The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER!  From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed.

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch: The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. food desserts brownies

*This post originally published on September 20, 2013.  I thought it was about time the pics were updated.  So, many of the photos you see here now are new and improved.  Everything else is exactly the same as it ever was!  Hopefully you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do.*

I first discovered this brownie recipe probably close to 10 years ago.  I clipped it from the food section of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Although I never knew who the original author was, I made it often, to bring to barbecues and potlucks.  These brownies were always a huge hit!

It’s been a while since I’ve made them last, but I knew from the first “Simply Perfect” post that I’d want these brownies to be a part of the series.  Fast forward to me flipping through Alice Medrich’s “Bittersweet,” which I’d borrowed from my local library, and spotting that old, familiar recipe!

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch: The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. food desserts brownies

No wonder it’s so dang good!  Alice Medrich?  She’s only been at the forefront of the gourmet chocolate movement since the 1970’s!  I mean, she’s pretty much devoted her life to fine chocolate.

Ms. Medrich titles these “Best Cocoa Brownies.”

Here are some of her pearls of wisdom on the subject of cocoa:

“Cocoa powder…is made by removing 75 to 85 percent of the cocoa butter from chocolate liquor, and then pulverizing the partially defatted mass that remains.  With all of the flavor and none of the fat, cocoa is essentially a concentrated form of cocoa bean.  And, because cocoa beans are natrually tart and acidic (characteristics that provide fruitiness and complexity in chocolate), those qualities are exaggerated in cocoa powder.  

Natural cocoa powder…is bitter and strong.  The best-quality natural cocoa is complex and fruity and wonderfully flavorful.  Natural cocoa, with its harshness tamed by sugar in the recipes, delivers a strong hit of flavor in American favorites such as brownies and fudge.

Cocoa brownies have the softest center and chewiest candylike top “crust” of all because all of the fat in the recipe (except for a small amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa) is butter, and all of the sugar is granulated sugar rather than the finely milled sugar used in chocolate.  Use the best cocoa you know for these fabulous brownies.”

I prefer this brand of cocoa.  It may or may not be the cream of the cocoa crop, but it is considerably better, IMHO, than lesser brands such as Hershey’s or Nestle (side note: Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa may be black as night but it has very little chocolate flavor).  And I like it because it is readily available in my local supermarket, and not too expensive, considering the higher level of quality.  I can definitely taste a difference in the rich, fuller-bodied chocolate flavor of my baked goods.  🙂  If you really want to go all out, with some of the highest quality cocoa available, some other really reputable brands include Scharffen Berger, Merckens, and Guittard.

As highbrow as this recipe may seem, the fact is, it couldn’t be simpler.  It all comes together in just one mixing bowl, with the simplest of pantry staples, and you don’t even need a stand mixer.  Or a hand mixer, for that matter.  Just a good, old fashioned wooden spoon…

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch: The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. food desserts brownies

Stir the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt together, over simmering water, until melty and hot, add the vanilla (off the heat), and beat in the cold eggs, one at a time.  Throw in the flour, and bake the whole glorious mess in a parchment-lined baking dish.

** WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TO SEE HOW IT’S DONE! **

I chilled my brownies in the fridge overnight, and used a bench knife to cut them.  It really helped them to hold their shape and cut cleanly!

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch: The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. food desserts brownies

These brownies are perfect as-is, but they can certainly be jazzed up with all sorts of add-ons.

Check out some of the other fun recipes I’ve created using this recipe as a base:

This post contains affiliate sales links.

119 reviews

Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch

The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed.

Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 1 hour Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 16     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and mist an 8 by 8-inch or 9 by 13-inch pan with non-stick spray.  Line with parchment.
  2. Place the sugar, butter, cocoa, and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in one-minute increments, stirring, until the butter is completely melted and the mixture feels very warm to the touch.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
  4. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until set around the edges but still soft towards the middle.
  7. Cool completely in the pan, then transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares.

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Recipe Notes

1/22/2016 Update: This recipe has been edited slightly, for ease of use. Butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt may also be heated over a double-boiler.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 317kcal Calories from fat 152
% Daily Value
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 126mg 5%
Carbohydrate 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 31g
Protein 4g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

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Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch: The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. food desserts brownies
Simply Perfect Brownies from Scratch: The fudgiest, gooiest brownies, with the deepest, darkest, most intense chocolate flavor EVER! From scratch, pantry staples, just one bowl, no mixer needed. #food #desserts #brownies