Everyone likes their brownies just so, and so it comes as no surprise that there are untold thousands of brownie recipes. How do I know this? The web site Recipe Source has 569 recipes alone for brownies. The recipes on that site include such varied additions as zucchini, frosting, apples, butterscotch, cream cheese, chocolate chips, marshmallow, pineapple, mint, carob, walnuts, raspberries and Kahlua. Whew!
I made quick friends with my sister-in-law to be by presenting her with a batch of brownies sans nuts. Nuts, Lori said, only take up space where there could be more brownie. I have to agree with her. For me a brownie is a brownie is a brownie. No nuts, no zucchini, thank you very much. In my preferred purist version I don’t want them too dense and fudgy and I don’t want them too cakey and fluffy. I also like to make them but I find most recipes that call for baking chocolate to be a real bother. I never seem to have the right amount on hand–if the recipe calls for unsweetened squares of chocolate than I have semisweet and vice versa. Even if I do have the right chocolate on hand, there is the melting over a double boiler–bother, bother, bother! Because this recipe uses cocoa powder you more than likely will have all the ingredients on hand and better yet, it’s another one bowl wonder.
Here is the perfect brownie recipe, according to me (and my sister-in-law)
Note: If you can smell the brownies baking–it’s time to take them out of the oven! That smell tells you the delicate cocoa flavor is evaporating into the air and out of the brownies…
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line an 8 inch square backing dish with parchment paper. Beat sugar and butter until creamy then gradually add the eggs, beating until the mixture is smooth and fluffly. Add the cocoa, vanilla and oil. Then add the flour (with salt mixed in) in 2 or 3 parts, mixing well after each addition. Pour batter into pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 16 small brownies or 12 big ones.