best-cocoa-brownies Recipes

best cocoa brownies

People who really, really love chocolate are dubious about cocoa. Even if you buy the most resplendent cocoa in the world, baking things with it that taste as rich as treats with bars of 70% is a rarity. Thus, if you’d told me about a killer recipe for cocoa brownies a couple weeks ago, I wouldn’t have believed you, but since then, two things have happened.

what you'll need

The first is that I had one. It was a tiny square, scattered among little tears of homemade marshmallows, near a puddle of homemade hot fudge sauce and carousel-ed around a cocoa nib buckwheat panna cotta at 10 Downing last week that nothing short of blew my mind because did you know that the opposite of sweet in the world of chocolate needn’t necessarily be bitter? Sometimes it’s just not very sweet, period, so you can really taste the chocolate. It was awesome*, all of it.

nope, never do this

The second is that I looked up a well-regarded cocoa brownie recipe and the description did me in. Here cocoa is not listed as a compromise — something to use just because might already have in your pantry, something shelf-stable for a brownie mix longevity, etc. — but as an intention. For the “chewiest, candylike top”, the only fat in Medrich’s brownie is from butter, not a mix of butter and the cocoa butter that comes in bar chocolate and all of the sugar is pure granulated sugar, and not a mix of it and the milled sugar used in commercial chocolate production. I had never considered either thing before, but there I was nodding along, eagerly agreeing.

mixed
thick, dark batter

The result is something that could convert those that believe the all roads to fudgy, dark and rich brownies must be paved bricks of tempered chocolate. And now I’m going to say something that will surely make a good lot of you turn away from this recipe and never look back, although you shouldn’t: I believe these brownies will be especially beloved by people who enjoy box mix brownies. They share a moist, dense crumb, though fortunately — for me at least, who finds the taste of boxed brownies to staggeringly lack — not a flavor. Because the only wet ingredients are eggs, butter and vanilla (and the vanilla could be swapped with a scrape of a fresh bean segment rubbed into sugar), they’d also be ripe for a Homemade Brownie Mix Gift Kit. You know, if you were feeling generous enough to share, which may not be your first reaction.

best cocoa brownies
best cocoa brownies

* Speaking of “awesome”.

Brownies, previously: [I cannot pick a favorite. I have no brownie loyalty, and frankly, if I did, how would I ever discover new recipes like this?] Classic Brownies, Peanut Butter Brownies, The Baked Brownie, Spiced Up, Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake, Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, Belgian Brownies, Outrageous Brownies, Cheesecake Marbled Brownies, Grasshopper Brownies and Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

One year ago: Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
Two years ago: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree
Three years ago: Icebox Cake

Best Cocoa Brownies

  • Servings: Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet, this is one of the most popular brownie recipes on the internet and also this site. (The other is My Favorite Brownies. No, you don’t have to choose a side.) I refreshed this recipe in 2016 with new photos and in the process of taking them, couldn’t resist streamlining the recipe a little. Alice Medrich will never, ever steer you wrong in the kitchen but she could not get me to melt butter in a puddle of simmering water on a skillet (any way you prefer to gently melt butter works here too) or beat the batter “vigorously for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.” The good news is that even if you’re stubborn, you will still have excellent brownies to eat an hour from now. Some people liken these to a boxed mix brownie, but way better. Depending on your feelings about box mixed brownies, this is a good or bad thing. We find them fudgy and dark; they never go to waste. Use the best cocoa you have; because it provides all of the chocolate flavor here, it counts.

  • 10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams, may vary by brands) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (75 grams) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and (Medrich’s method) set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Or (Deb’s method) you can melt the butter with the cocoa in a microwave too.

Both methods: Set the bowl aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the 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 you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. (I go further and throw mine in the fridge or freezer for a while; it’s the only way I can get them to cut with clean lines.)

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.


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996 comments on best cocoa brownies

  1. Angela

    I love cocoa and have a recipe similar to this that is really good, but am definitely trying this one. Dutch cocoa gives a great color as well as flavor.
    Where is Jacob?

  2. Julia

    I’ve always wondered why people request that you use a wooden spoon to stir thing. Is this a particular reason to use wood and not metal or plastic?

  3. I do have a favorite brownie recipe, which I make often for groups. Unfortunately, my airbake pan is in terrible shape though, and my brownies are better with it. I will try these in the meantime because they look great.

    1. deb

      Jacob picture — I forgot! I added something that will more than make up for it.

      Julia — I honestly have no idea — nostalgia? I’m pretty sure I ignored that will more than make up for it used a whisk.

  4. Meg

    These brownies have caused me to de-lurk (I’ve been lurking since I found the site in August looking for the recipe for “World Peace Cookies”. Which are awesome.)

    I’ve decided I must make these. Today. I think it was your comment about them being loved by people who like box-mix brownies. I admit, as much as I am normally a snob about baked goods (if I can make it, why by a mix, or worse, buy it from a store), I like box-mix brownies. I think it’s the texture of them. None of the many recipes I’ve tried, while they tasted good, had that same texture.

