I’ve been through a lot with these brownies. My mother made them when I was in elementary school and I soon took over and made them all through junior high and high school. I made them to take school and to friends houses and to eat on Friday nights. I made them at sleep overs and in my dorm at college. I made them I-can’t-even-count how many times throughout grad school; on Tuesday nights and one slightly-boozy, slightly-late night that I still remember vividly. If you were there, you remember it too-some poorly done math led to some very tipsy brownie making and yours truly was so paranoid that we would fall asleep and burn the apartment down that she turned the oven off, repeatedly, until we were forced to eat slightly raw, hot brownies at 3 AM (there are worse fates). Good times that grad school.
All reminiscing aside, I really do believe that these are the perfect brownies. Not surprisingly, I’m firmly in the fudgy-brownie camp. In fact, not only do I reside in that camp, but I glare at the cakey camp with hostility. I thumb my nose at it. A cakey brownie is the devil’s work….and not the indulgent devil that we sometimes like, but the devil who made red delicious apples and fat free cream cheese…we do not hang with that devil. These brownies are dense and fudgey. They’re chewy around the edges, as they should be. They’re intensely chocolaty and, since they contain nothing more than cocoa, entirely made from pantry staples. Oh, and the batter’s pretty amazing too.
The best part? They’re one-bowl. As. it. should. be. Brownies aren’t fussy. They should be easy enough for a 9 year-old to whip up and should require nothing more than a bowl and a wooden spoon. Virtually no dishes and delicious brownies to boot? Rad.
Normally, I don’t frost these; I don’t feel like frosting is necessary on a good brownie. This time, though, I was taking them to a friend’s housewarming and wanted them to be slightly fancier and so frost, I did. This frosting, guys, is pretty amazing—so dark and chocolaty and really not that sweet; a little goes a long long way. The frosting really is the frosting on the cake. Honestly, everyone needs a great brownie in their back pocket- one they can make at a moment’s notice, be it 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning. This is yours; start making memories.
Money-Back Guarantee Brownies
From Mama Now Cooks Like This by Susan Mendelson. Originally from Mama Never Cooked Like This. Makes 24 brownies.
Make these. ASAP. That is all.
2 sticks butter, melted
1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
3 lg eggs
1 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 c walnuts (optional; I always leave them out)
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″x13″ pan
- In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugars and cocoa powder
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix to combine
- Stir in the vanilla and mix well
- Pour into the prepared pan and back for 25 to 30 minutes or until JUST firm in the center. The tester may still have a few crumbs. Err on the side of underbaking
- Cool in the pan
- Ice with a 1/2 recipe of Incredible Chocolate Icing (recipe below)
Incredible Chocolate Icing
From Mama Now Cooks Like This by Susan Mendelson. Originally from the Expo 86 Cookbook.
1 c butter, softened
1/4 c hot water or hot coffee (go with the coffee)
2 c powdered sugar
1 1/3 c cocoa powder
1/4 c milk
2 t vanilla extract
- Add butter, water/coffee, powdered sugar and cocoa powder to a processor or mixer and mix well
- Add the milk and vanilla and mix
- If the icing is too thick, add a bit more milk
Looking for other great sweets? Try this!