Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Easy from scratch brownies

Posted: December 4, 2009 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa | Tags: , | No Comments »

I do not like brownies from a box.  I know that they are perfectly acceptable, however that weird papery film they get on the top of them freaks me the hell out.  Its just not natural for baked good to develop a film…if I wanted a dessert with a gross skin on top I would just leave pudding out over night and chow down.  Anyway, the point is that when you make brownies from scratch, they don’t get that little ‘extra topping’ and they are super chocolatey and delicious and I love them.  My grandmother has been making great brownies from scratch for years, but they are a little too cakey for me.  I tend to like my brownies dense and fudgy (I’m aware that’s a gross word, but just go with me here).  So I have been playing with my grandmother’s recipe in an attempt to mold it to my liking, because we all know that I can’t just let a recipe be itself, I have to mess with it CONSTANTLY.  The first thing I did was reduce the bake time.  I have actually started doing this on all of my grandmothers baked goods, and it has worked out nicely.  Then I adjusted the ingredients a little.  At first, my results were pretty tragic, particularly when I tried to make them ‘no flour’ brownies and ended up with baked goop that tasted like liquid bakers chocolate.  Eventually though, I got it right.

This weekend I am flying to Connecticut for my nephew’s christening, and while the whole family is there we are going to go have and early Christmas with my grandmother since she is 92 and not so much into airline travel anymore.  We are making a full meal and she requested brownies and ice cream, so I made brownies tonight in preparation so that I don’t have worry about baking in her galley kitchen at the retirement center.  It is a one bowl recipe and super easy.

Delicious Grandma Brownies


1 stick plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar (I ran out of granulated so I ended up with a combo of granulated and confectioners and it worked out fine)

3/4 cup unsweet cocoa powder.

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 large COLD eggs

1/2 cup of flour

Take a large skillet and fill it about half way with water and set it on the stove over medium heat.  Once the water it simmering, put the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt into a heat safe bowl and let it sit for a few minutes.  Work it with a rubber spatula until the butter is fully melted and the whole mixture becomes smooth and is hot.

Brownie 1Brownie 2

Once the ingredients have fully combined, remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until it no longer hot but still pretty warm.  Then stir in the vanilla and stir until it is fully incorporated into the mixture.  Add one of the cold eggs and stir quickly to mix it in before it begins to cook (this is also why it needs to be cold).  Add the second egg and again stir it quickly to make sure it incorporates into the mixture.  Add the flour and stir until you can no longer see the flour and it resembles a  ’typical’ brownie batter.

Brownie 3

Pour it into a 8×8 pan (that has been either greased or parchment papered)  and bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes.  The brownies are done when you put in a toothpick (or fork, or knife, or any other sanitary projectile) and it comes out with just a tiny amount of batter on it.  I know you are going you think that they are undercooked at that point, but keep in mind that both the brownies and the pan are still hot from the oven at that point so they are going to continue to cook for a few minutes until they cool.

The end result is warm, fudgy delicious brownies that you can say you made from scratch and impress people with.  And they don’t have the weird film on top! :)

I also like to add stuff to my brownies depending on my mood.  Sometimes it might be chocolate chips, or pieces of mint candies (andes style) or peanutbutter chips…perhaps even a caramel drizzle.  In this case I am just leaving them the naked brownies, but I also have the challenge this time of somehow getting them on and off a plane without TSA stealing my baked goods.  It should be an interesting adventure…


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Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

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