Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies
Makes 9 to 12 brownies
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 g)
unsalted or salted butter, cut into pieces
- 8 ounces (225 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (35 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (about 135 g) walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the inside of a 9-inch (23-cm) square pan with 2 lengths of foil, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Or, use one large sheet of extrawide foil or parchment paper. Lightly grease the foil or parchment with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and stir energetically for 1 full minute, until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the saucepan. Stir in the chopped nuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the center feels almost set, about 30 minutes. Don’t overbake.
Let cool completely in the pan before lifting out the foil or parchment to remove the brownies.
Storage: These brownies will keep well for up to 4 days and can be frozen for 1 month.
Variation: This recipe takes well to mix-ins. I’ll sometimes add 1/3 cup (45 g) chopped dried cherries or 1/3 cup (45 g) cocoa nibs to the batter.
To make minty brownies, crush the contents of one 50-g tin of peppermint Altoids in a sturdy plastic bag. Add the crushed mints to the brownies along with the nuts (or omit the nuts). If you like very minty brownies, add 1/2 teaspoon mint extract along with the crushed mints.
Reprinted with permission from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.