Easy Fudgy Brownies

Easy Fudge Brownies

Happy New Year!  I’m back and starting my 2017 round of posts with that humble, yet fudgy, and sinfully decadent classic — the brownie.

Of all things baked that are chocolate, I think brownies are my favorite.  Especially dense, fudgy, dark-chocolatey ones that really pack a lot of decadence in one bite.  So much that you don’t need to eat a whole pan of them to get your fix…  Y’all know what I’m talking about?

Anyway, even if you don’t, make these brownies and you’ll know.

My Pinterest has a lot of different brownie recipes and I have yet to try all of them.  The ones where you melt some form of chocolate are usually fudgy and gooey, but what if you don’t have chocolate bars for melting?  I wanted to find a recipe that uses cocoa powder but also turns out dense, moist and fudgy.  And when I found the recipe from Inspired Taste and actually tried it out, I knew my search was over.

Easy Fudgy Brownies (adapted from Inspired Taste)

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons (145 grams) unsalted butter
  • 7/8 cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (75 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).

Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest the bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).

Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks gritty, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour. Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.

Stir in vanilla with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated, then beat with the wooden spoon or spatula for 40 to 50 strokes. (The batter will be quite thick). Stir in nuts, if using. Spread evenly in lined pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean (you want it to be a little moist with batter).

The recipe was copied and pasted pretty much verbatim from their site, except I adjusted the sugar to 7/8 cup.  I don’t like my brownies too sweet and enjoy the bittersweet taste of the chocolate coming through.  If you like them a little sweeter, the original recipe had 1 1/4 cups of sugar.  You can play around with the amount of sugar until you figure out your ideal sweetness level!

In the picture above I have peanut butter M&M’s mixed in with the brownies, which was also another reason for the sugar reduction.  The sweetness from the M&M’s takes the place of some of the sugar I removed.  But even without the mix-in, I would keep the amount of sugar to 7/8 cup…I really don’t like things being too sweet.

I make a batch of these every week and keep them in the fridge just so I have a decadent, chocolate treat when the craving hits.  I let myself have one piece each day at the end of the day as a treat (it’s almost impossible for me to go a day without chocolate), but I have to make it last so I don’t end up inhaling the whole stash!

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