    For religious reasons I can not use espresso powder, would it really hurt it if I didn’t use it? I have made brownies from scratch and never used it and it taste fine.

    Of course, Kimberly, leave it out. Espresso heightens the flavor of the chocolate, but doesn’t affect the brownies’ texture in any way. PJH

    Reply
  51. Emaline

    Yummmmm! I just made them today, didn’t have any chocolate chips, so tried some white “chocolate” chips. And also added some walnuts. Actually, a lot of walnuts. I really liked it with the white chips, but am going to try chocolate chips next time I get to the store. Learning the trick of heating the butter and sugar was great – can’t believe that in all these years I’d never heard of it.

    Reply
  52. Tory

    Okay, I’ll just have to make these in the morning with what I have on hand… So that means using salted butter. Usually when I get caught like that, I just cut back on the salt in the recipe. But what’s the official ‘Rule of Thumb’ on salted vs sweet butter in recipes (when you are adding salt to the sweet butter in the recipe anyway)???

    Thanks for the discussion on Dutch-process vs natural cocoa. I’m finally starting to understand the differences! The blog and website are truly great finds (as are all your products!)… Thanks!

    Thanks for your kind comments, Tory. I’ve always gone by this, and it seems to work: There’s 1/4 teaspoon of salt in every stick of salted butter. So cut back (or add) that amount to the recipe, depending on whether you’re using salted when it calls for unsalted, or unsalted when it calls for salted. PJH

    Reply
  53. Tory

    Perfect timing on the butter question, PJ! I’m just heading to the kitchen take out the cocoa, etc. Now I won’t feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants! Thanks so much.. and Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

    Reply
  54. Pat

    I just took the brownies out of the oven. The smell is great! I followed the recipe exactly as written. I used a cake tester to test for doneness and found what I thought was batter and left the brownies cook 5 minutes longer. I realized that the batter was melted chocolate chips. Live and learn. I hope this doesn’t change the texture as I like “on the fence brownies”. I know the taste will be great…as is every recipe I have tried from KA.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes, ingredients, tool and of course the blog. I am again beginning to bake well after a hiatus.

    Thanks and many thanks,
    Pat

    Reply
  55. Lynn Crawford

    Wow, that is the best and most detailed instructions I have seen for high altitude baking. Can’t wait to make brownies. Thank you!

    Reply
  56. Mike

    Just made these today. They’re definately a keeper. I did a couple of things different, though. First, I used mini-chocolate chips. Even though the butter/sugar was heated to 120°, the final mix wasn’t that warm and I didn’t wait 20 minutes before adding the chips. The chips were still chips after baking. The other thing I did was bake the brownies in muffin top tins. This way there was more crispy parts and it was like one big giant cookie. Mmmm, good brownie!

    Thanks for your variations and suggestions! It’s great that you made these changes and your success will inspire others! Irene at KAF

    Reply
  57. Rona

    I just made these tonight and used the Espresso powder and I HATE coffee. I was hoping I would not like them and eat less, but they tasted great.

    Unfortunately, I tried them in mini muffin pans and they stuck like crazy — the chips were left on the bottom. I sprayed with a combo (oil-flour) spray which usually works and did not use paper. Any suggestions?

    Hmmmm. Mini muffin pans….great for some recipes but not this one due to the dense texture of the batter that’s probably why they stuck and chips were at the bottom. Stay with a larger pan and enjoy your newfound appreciation for coffee! Irene at KAF

    Reply
  58. Gina

    So…I made these brownies today, and I totally screwed them up, and they are still the best brownies I’ve ever made!

    First, the good news. I halved the recipe and baked them in a 9-inch square pan, which worked perfectly. I also added 1/2 cup (per the half batch) of chopped pecans. Yum!

    However, I guess I did not melt the butter and sugar enough, because I did not get the much-desired, super-shiny top. And then I didn’t hear my timer go off, and ended up over-baking them by SIX MINUTES! Yegads! The brownies around the outside were definitely overdone, but the inner ones were still perfect. And the FLAVOR! I used a mix of Ghiradelli and Scharffenberger cocoas, and with the espresso powder, the chocolate flavor is so deep and lusciously BITTERsweet! DELISH!