    One question: did you use an 8″ square pan?

  5. Sheryl

    These are the only brownies I make…so easy and very yummy.
    For all those asking for Jacob…he’s appropriately under the awsome asterik :-)

  6. SarahB

    Oooohh, these look WONDERFUL! I think I’ll bake a batch today for the ladies in my crochet class, that way I won’t eat the entire pan (like I did last week when my kids decided that they didn’t like cake and left me with an entire chocolate birthday cake covered with fudgy ganache to polish off myself, which I managed to do over the course of four days. It’s amazing how quickly small slivers throughout the day add up to a whole double layer cake!)

  7. Mmmm brownies – lovely. They almost look like little pieces of fudge. I like boxed brownies, too, except for the ones that call for oil instead of butter (which, oddly, are the most available around here). Yuck – you can taste the oil. I don’t get the wooden spoon thing either. I never use one. They’re impossible to clean, and I don’t like the idea of things soaking in to them that really need to be washed away (like oils that can go rancid). Gross. I’m just sayin’.

    1. deb

      Hi Paul — I made Ina’s but never cared for them. Too sweet and the coffee taste too strong. I prefer the basic one from the Baked book, or CI’s Classic Brownie (linked above).

  8. Janelle

    I thought for sure the recipe was going to call for dark cocoa powder, because the result is so dark. These look really yummy. I have everything at home, so I think I’ll make them. My dad is coming tonight for a visit for a few days, so having an extra person in the house ensures that I won’t eat them all myself, especially since I generally prefer box-mix brownies to homemade ones.

  9. These are similar to the king arthur flour fudgy brownie recipe which also suggests that using cocoa is better than chocolate b/c of the butter fat/sugar reasons. I am totally a convert and thumb my nose at using any recipe that does involve melting chocolate. But I’m not totally brownie snobby – even though the recipe is so simple, sometimes I just use box mix and toss in a bunch of extras to make it a little more special.

  10. This is yet another of your recipes that I must try. Decadent chocolate brownies what could be better? By the way I’m making those black beans again this week. Husband’s request. My gosh they were so flavorful.

  11. Nicole

    Why, oh why, did I start Weight Watchers 2 weeks ago??? Why can’t we all just move back to the Renaissance period where big, voluptuous women were considered the pinnacle of beauty?
    Oh well…maybe I’ll make these for my 3 boys and just have 1 (truly LOL at THAT statement!).

  12. DeLynn

    I have a recipe that actually looks quite similar which I have been using for over 20 years. I got the recipe when we were in Africa for a few months. The missionaries used it because it called for cocoa, which was readily available, rather than baking chocolate which wasn’t. I have no doubt that your recipe is delicious–going to give it a try. (BTW–I LOVE your site! Thanks for all your work.)

  13. I am not afraid of a cocoa brownie. In fact, that is what I usually make because I don’t have high quality bar chocolate on hand (I would eat it. Cocoa? Not so much.) These look wonderful and I’m going to make them the next time I need a fix.

    I was reminded of your Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad because of the ‘One Year Ago Today’ link and wanted to say that we’ve made this repeatedly and love it.

    I also want to say (last thing) that your baby boy is precious:-).

  14. Sarah

    I love these brownies like nobody’s business!!! They have been my go-to recipe for years, and I’ve baked plenty of tempered-chocolate brownies in the past. In response to Julia’s wooden spoon question: wood doesn’t get cold like plastic and metal do – which is a consideration if you’re working with melted chocolate and don’t want to shock it – but that’s obviously not an issue in this recipe. And actually, in the world of pastry, heat-proof plastic is better, because it doesn’t hold on to moisture like wood does. Some metal can react with acids in a recipe (and cocoa does contain a fair amount of acid), but its unlikely that you’re using an aluminum spoon or whisk. In other words, there’s no reason to use a wooden spoon specifically here.

  15. I have no brownie loyalty either, although my favourites are jamie olivers and the hummingbird bakery. i may have to try these though because melting the chocolate can be messy and time consuming!

  16. I have a secret…. I eat rich dark unsweetened cocoa by the spoonful….daily!! So these brownies are right up there for me! I cant wait, maybe Ill throw a batch together this afternoon :)

  17. Sarah

    Julia, I was taught by my home economics teacher to use a wooden spoon since a metal one would break all the bubbles that you’d been working in. Not sure how true that is, or, in fact, why she then said you had to fold flour into cake mixture with a metal spoon… It was some time ago, my memory is flaky!

    Deb, I love this blog, I’ve been lurking for some time now and have yet to see a receipe that I haven’t wanted to try, or a picture that I haven’t wanted to bite the screen to get to the food in it (those of Jacob included!)

  18. Ah, these look like little squares of heaven. I personally don’t like box mixes very much because I can always taste a weird aftertaste, probably from all the ingredients I can’t pronounce. But I have never been one to turn down a new brownie recipe, I’ll have to make these soon!

