I make one brownie recipe. It’s from the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. It’s so good, I haven’t felt the need to try any other recipes out there. These brownies make an appearance in the annual Christmas in a Bowl. They are fudge-y as opposed to cake-y. They are dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate. They are salty as opposed to sweet. Ha! Just kidding. However, they do have a hint of sea salt that makes them taste all the more sweeter. (Did you know that adding salt not only compliments but brings out the sweetness? It’s my favorite ingredient in baking.)

Go ahead. Give it a try. It may end your brownie search. Did I mention, they are super easy to make? One bowl? Quick clean-up. Are you convinced now?

Brownies
recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. all-purpose
1/2 tsp. salt (I use sea salt. If using, you don’t need the full 1/2 tsp.)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dishpan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. (I use 2 sheets of parchment paper, setting them perpendicular to one another in the pan. This makes for nice corners on the brownies.) Set aside.
2. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over, but not touching, simmering water. (I use this double boiler. It also serves as my one mixing bowl for this recipe. Totally worth the investment, especially after you start making these all the time.) Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. (I use a spatula. Works better than a whisk with batter this thick, in my opinion.) Gently fold in flour and sea salt.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. (These will be fudge-y!)
5. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.

TIPS
• Let the brownies cool for well over an hour—I’d recommend 3 hours. They are really hard to cut right out of the oven because they are so gooey. Be patient. You will be rewarded.  
• You may have to rinse your knife clean midway through cutting. This will make cutting the other half easier. The yummy brownie goo on the knife can make cutting difficult.
• Looking for more chocolate? Add 1/4 c. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips into batter. Don’t melt. 
• I typically use Ghirardelli chocolate. Use the best you can find or afford. 
• Wondering why they are so gooey? There is no leavener in this recipe, i.e. baking powder or baking soda. That’s the difference between a cake-y brownie and a fudge-y brownie.  

What’s your go-to brownie recipe?

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