I’ve been binge-watching Friends since it came out on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. Lines from the show are creeping into my every-day language with frightening frequency, and I love it. Another thing I have been doing recently is stumbling across the best brownie recipe in the whole world, adapting it a smidge, and sharing the spoils with my real-life friends. If you eat these and aren’t calling out to the heavens after a bite, well, I don’t understand you.
I was out of sucanat, which I typically use instead of white sugar, so I had to tap into my kombucha stash of organic regular sugar. Everything in moderation, I say. And since I was making these to bookend a meal with friends (a FABULOUS lamb stew by Kristen of Rose City Table), and I didn’t want them to “taste healthy” in that stereotypical way, I used organic all-purpose flour instead of sprouted. And Oh. My. God.
Not only are these cocoa-based brownies very simple – one mixing bowl is all that’s required – they are truly the best I’ve ever eaten. Crinkly on top and fudgy in the middle, with little treat-bites of exploding chocolate chip meltedness, if you eat them straight from the oven. They fill your heart with gladness, and take away your sadness. Ease your troubles, that’s what they do. Thank you, Smitten Kitchen, for your inspirational recipe, and Rod Stewart, for your inspirational song.
10 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 C sugar
3/4 C plus 2 T Dutch-process cocoa or raw cacao powder
1/4 t salt (a generous 1/4 t if it’s flaked salt, like the celtic sea salt I used)
1/2 real vanilla extract
1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 handsful chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Line a medium baking dish with parchment paper (either 8-x-8 or its rectangle equivalent). Melt the butter in a medium mixing bowl set over a small saucepan with a bit of simmering water in the bottom. Mix in the sugar, cocoa, and salt. When the mixture is smooth and hot (not bubbling, but hot), remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down to warm.
Whisk in the vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time. incorporating each before adding the next. Beat in the flour with a wooden spoon for about a minute. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the parchment-lined baking dish, and bake in a 325-degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. I set the timer for 20 and left them another two minutes, and they were absolutely gooey and wonderful.