  19. Sarah

    OK, well that got me wondering, and a bit of help from the old Google got me this answer (buried deep in the Nestle website on a page that seems no longer current but that google does have a cache for – http://www.nestle.com/NutritionHealthAndWellness/Cooking/AskGilla/CookingTips/Wooden+spoons.htm):

    Question:
    Why do you have to use a wooden spoon to stir certain cookie recipes?
    Answer:
    Hello Jeni,
    There are basically two reasons why a recipe would specify the use of a wooden spoon, the first is mechanical, the second chemical.
    Wooden spoons are rounded, smooth, relatively soft and non-abrasive. This means that they are comfortable to hold when applying pressure to beat a mixture. The action of a wooden spoon is to push the ingredients together until they are blended. Metal spoons are harder and sharper, with an action which tends to cut through the mixture. This is ideal for folding in ingredients that do not want over mixing such as adding flour to a creamed mixture or folding in egg whites. The design of metal spoons do not make them very comfortable for the cook when hard beating is required and the hard, sharp edges of the spoon may cut or damage ingredients or the mixing bowl.
    The other reason that wood is cited is that it is an unreactive material and is unlikely to react with the ingredients in the mixture. Metal is more reactive, particularly with acidic ingredients, and is not suitable for use in some cases. Plastic ‘wooden’ spoons can often be used in place of wooden spoons, but it is important to be sure that a plastic spoon is heat resistant before using it for a hot preparation.
    Wooden spoons are an important utensil in the kitchen and most good cooks and chefs would not be without one!
    I hope this answers your question.
    Regards,
    Gilla

  20. Oh, Ill have to try this! As a teenager, I had a cocoa brownie recipe that I knew by heart but it wasn’t at all dense and rich, more just really easy to make and nice enough. I’m thinking this is going to make sure the teenage Hannah’s brownie becomes nothing more than a memory…

  21. Jacob looks like he’s in awe :)

    And I am in awe over these brownies. I think they might have to skip the ricotta muffins in line (which I AM still going to make, I just need to get some sort of spice-grinding apparatus first!)

  22. These look good. I only have one tried and true brownie recipe (Mexican Chocolate brownies), but I feel like I need another, more basic recipe in my repetoire. I’ll have to give these a shot!

  23. Sara

    I would love to hear opinions about types (brands) of cocoa powder. Which is the best overall? Which is the best on a budget? Is using Hershey’s cocoa powder kitchen blasphemy? Is it worth it to use the really good stuff in some recipes and the just ok stuff in others?

    I’ve been thinking a lot about cocoa powder recently and this recipe provided the perfect inspiration. Maybe I’ll have to do a taste test with several different kinds. I welcome input! :)

  24. Deb, can I ask if you used natural or dutch for these? And what DP cocoa brand you use or prefer? I have a stash of Valhrona that I save for special treats (it’s black gold) – but use Droste and Hershey’s Special Dark as well. (I’m fascinated by the stuff)! These look amamzingly dark and chocolatey…. just what I was looking for! Thanks for posting!

  25. I use a pernigotti (sp) cocoa that I get at williams Sonoma. I have a couple of myh favorite brownies I have done over the last 40 years, I have blogged one so far. Yours look yummy specially on this snowed in day in Missouri. We came to MO from Texas for a visit and got about 9 inches snow last night. I want some of those brownies with a cup of hot cocoa and if I click my heels together maybe I will be back in Texas.–Sherry

    1. deb

      Cocoa powder — Using Hershey’s is not blasphemy. I read reviews from people who had used it, and they still thought the recipe was delicious. I use Droste when I need a Dutch-process cocoa. However. I have recently fallen for Valrhona cocoa powder and I don’t think I will ever be able to go back. It costs a fortune but I don’t bake it bulk, it is worth it to me.

      (I have spend a lot of time this week researching buying Valrhona in bulk. I pay $11/pound at WF but no kilo price I have found online, once shipping is paid, has beat that by more than pennies. There is some savings on the 3kg cases — 3 1-kg bags — but uh, I have like two cabinets in my kitchen and no way to store it. I kick myself every day for not buying the 3kg case for much much less at G. Detou when we were last in Paris! There was just this needling concern about not having any way to pack it up… sigh.)

  26. Stoich91

    Yah, speaking of AWESOME! :) For 52 bucks, that that thing better give you all the “awesome” you and your baby of awesomeness demand to enjoy for as long as you want! :) LOL And the brownies, they look good too! :)

  27. Beth

    Where was this recipe last night?! I don’t want to admit what I made instead with the ingrediants on hand to get a chocolate fix, but this would have been perfect… Oh well, there will always be another occasion to suddenly need chocolate in my tummy.

  28. Sarah Alexandra

    These look delicious – can’t wait to try. I usually use the brownie recipe from Fry’s Cocoa, though I only cook them for 10 minutes and then leave in the oven until cool. Makes for gooey and delicious brownies!

    I have a question about cocoa: What is the difference between “natural” and “Dutch process”? Is natural the same as “Ruddy Red” cocoa? I just purchased “Ruddy Red” cocoa and I notice *something* different, but not sure what. Also, is there a different step you have to use when using one kind of cocoa over the other, i.e. add/skip baking powder?