    So I’m giving myself a solid B grade for my first attempt. Next time, I will melt the sugar more and keep a close eye on the bake time, and I’m sure to produce an A+ batch! Thanks, King Arthur!

    Your dilemma is a common one with bakers. We tend to multi-task and not pay attention to the step at hand! This, I believe, is the case with the sugar/butter melting. First, sugar/butter needs to melt and be stirred and second, heated again to foam/bubble (just barely). We’re looking forward to your A results! Irene at KAF

    Reply
  59. SimplePleasure

    Hi! PJ,

    I made this recipe twice now. First time last night and it came out bad, I think it had to do with the fact that I used Splenda. Tonight I made my second batch but I had a hard time in melting the sugar. Is there a special trick on how to do this? My brownies turn out okey but still did not have that shiny top. Help!

    Sorry this recipe hasn’t worked for you yet. For tips on baking with Splenda, check the blog under Searching For Sweetness for lots of tips about baking with this sugar substitute. About the melting sugar,we suspect different microwaves or wattages may affect the melting sugar…..watch your product and try to match up your results to the pictures or descriptions on the blog. Remember there are 2 steps to the melting butter/sugar, first to melt and stir to combine, then heat again until it just bubbles. This takes some attention – can’t walk off to start the next step until this one is done! Irene at KAF

    Reply
  60. SimplePleasure

    Is there a special technique on how to melt the sugar? I can’t seem to do it and my brownies turned out okey but NO SHINNY top.

    Be sure to follow the directions and blog pictures to a “t”. This means two parts to the sugar/butter in the microwave. The first part is melting the butter/sugar then stir it….the second part is heat again just until the mixture starts to foam or bubble. I hope this helps to get the shiny top you desire! Irene at KAF

    Reply
  61. Loader Lady

    I have a possible answer to the espresso tasting question. Last Tuesday a friend made some brownies, cream cheese frosting and Heath Bar chips on top for a get together. I got to take some home and the next day I couldn’t figure out why it tasted like coffee. Yes, I found out she did put espresso in the brownies. I think most people really can’t taste the espresso, but I’m one of the ones that can taste phenylthiocarbamide. Check it out on Wikipedia. I used to use this test in my 6th grade science classes. Two or three, including me, could taste it in each class. I never drink coffee or wine, though sometimes tea. Any wine tastes too bitter for me to like after 3 small sips. I’ll look forward to making and enjoying these brownies, without the espresso. For me the espresso pushes all the other flavors aside and stands right up and says, “Here I am, taste me.” For me, it’s not as bad as drinking or smelling coffee, but the flavor is there. My bet is that I’m in a VERY small minority here.

    Thank you for this insight about our sense of taste. Some among us are considered “super tasters” who can distinguish the slightest variations in ingredients. As with any recipe, we can adjust it to our personal taste – in your case leaving out the espresso powder with this or future recipes that may call for it now that you know it is a culprit in your enjoyment of food and beverage! Irene at KAF

    Reply
  62. John, Mesa, Arizona

    I made these last night for Valentines Day dinner for my wife. They turned out just perfectly. I used the stove top instead of the microwave just to have a bit more control. Ghiradelli chocolate chips. After the dinner that I made her ( fillets, lobster tail with butter and garlic, roasted asparagus with hollidaise, baked sweet potatoes ) these brownies were a perfect simple desert. Without a doubt the best brownies that I have ever made. Well done, PJ!

    Thank you for letting others know you don’t have to use the microwave for the butter/sugar part of this recipe. Your variation in technique may help others who are having trouble with that step. Irene at KAF

    Hey John, when are you making dinner for the rest of us? Sounds like you and your lovely lady had a great day. ~MaryJane

    Reply
  63. Marcia

    I make batches and batches of brownies every year for a local bicycle race. Can you help me scale this recipe up to work in a half-sheet pan?

    Marcia, double it, but be prepared for some possible overflow. I’ve done it in a half sheet pan (doubled), and it just… about… fits. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  64. Neil in Montreal

    For clean-cut edges I use a pizza wheel. If you’re cutting sticky items like Rice Krispie squares you can lightly grease the wheel with some non-stick spray; usually this isn’t even necessary as the stainless wheel glides through the baked good. People have asked me how I get such nice sharp edges. You can even use a long ruler as a guide to make sure the cuts are truly straight and square.

    I will be baking up a half batch of these later today–with the espresso powder. KA recipes have NEVER disappointed me!

    Thanks Neil, for the great tip. I use a pizza wheel for my marshmallows but have not tried it with the Rice Krispy treats. Enjoy the brownies. ~MaryJane

    Reply
  65. Chris

    Have you ever used a Pizza tool called a Rock and Roll cutter… Great for pizza and other things like brownies and rice krispie treats… available on line….

    Yup, Chris, we’ve sold that off and on in the past. Works well – you need a big surface to “rock and roll” it (i.e., unless you have a small one, it hits the edges of the pan), but if you turn the bars out first it works fine. And definitely good for pizza. Just don’t use it on non-stick. PJH

    Reply
  66. Julie

    I saw these gorgeous brownies when I opened my KA email. The recipe said they could be ready in 42 minutes, and I didn’t lose a second getting them started. They do seem to be “on the fence”, neither gooey nor cakey. I’m eager to see what the texture will be like when they cool, if there are any left.

    Reply
  67. Al

    I’ve tried these brownies twice now, and both times they turned out as described. However, if someone wanted a bit more fudgey and a bit less cakey, which ingredient would you modify? On a side note, King Arthur Flour is my new favorite site. The way the recipes include pictures and seem to be written by real people, and not cookbook writers is very appealing to me.

    Al, best to simply use a cake-type brownie recipe, rather than try to amend this one. We have a good one in The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion cookbook; you could probably check it out at your local library. And thanks for the kind words – I write cookbooks, but I’m also a “real person.” (Luckily for my family!) PJH

    Reply
  68. Maggie

    Hello again, this is to Al… he aske which ingredient could be modified to make them more fudgey, less cakey. I had posted earlier that these were almost exactly the brownies my grandma used to, and I still make. I would cut out the baking powder and chips and give it whirl.

    Reply
  69. Carolyn

    Do you recommend using the new “all edges” brownie pan for this recipe? If so, will one recipe make one pan? I saw the pan in the KA catalog and want to order it.

    I recommend it if you prefer the crustier edges to the gooier centers… Many people love those brownie edges, and this is what that pan is for. I haven’t tried this recipe in it – hmmm, sounds like I’d better get at it! I’ll report back- PJH

    SUCCESS! Works great. I’ll add some photos above… PJH

    Reply
  70. Erik

    I tried these brownies this weekend and they were awsome! I won’t give them 5 stars yet only because I don’t know which cocoa and which chips I’ll settle on as my favorites. But the recipe was what you said it would be – somewhere between cakey and fudgy with that beautiful glossy top. This is moving into position as my go to brownie recipe. Thanks! Now if only you could develop and ‘all centers’ pan for those of us who don’t like the edges :-)

    Reply
  71. Kelly

    Just made these this afternoon and can honestly say I now have an GREAT brownie recipe (I’ve been looking for one for a long time)! The shiny top is a really nice touch. If one wanted peppermint-flavored brownies, how much extract should one add? I tried adding some to a brownie recipe 6 months ago, and I must’ve added too much…it was horrible. Now that I have a new favorite recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

    Kelly, if you had peppermint oil, I think MAYBE 1/4 tsp. would be enough – but extract – start with 1/2 teaspoon and see. Taste the batter, and see what you think before baking. Next step – hmmm – peppermint patties melting on top??? PJH

    Reply
  72. maureen

    I have bunches of bittersweet valrhona chocolate on hand but I really want to make these brownies. Does anyone know how to sub chocolate for cocoa? I’m thinking I could use some appropriate amt. perhaps 8 oz. and reduce the butter some.

    Maybe there exists a substitution formula for chocolate and cocoa+butter?

    I really like the espresso-ganache idea too. Thanks.

    Maureen, 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon fat = 1 oz. chocolate. So I’d use 7 ounces of chocolate, melted, and reduce the butter in the recipe by 7 tablespoons, and the sugar by a little bit – maybe 1/4 cup? This will make it harder to melt the butter and sugar together, but give it a try – let us know how things work out. PJH

    Reply
  73. kate

    Quick ?…does the cocoa ever “expire”? I have some by Peet’s (the coffee folks out of San Francisco) and it’s probably 2 years old. Thanks in advance…this recipe sounds perfect as a gift for someone I know.