    LOVE, love, love your site – we use it ALL the time! Thanks so much!

  29. Irene

    I always thought it was a funny quirk of mine that I didn’t like things baked with cocoa powder. They tasted to dry and powdery to me, but I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Thanks Deb, I may have to try these soon!

  30. Wow! You made my day! I’m always looking for a good brownie recipe. And I do like the fact that I can use cocoa powder, because who knows when a craving will hit and I don’t always have chocolate on hand.

  31. If you use part dark brown sugar and part white sugar, it ups the rich, chewy factor. I also add semisweet chocolate chips to mine. It’s awesome because you can mix together all the dry ingredients, and then tote it anywhere as a brownie mix and add the wet stuff and bake at your destination. I made these for the Superbowl last year and they’ve been requested again…

  32. I just made a batch made with dark cocoa powder (all I had in the kitchen). The flavor is unexpectedly complex and delicious (even before they’ve cooled)! So much better than box brownies! I’ll definitely try these with “regular” cocoa powder next time I get around to buying some!

  33. Janet

    Love Bittersweet! Alice Mendrich is not the godmother of chocolate for nothing, can’t wait for you to try her truffles! mmmmmm-mmmm

  34. Tamar

    I love that you have the weights of everything. I am new to US baking, and I find the use of cups very frustrating (and frankly rather amateurish) – especially when dealing with things like cocoa or whole wheat flour!
    If there is a movement to pressure publishers to incorporate weight is baking recipes – sign me up!

  35. Victoria

    I actually stumbled upon this recipe last week and made a batch – even with generic cocoa, they were a roaring success. One roommate called the best brownies he’d ever eaten.
    Can’t say I’ve ever made boxed brownies, but these were great – not too gluey, or too rich and stiff with fudginess, yet not too light and cakey either.

    I may never use another brownie recipe again.

  36. Monica Pal

    Hi Deb,

    Love the site, and the fact that you have so many brownie recipes, these look fudgily (if that’s a word) intense. Will definitely be trying these next. My current fave is David Lebovitz’s dulce de leche brownies-have you tried them?
    Just one thing, please can you correct the spelling of Alice’s surname-you have spelt it Mendrich instead of Medrich in the third paragraph and at the top of the recipe.

  37. I’ve made these brownies a couple of times and really enjoy them (including using Hershey’s and Droste cocoa powder). For me, Alice Medrich recipes always turn out stellar. In my house, though, we like her chocolate-brownie recipe even more (also found in Bittersweet).

    Also, the Jacob video is so much fun!

  38. Tracy

    Hmm. I see lots of brownies in my future. The Mar/Apr CI arrived yesterday with a ‘Best Chewy Brownies’ recipe that I immediately put on the baking schedule. And now these, and the others listed at the top (thanks for the reminder about the cheesecake brownies, which I’ve made before and loved).

    And now off to the gym to burn off seven million calories in anticipation of the coming chocolate onslaught….

  39. Lori T.

    Thank you, thank you. You nailed it completely -love the texture of the box mix but find I am always adding chips or other things to boost the flavor. These look perfect!

  40. Lindsay

    You saved me. See, I just made 2 chocolate cakes for a friend’s birthday. And for a beginner baker (I just started a month ago really) they were fantastic. And I keep thinking about how the birthday girl took them home. And how she is only one person. And maybe she might need me to come over and help her finish them off now… I just need a good chocolate fix. But now I think I have the solution to not running over and stealing back the cakes. Brownies! Thank you!

  41. Susan

    The mixing method for this recipe is similar to the Hershey’s Deep Dish brownie recipe, which is the method I use. I’ve changed the amounts of some ingredients in it to wring more chocolate flavorfrom it, but retain the shiny top (which is the only thing I admire from a boxed brownie’s outcome) I think blooming the cocoa in the warm butter it what pumps the chocolate flavor up. I’m more of a cake-y brownie person (I like a bit of a crumb to baked goods) so I up the cocoa and the flour just a bit, just to keep it from being too muddy or fudgy in texture. I use the Droste cocoa and save the Valrhona for other goodies. I can’t seem to get over the idea that brownies are too casual for the good stuff..big snob, huh ;o)

  42. I was searching for the best brownie recipe ever, but I think you have completed it for me. I love dense, fudge, chewy, chocolaty brownies and personally, I could never understand what the purpose was of a cakey brownie. But these look like absolute squares of bliss. Thank You.

  43. Marissa

    i have actually been using a nearly identical recipe for years – it’s on the back of my Saco cocoa container! I love them, and they are so easy to whip up and delicious! On a side note, I love the Saco cocoa powder, so much better than hershey’s and still not expensive.

  44. Michelle

    These look delicious and I’m not a go to chocolate kind of girl. When I was little my mom made brownies all the time and always used Droste cocoa. This may bring back some childhood memories, I think that I’ll have to make it a Sunday afternoon project this weekend!

    By the way, love the video (?) of Jacob, he’s precious!