    Cocoa stays good for a long time. It MIGHT get rancid from its oil after awhile… but if you smell it and don’t get that whiff of “off” or rancidity, should be fine. Go for it! PJH

    Reply
  74. Esther Shacham

    Hi KAF bakers. Here is some “food” for thought
    Double acting baking powder starts to work when mixed with wet ingredients, and works again when heated. I always add the baking powder, and salt with the flour.
    In KAF recipes the baking powder is added to the wet ingredients, why? What happens when you add it to a warm batter and let it sit for extra 20 minutes? Don’t you loose half of your lift??

    Very good observation, Esther. I wondered this myself, so I tried it. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to matter, adding BP along with the wet ingredients, as in general you’re adding the flour directly afterwards. As for brownies and letting the warm batter sit, these brownies are just barely leavened; that’s why they’re so dense and fudgy. So if the BP loses some of its stuff during that 20 minutes, no prob. The one I really don’t understand is the bran muffin recipe with baking soda th t you keep the batter in the fridge for up to a week… and it still works. What’s up with that? The BS should lose its stuff immediately, yet it doesn’t. Any chemists out there? PJH

    Reply
  75. Marie Daily

    I made these brownies day before yesterday, I normally would rather bake a cake from scratch then to do brownies. I have to say that of all the receipes I have tried, this is the best ever. I like them more cake like, and the flavor is fantastic. I used 3 different kinds of chocolate chips, milk and semisweet and put them on top. Next time I will blend them all into the batter. I loved them, they are truly the best ever, and did not last as all who ate them loved them too.

    Reply
  76. maureen

    Hi PJ and all,
    I made these brownies with the chocolate substitution recipe changes you gave me.

    “Maureen, 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon fat = 1 oz. chocolate. So I’d use 7 ounces of chocolate, melted, and reduce the butter in the recipe by 7 tablespoons, and the sugar by a little bit – maybe 1/4 cup? This will make it harder to melt the butter and sugar together, but give it a try – let us know how things work out. PJH”

    It worked great. Nice and fudgy but a bit cakey too – just like it says.
    I ran out of vanilla, only had a tsp. or so- but I upped the espresso powder anyway because I was sure I would like it. Seemed to work out well.
    By habit I had already put the baking powder into the flour, so it was added then. I don’t remember any recipes that add it to the eggs, is there a reason for that?
    Other than that I followed the recipe exactly as per PJ’s adjustments. As she mentioned it seemed to be a bit difficult to dissolve the sugar in the reduced amount of butter, but I watched over it and may have overheated it a bit, but I got the much coveted shiny cracking top, so that worked great.
    I added the chopped up chocolate to the butter mixture while still quite warm (but not too hot) so that it melted easily. Then I added all that to the eggs, salt, espresso and vanilla.
    I tested for doneness at 29 mins. and it looked a bit wet in the center, so I let it go for almost 5 more minutes and brought it out to test again. At first probe I thought it was still wet, but then I remembered the melting chips as another poster described and dug around some more, and found nice looking moist crumb- Looks perfect now that it’s cool and cut.
    All my tasters love them: “Great chocolate flavor”, “Good looking brownies”, “the chocolate chips are my favorite part”.
    Thanks for all your help PJH.

    Maureen, thanks so much for reporting back. I’m so glad it worked for you, and you were able to use some of that chocolate for a “good cause”! As for the baking powder – I kinda add it whenever I think of it. Go ahead and add with the flour, if that’s what you’re used to; it’s fine. PJH

    Reply
  77. Kathy Cline

    Is there a way to get cream cheese into the brownie?
    Would it be added (swirled) before baking, or would the brownie need to be partial baked first?
    K.

    Kathy – Yes, the addition of a cream cheese filling (cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, eggs) would be really good. You would spread 3/4′s of the brownie batter in the pan, then spread the cream cheese filling, followed by dollops of the remaining brownie batter. Then draw a knife through the first 2/3′s of the 2 fillings while making a swirl pattern. We have a recipe (Cheesecake Swirl Brownies) for the filling on page 161 of our book called, Cookie Companion. The recipe is called Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. Call our Baker’s Hotline at 1-802-649-3717 to speak with a baker. A copy can be sent to you. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  78. susan

    Made the brownies. They tasted great but I did screw it up. I was cooking with my 4 yo and I put all the dry ingredients together (including the flour) and added them to the eggs. Needless to say it didn’t incorporate well. I persevered and they still came out good. Next time will be better if I follow the directions!

    Hey, at least they tasted good, eh? ;) PJH

    Reply
  79. Ariel

    So I made these brownies about a week ago. Though they were rich and delicious, I did not get the shiny, crackling, flaking top. And that is usually my favorite part of a brownie. I did change a few things though… I used eggbeaters instead of regular eggs, but I used the “with yolk” version. I was out of espresso powder, so I used a tablespoon or so of extra coffee from the morning, and cut back by a tablespoon on the eggs. I also mixed hersheys dark and regular dutch process cocoa powder to get a similar effect of the cocoa powder in the recipe. Otherwise, I think I did everything right. I let my mister take care of the melting butter and sugar, so though I described it and made him read the article, he might not have done that right. Could my changing the egg effect the flaking top or is it the fault of the butter/sugar not getting hot enough?

    Ariel, probably not heating the butter and sugar till it was VERY hot. Needs to go on the stove or in the microwave till just about bubbling… Give it another try doing it t his way, OK? PJH

    Reply
  80. Ben

    Perfection on the second batch. The chocolate lovers in my neighborhood loved the first batch, but was just a little too much chocolate for me so I replaced 1/4 cup cocoa with flour and left out the chips (works fine). To my aunt Betty’s dismay this has replaced her recipe as my favorite. However I didn’t want to crush her completely so I still have her recipe taped to the inside of my cabinet door and still make hers every now and then. Thanks for the help.

    Reply
  81. Esther Shacham

    Hi PJH.
    More about the secret works of baking powder and baking soda
    What about the New York Times recipe for Chocolate chip cookies Jul. 9 2008?
    It calls for keeping the cookie dough in the refrigerator at least 24 hours, preferably 36 hours before baking. Check it out. KAF has an almost similar recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It has baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda will react with the acidic vinegar as they are mixed together. You have to get cakes leavened this way into the oven immediately, yet the recipe says you can keep it in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours.
    May be the secret is the refrigeration? The NYT recipe has both baking powder and baking soda, but no acidic ingredient to interact with the baking soda.
    Where are all the chemists when you need them?

    Esther, Harold McGee and Shirley Corriher are standing by – both are excellent food scientists who’ve written books on baking chemistry for the home baker. I just haven’t accessed them yet. Did you read our post on the NY Times cookies? We did a comparison of our recipe and theirs. MY thought is cookies don’t rise that far anyway, so they’ve still got enough ooomph left to do so, even with the rest. And remember, not only vinegar is acidic – I don’t know for sure, but I think the NY Times recipe also includes brown sugar, which is actually quite an acidic ingredient. Some questions I dig right down to the moecular level, and I know there’s an answer for this one – I just haven’t got out the shovel – yet! PJH

    Reply
  82. Esther Shacham

    Hi PJH.
    Thanks. Yes I read the article about the Chocolate Chip Cookies, and printed both recipes: NYT, and KAF. I plan to try both.
    My son has the McGee “Bible”. I will ask him to take a look.

    Reply
  83. Taneasha

    I made this brownie recipe over the weekend, and it was fabulous! Beautiful shiny crust on top, soft and moist in the middle. I’m almost drooling now just thinking about them. I did make one little variation. I don’t keep espresso powder on hand, so I added about 2 tablespoons of coffee instead. My egg and cocoa mixture was way too think anyway, so it worked out well.