  45. linda

    the jacob link is priceless…

    i have baked your cheese cake marble brownies & they are delicious!

    you are a great chef & have made me strive to “reach” out of my comfort zone..not only in baking but my cooking as well.

    these cocoa brownies sound outrageous…do you think these would be overkill in your brownie mosiac cheesecake?

  46. Rhonda

    Wow, I love just plain straight brownies, no nuts for me. I like baking with cocoa and I’m a chocolate fanatic though getting the expensive stuff is for special occasions.

  47. Katy

    I have been falling in love with your blog for quite some time now, but have never commented. Everything I try from here works out so perfectly, it’s my first stop when I am looking for a recipe! And you have turned out another recipe that I have been looking for, cocoa powder only brownies. Thank you!

    P.S. I know he isn’t on this post but your son is just too cute!

  48. daesylady

    This has been my goto brownie recipe for years. Actually, I just made some the other day. They keep wonderfully in the freezer. They are so rich and fudgy and deep deep chocolately they are awesome. Friends and family regularly ask for them.

  49. This year we set our lab meetings for 7:45am on Fridays…. I thought the students were going to walk away and never look back, but they didn’t complain that much…

    So, to sweeten the deal, I decided to bake something for our meeting every week – I am making these brownies for this week. Perfect!

  50. Jessica

    Oh thank you. I never seem to have actual chocolate in the house when I crave brownies (I…um…have no idea where it could be going….) and have been searching out a well-endorsed cocoa brownie recipe. I was somewhat fond of the “Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownie” by Dorie Greenspan, but it’s better with chocolate chips added, which again, I have no idea where they go. Will try this immediately.

  51. TLF

    This, along with two other Alice M brownie recipes, was published in my city’s newspaper several several years ago. This has been my go-to brownie recipe since then. I’m not a super-snob about box brownies, but I do prefer homemade of any stripe. I have been known to keep a box of Ghirardelli’s Dark brownie mix in the pantry for emergencies, though … :D

  52. deb

    Pan size, 8×8. Sorry, didn’t realize I had edited that out! Will put it back in now.

    southern hostess — Amazon. We fell in love with it; it’s amazing what a few pieces of paper and wire can do.

  53. a wishful pantry

    wait, 10 downing st as in the UK prime minister’s office?

    because if he’s serving these brownies there, i might actually like him a bit more for it.

  54. Laurie

    Thanks for adding Jacob and the new mobile to the ingredients. Reading your recipes on their own is good but looking at Jacob makes everything delicious!

  55. A.N.

    Ahhh, these are the brownies I’m known for! An easier alternative (for people who hate double boiling as much as I do); I usually just add melted butter into the bowl with the sugar & cocoa (as opposed to the double boiler method) and it works perfectly!

    1. deb

      maryn — It is where Shuna is working. She spoiled us rotten.

      Jill — As I mentioned, you can also melt this in the microwave. However, for a double boiler you just set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water so that it rests on or from the pot rim. However, rereading the directions, it sounds like I did this completely wrong because Medrich wants you to set your heatproof bowl in a skillet of barely simmering water. Which sounds awfully fussy to me, but I still would have tried had I bothered reading the directions properly.

  56. jill

    Deb – this feels like an idiotic question, but I’ve never actually used a double boiler. Do you just use a pyrex bowl over a pot of simmering water? Are you supposed to use a non-pyrex kind of glass? Thanks!!

  57. Shawna

    My boyfriend and I woke up to snow this morning and knew that whatever we ate today had to be made from what we had on hand. It was perfect that these brownies were posted because I had all of these ingredients. We only have the Hershey’s Cocoa Powder and they were still delicious. In fact, my boyfriend has now forbidden me from making boxed brownies. Thanks Deb!

  58. CS

    My favorite brownie recipe! Have been making it (via Epicurious) for years, and as you mention, I completely skip the bain-marie in favor of throwing the cocoa, sugar, and butter in the microwave for a minute. It works like a charm: I get that same cementy-grained texture, and I only dirty one bowl while I’m at it. I have used high and low end cocoa, and it is a perfect brownie, either way. The fat, if I had to explain it, is married to the rest of the ingredients in a way that never happens with a brownie made from chocolate. And I think you’re absolutely right to compare the texture to that of a box brownie–it’s the same, and that’s a compliment. The nasty *taste* of box brownies? Another story.
    Love your site, and I refer those who ask for “my” recipes to it ALL the time. Thank you!

  59. omgggggg that looks *so* good! And I haven’t even tried your cappuccino fudge cheesecake yet – even these pictures are going straight to my hips, I think.

  60. Meg

    These turned out awesome. I found it took me almost 35 min to get them set, instead of the 20-25min. I had also tried a 70% recipe I had bookmarked (the cousins are up so they will all be eaten). By my box-mix brownie loving family (and all but 2 of the cousins), this batch was judged as better than the 70% ones.

    I used a dutch-process cocoa (Fry’s, available in every grocery store in Ontario I’ve been in), but I’d love to try them with some higher quality cocoa if I can figure out where to buy it.