    Glad you enjoyed them, Taneasha… this is actually one of my favorite recipes. Thanks for sharing your success story! PJH

    Reply
  84. iii_bake

    Here again, with still dull matt top.
    I have noticed that the sugar n butter i melted did not look like the pictures.
    i then have these questions:
    1. The first melting: The butter was heated until melt or clarified. I could not get the white foam top…
    The instruction says…heat butter until melts. Mine melt but no white foam???
    2. The second heating, again, when the mixture is about to bubble…mine did have the foam.
    3. From my first post, Molly thought my sugar did not dissolve enough…
    I also think so…my finished batter looks grainy.
    How do i get the sugar dissolved as much as possible??? From the first heating and then stir a lot…not just to combine?
    The mixture tends to boil before the sugar dissolves.
    4. Another question is…how hot is the butter when it is added to the cocoa & egg.
    5.If i rub the finished batter with my fingers, how grainy is the sugar in the mixture?
    I wish i could solve this shiny top issue. It has been killing me :)
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    iii

    I’m just not sure what’s happening here… Maybe you should try melting the sugar and butter on the stovetop. Are you using real butter? Real sugar (e.g., cane sugar, not beet sugar)? The sugar won’t totally dissolve in the butter; it’ll form a big sludgy lump, but it should definitely be so hot you don’t dare stick your finger in it. I just give it a few stirs to try to mix it up a bit, then I add it to the cocoa etc. mixture within a minute or so of taking it off the heat. And in the prepared batter I can’t feel any graininess – it’s smooth. Well, I can’t remember if it’s absolutely perfectly smooth, but when I lick the spatula (yes, childhood habits die hard…), I don’t recall thinking, “Hmmm, this batter is grainy” – it has a smooth feel on the tongue. Also, are you using large eggs? That shouldn’t really make a difference in the crust, but it would make your batter thicker than it should be if you’re using smaller eggs. Again: hmmm… hard to diagnose these things from afar! BUT – don’t let it kill you, we’ll keep trying! (Are you at high altitude?) PJH

    Reply
  85. iii_bake

    Thank you for your explanation, i am dying still ha ha.
    I use French Butter, President and normal sugar.
    I am afraid if i melt butter too long and it becomes too hot…the egg in the choc mixture will be cooked.
    Should i be watchful on that? or any level of heat will do??? :)
    I am not in the US, will our large egg weight the same? ( mine = 65g with shell)

    Do you think castor sugar, the one that is almost powder, will help?

    I am not at Hi altitude though.

    I have all the ingredients ready here. Only lack courage to whip up another batch. :)

    Thank you for your reply again. It did make me smile somehow.
    iii

    Well, our large eggs are about 50g without shell. Don’t think that would make too much difference, your extra egg. You might just try using 200g eggs, and see. I’ve considered whether too hot cooks the eggs, but haven’t found it to happen. Remember, the eggs are mixed with the cocoa, which protects them somewhat. The brownies still taste food, right? So don’t be afraid to make them again – beauty is only skin deep, remember… :) PJH

    Reply
  86. iii_bake

    Dear PJH,

    Pls bear with me…
    Definitely the brownies are delicious, the problem is we the whole family are on diet :(
    I made another batch this morning using two different kinds of castor sugar, one in fine grains ( finer than the previous ones i used), another one in powder form ( i used half of each.)
    The sugar butter mixture foamed and looked like yours this time…i was so happy.
    I divided the batter and baked in three rectangular pans.
    First : plain, without chips n nuts.
    Second: Plain, without chips n nuts but sprinkled sliced almonds n maccademia on top.
    Third…this is the batter from the bottom of the bowl…with chocolate chips stirred in while the batter was hot.

    Guess what?
    The first two pans came out dull n matt.
    Only the third one had a crack papaery thin top!!!!

    (I noticed that with my other brownies recipes…the last drop of the batter from the bowl was always baked out shiny.)

    Is this different tops the result of uneven mixing?
    I will sure try again but in case u have any advice, others can learn it together with me.

    Thanks for all your kind help, this is the first papery thin top brownie i made. ( box ones do not count.)

    iii

    In general, the stuff at the bottom of the bowl doesn’t have as much flour. Since you’ve said n the past your batter is very stiff, I’m wondering if it has something to do with how you measure your flour. Take a look at our flour measuring method. Is that the way you’re doing it? The flour in your recipe should weigh 4 1/4 oz. per cup, so a total of 6 1/4 ounces in the recipe. Yes? Hey, I admire your doggedness on this… though as I said, there are no brownie failures (or baking failures), because there’s always someone who’ll enjoy what you bake- PJH

    Reply
  87. Hannah.