  61. Oh, I wish I had seen this recipe yesterday. I made fudgey brownies for guests and they weren’t as good as these surely are…..

    I love the combination of the brownies on the blue plate in the pics! So pretty. Almost as pretty as your sweet baby smitten with his spectacular mobile. :)

  62. Liz

    Hey Deb! I use your classic brownie formula (adapted from Cooks Illustrated) all the time and swear by it. These look so decadent I might have to branch out of my brownie comfort zone….

    On another note, did you notice that brownies are in CI again this month? I was wondering if that it the one you reworked the first time you posted “Classic Brownies”. Oh and Jacob? My mother and I agree that he is, by far, the most adorable baby we have ever seen.

  63. Thank you, Deb! Every one of your recipes I’ve made has been one for my recipe box.

    I made a half batch of these in an 8×8 pan, using Hershey’s cocoa powder. Utterly delicious! I can only imagine how marvelous they’d be with fancy pants cocoa :)

  64. ohiogirl

    Ooohhhh…. These look so good, I HAVE to make them!

    Have you ever tried Penzey’s cocoa? I just tried it for the first time (the natural) and the Laurie Colwin Cocoa Buttermilk cake I love and adore? Even BETTER.

    It’s more expensive than Hersheys, but not too silly – $7.50 as pound. And there’s a Penzey’s in Grand Central Station!

    http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeyscocoapowder.html

    Thanks for all your great recipes – and fab baby pics : )

  65. Beth

    This is remarkably similar in ingredients to Hershey’s brownies, except with more cocoa, which I have always added. so the method interests me alot. Thanks!

  66. Carrie

    Hi Deb,

    I am curious – which type of cocoa did you use as I have both. I buy mine from penzeys.com and while I LOVE the chocolate – peanut butter cake (one of yours) made with Dutch Processed cocoa, I realize that cocoas reacts differently – that each has it’s plus and minus.

    We are snowed in and I finally found rye flour. Sunday is bread baking day!

  67. I made these this afternoon! They turned out delicious and fudgy, even though a) I made them before you had posted the pan size, and I don’t have an 8×8 anyway, so they’re a bit thin, and b) I used store-brand cocoa. They’re just what the doctor ordered for this 39-week pregnant lady!

  68. Hannah

    I just tried this recipe and the batter was very thick when pouring it into the baking pan. We had to really spread the stuff into the pan. I think it may have been because we did not let the sugar dissolve all the way into the butter when heating them together. They still ended up tasting great but I am left thinking they could have been even better! It looks like your batter was much smoother- did you wait until the sugar dissolved?

  69. Ashleigh

    Read this and immediately went to my kitchen and started baking. Delicious! And, the microwave works like a gem for the first step.

  70. sarah

    this is sort of similar to my favorite cocoa brownie recipe from king arthur flour. i had sworn off homemade brownies because i just couldn’t find a recipe i liked better than trader joe’s mix or ghirardelli mix until i tried that recipe, which is cocoa based. i’ll definitely have to try these.

  71. oh my heavens – i’ve just finished the first part and am waiting for it to cool down and my hubby and i are in HEAVEN!!!!! I don’t normally like chocolate, but ok, I see the whole reason why people go nutty for it!! So far, I’ve made a few of your recipes (I’ve got multiple people addicted to the orangettes) but this is by far the best I’ve tried!

  72. Liz C.

    THANK YOU. I was scouring your site the other day for a brownie recipe that didn’t involve chocolate feves or chips or breaking up a bar, b/c I didn’t have any. but I do have cocoa!! And I loooove box brownies. There, I said it. I am totally making these. Just after we finish the chocolate stout cake.

  73. Carli

    i had a sudden craving for chocolate fudge, thought i’d come here just in case there’d be a recipe, and i get this. and this is much, much better.

  74. These look like they are exactly the kind of brownies I always crave. I’ve never actually made brownies from scratch because I love the texture of box brownies, but I think these will make me switch to homemade. Now I just need to buy cocoa!

  75. Liz C.

    Deb: You can ask Whole Foods to sell it to you by the “case” which would probably be the 3kg box of it, and they should be able to give you an extra 5% discount. I know that’s not much, but it’s at least something.

  76. Beth

    I just made these and am swooning. The perfect end to a snowed in day. Thanks so much – I’ve started making all of your recipes as soon as you post them and have never ever been less than thrilled.

  77. Sallyann

    I swear, we must karmically linked – every time I dig up a recipe and make it these days, you have made it and posted it within the same 24 hours. First the black bean soup and now the best brownies I have had in years… We’re bringing them for dessert at a friend’s house tonight, along with some vanilla ice cream. They are like little chunks of solidified hot fudge sauce. MMMMMMMMMMM>>>>>

  78. figbash

    I have also had my eye on the 3kg of Valrhona cocoa powder…I keep wishing I had someone to split it with but nobody I know wants to go in. I live in Brooklyn so if you want to split it, email me.