    Hi, do you have any specific instructions for those of us who would like to use the stovetop to melt the butter and sugar? We don’t have a microwave and I want to get it just right. Also, I couldn’t find any espresso powder at our local grocery store. Would grinding up some regular coffee beans in my grinder on the espresso setting be acceptable? Thanks! :)

    Hi Hannah – I’d say melt the butter, then add the sugar, then gradually bring the mixture to a simmer, so that there are bubbles all over the surface. Remove from the heat, stir, and add to the eggs/cocoa. As for grinding coffee – I don’t think you can get it fine enough in a home coffee grinder, even on the espresso setting. It needs to be fine as talcum powder. What you can do is grind as fine as possible, then see if you can dissolve it in a tablespoon of hot water, with no grittiness remaining. If so, just add that hot water/coffee right to your batter. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  88. Carli

    I have hated homemade brownies (read: dry and bland) my whole life… until I tried this recipe. Thank you!! They bake up just as promised and taste wonderful. The only change we make is leaving out the baking powder as we prefer a more fudgy brownie, but that’s just preference! FABULOUS!

    I’m living abroad now and tried to make do with local flour. Couldn’t! I have my KAF shipped over. Thanks for a great product and a company I can get behind.

    And thanks for your loyalty to KA Flour and your kind words, Carli. Glad the brownies were a hit – PJH

    Reply
  89. Hannah

    Hey…just wanted to let you know that the brownies turned out to be excellent. I think they are even better the day after! Thanks for the tips on the coffee and the butter melting. Your blog is very inspiring! :)

    Thanks, Hannah – glad the brownies were a hit… PJH

    Reply
  90. SimplePleasure

    Hi! PJ,

    I just want to share my latest result for this brownie, please drop by my blog and check it out:

    http://sweetendingz.blogspot.com/2009/03/serious-brownies.html

    I still can’t get that shiny crackly top but so far so good I’m getting there hopefully my next batch would be perfect.

    What are you talking about? That brownie is GORGEOUS. Beautiful shiny top. And love your blog – you must have to scramble to try to match ingredients with our recipes, being in the Philippines? PJH

    Reply
  91. Brownie Power

    Your brownie recipe looks great. I will have to order some of your Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa and give it a test run.

    Hope you like them – your screen name tells me you’re an aficionado… PJH

    Reply
  92. goodlaurag

    Would adding instant coffee powder have the same effect as the espresso?

    Can coffee/espresso powder be added to any chocolate recipe –double chocolate cookies, cakes, etc? (I have many that don’t call for it, but I was wondering if it might enhance the taste) If so, what would the approximate formula be for adding it?

    I’m thinking of buying your double dutch process cocoa to try this recipe and others. I did a recipe search of your site for ‘dutch process’ and came up with only 7 recipes. Do you have an cookie or coffeecake recipes that use the dutch process cocoa?

    Thanks for all of your great advice.

    Hi – You can try instant coffee powder. Not sure how much, as they’re all very different grinds (some are very light and fluffy, some dense and powdery…) Espresso powder is very finely ground, and dissolves easily. If you use instant coffee powder that’s not finely ground, you might need to dissolve it in a very little bit of hot water first. I can’t really tell you an exact formula, since I have no idea what you’re using – but try using the amount of espresso powder called for in the recipe, see if you like it.

    As for Dutch-process cocoa – search on “cocoa,” you’ll get 29 recipes using cocoa. You can use Dutch-process cocoa for all recipes calling for cocoa, unless they specify “natural cocoa” – which is a more acidic cocoa, and one that the recipe will have balanced the leavening for. I highly recommend the Double-Dutch – it’s the only cocoa I use, actually. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  93. KariQ

    I have never written to give reviews of anything, but I couldn’t resist this time. I printed this recipe a few months ago when it appeared on the cover of the KAF catalog. It’s been laying around in a pile of other recipes I have wanted to try and finally I made these brownies for our Easter gathering and they were not only delicious, they actually looked like the photo! They are gorgeous. You really have to be a chocolate lover to eat these though, and I am for sure. I also added half the chocolate chips while warm and stirred then added the rest and pressed into the top once a bit cooled before putting them into the oven. I have been looking for a big fat brownie like this one for a long time. Now I want a big hunken chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    Success! So glad you found the recipe for the brownie of your dreams! Happy Baking! Irene at KAF

    Reply

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