  79. Sallyann

    ps.. I also fell for the description of “all of the fat coming from the butter” rather than the chocolate – it totally sold me this morning on packing my chocolates away into the cupboard for another day (or another recipe).

  80. Marinda

    My blondies recipe melts the butter and brown sugar together and after 10 minutes, you mix in eggs, vanilla, and flour (pecans are optional) It produces a bar that gives me a wonderful hit of sweet pecan pie memories. Rich, it produces 16 fabulous squares. Will try this for the SuperBowl, GO SAINTS!

  81. I LOVE this recipe. I just found it and baked these EXACT SAME (with a minor substitution due to being short an egg…) brownies a few days ago and they are surprisingly AMAZING!!! By the way, you have the most gorgeous little boy I have ever seen ;)

  82. NicM

    I have your black bread recipe in the oven right now, picked up ingredients to make the mixed citrus salad with feta and mint tomorrow, and you post this? Oh that is not fair! And since I have all the ingredients I have no excuse not to make these tomorrow as well. My husband thanks you!

  83. How long do you think these would last? I only ask because I have to bake something chocolate this weekend for a party next weekend (I literally cannot make anything in between, whatever I make has to wait a week), and I’m frantic to find a recipe that will last that long.

  84. Hillary

    After a week of working outdoors in this winter wind, I thought I’d treat my hubby to something rich and delicious and I stumbled upon this brownie recipe. He’s enjoying them now with a hot cup of tea. I’ve never made brownies this way (heating the base over a warm pot of water) and if the method has anything to do with the delicious results-I’ve learned a valuable brownie baking lesson. Thanks & my husband thanks you too!

  85. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The best brownies! I made a batch this morning, gave a few to my mom and sister. As soon as my mom came home she called me to ask for the recipe. I directed her here, and she now has a batch baking! Love love love!
    I also love the Jacob pictures!

  86. Amazonite

    Re: wooden spoons being unsanitary, I’ve always washed mine in the dishwasher. The last batch I bought (Pampered Chef? or maybe I got some from Bed Bath & Beyond or some such) even said to put them in the dishwasher! I was taken aback! I believe these were bamboo, though, and so perhaps can handle it better than the softer woods.

    Of course it probably shortens their lives, but a wooden spoon isn’t all that much of an investment anyway, and I’d rather toss them every so often instead of using a germy one.

  87. Allie

    When I realized I had enough cocoa power to make these, I almost cried.

    They’re really rich, really chocolatey and really good. I couldn’t wait for them to cool until I sliced, so of course the knife stuck. But it was worth it. Thanks!

  88. Shari

    The brownies look like they have the most awesome texture, but they’re not shiny on top! I must have a shiny topped brownie, or I just cannot be completely happy.

  89. these brownies are now chilling in my fridge, waiting to be sliced and devoured. thanks for the great idea — this was the perfect recipe to make on a snowed-in saturday! judging by the batter, they’re going to taste as fantastic as you described.

  90. But Deb! You didn’t mention MY favorites, the Ina Garten ones… those are THE brownies I bake when I can get my hands on some decent chocolate. I wish I had some now… nope, not gonna settle for a cheap chocolate cake from the shops, my will WILL remain solid. M U S T F I N D D E C E N T C H O C O L A T E…
    Any Aussies here know where to find it downunder?

  91. Claire

    I make my brownies with cocoa and they rock (she said modestly).. slightly different recipe, but the same thought process!

    Oh, and we have the exact same mobile in my daughter’s bedroom – it was the very first thing my husband bought for our eldest son when we found out he was on his way! Too gorgeous.

  92. Mindy

    They’re in the oven, and I’ve been sampling the batter that’s been coming away with the toothpick—it’s delicious! I usually find boxed mix brownies too sweet (disclosure: I’m also a dark chocolate fan), and these are perfect in terms of sweetness and chocolateyness. I used Hershey’s cocoa, and they came out fine. I’d use a microwave instead of a double boiler next time to melt the butter, to save time.

  93. Corey

    I’ve had this recipe for years and I still think it is the best I’ve tried. I always use dark cocoa because it amps up the chocolate flavor even more and I am a fan of excess. Mmmmm…

  94. Marla

    been making these for years – called “All American Double Fudge Brownies” from Bon Appetit in the 1980’s. imagine the addition of chocolate chips…

  95. priya

    another de-lurker here, with a question: do you think i could just double the recipe and make them in a 13 x 9 in. pan? no 8 x 8 here, but i am dying to try these out!
    hope you will answer… thank you! i love your website!

  96. This is a great post, because I was definitely one of those people who didn’t think anything flavored with only cocoa could taste really chocolately. Which is ridiculous, because I’ve made the Guinness chocolate cake on your site, and it’s fantastic and rich and has only cocoa as its source of chocolate.

    I did a comparison of a few brownie recipes a while back, and I found that I agree precisely with you – Ina’s is too coffee-y, and Cooks Illustrated’s and Baked’s are equally fantastic, although I lean toward CI’s. Some of the people who tried all the different brownies I made preferred Ina’s though, because they liked that coffee flavor. (Not that you couldn’t easily add or subtract espresso powder from any brownie recipe to achieve that.)

    You snuck in the baby-pic that time. Yup, he’s still cute. The reassurance is always appreciated.

  97. These look and sound fantastic! I’ll definitely have to try them. I love Alice Medrich’s new bittersweet brownie recipe. It’s the only one that I ever use simply because it is absolute perfection. If you’ve never tried them, you really should. They’re amazing!

  98. Deb, When I served these to my family for dessert tonight everyone agreed they were the best brownies we’d EVER eaten. They are to die for. I added pecans, and they were the perfect foil for the rich chocolate. They’re heavenly I tell you!

  99. wear i can smell these right now, as if they’re in my oven.
    i love love love this blog. the photography, the simplicity, and the FOOD! oh, the food. keep up the incredible work.
    can’t wait to make those brownies!

  100. Jean P.

    Plain old Hershey’s cocoa makes THE best brownies, fudge and from-scratch chocolate cake and chocolate frosting that I have ever tasted. I thought I felt that way because most things remembered from childhood seem better than what we have today. But now I wonder. Growing up, we lived where the shelf-stability of foods was a necessity, so my mom always had cocoa in the house. When I make those very same treats today, the chocolate flavor they have is somehow more — what? — refined? less cloyingly sweet? Hooray for cocoa.

  101. Emily

    These things are delicious chocolately death. I made them immediately when I saw them on this site earlier today. I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, and I’d really recommend it. It is extremely dark and delicious and seems very high quality considering how inexpensive it is. It’s miles better than regular Hershey’s (which I think is still good) for the same price.

  102. Kenzie

    Does anyone else find that brownie batter is usually tastier than the finished product? Well, not with these babies. I replaced half the sugar with some cinnamon sugar I had left over from snicker doodle rolling and they turned out fabulously. Thanks for this awesome, awesome recipe. Hands down, my new favorite.

  103. Panya

    This is very, very similar to the brownie recipe that I make, just slight variations in amounts [no nuts]. It’s so easy that my husband regularly makes them for me when I’m incapacitated with cramps [which means I get them once a month!]. BTW, we do melt the butter in the microwave.

    I tend to prefer recipes that use cocoa and butter instead of melted chocolate. Those with chocolate seem usually ‘artificial’ somehow — probably all of the extra ingredients.

  104. Panya

    Kenzie — sometimes I sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the batter before baking, and the brownies come out with a light, crunchy top. Yum.

  105. Totally right, Kenzie; these are the first brownies I’ve ever had that were better than the raw batter. Amazing. I’m wide awake and trying to convince myself not to go cut another one. The whole last paragraph of the recipe is hilarious to me though; these bad boys were out of the oven all of 7 minutes before my boyfriend and I were in the kitchen cutting them and putting them in bowls with Breyer’s vanilla ice cream. And a big glass of milk, of course.

    My other favorite is the Baked brownie, too.

  106. I’m sold on these. Alice Medrich is one of my fave cookbook authors, and I adore her recipes. Thank you for the brilliant post. I’ve got to make these soon!!

  107. Carolina

    It is the silliest thing that I am going to write… but. THANK YOU for the toothpick tidbit. EVERY recipe I have tried has said that the knife should come out clean. And it’s left me with nothing more than dried up brownies. ick. The only good thing is that the peanut butter chocolate brownies, dried up as they were, made an amazing bread pudding. Atleast now I know that I need wet crumbs. thank you for the baking inspiration ( my first ever cake was your pb chocolate one)!

  108. SusanPrincess

    Try sprinkling your nuts over the top of the brownie batter instead of mixing them in–not only decorative but tasty, as the nuts toast a bit, and are crisper. Also allows nut-free portions for the nut-averse–just leave part of the batter naked. Pat them down lightly onto the batter to glue them on so they don’t fall off during handling.

    As for doubling the recipe: Yes, a 9 x 13 pan works nicely. (8 x 8 = 64 square inches x 2 = 128″; 9 x 13 = 117″–close enough! Since you want the batter the same thickness in either pan, you don’t need to know cubic inches, i.e. volume.)

  109. Nic

    Well thanks Deb. so much for my New Year’s resolutions! :-)
    I have a little girlie here that is a little younger than Jacob (13 november), wanna arrange their marriage? LOL We are Dutch, but the good part about that is Droste cocoa is really cheap over here!

  110. Kelly

    I’ve been making these monthly for about 2 years now and they are fantastic. I used to be a boxed brownie girl, but I haven’t made them since I discovered this recipe. I’m so glad you are sharing this recipe; everyone should make them. They aren’t hard to make and they will always impress. My only issue with them is that the recipe just doesn’t make enough for me and my family. You see, I want the whole pan to myself. So I usually make a double batch; one pan for me, the other to share! I would recommend to using a good dark chocolate cocoa. If you can find Green and Blacks cocoa, then give that a go. I’m in England and it’s found everywhere here, but at home in NC, I have seen it at speciality shops and at World Market. Make these today!!

  111. Lydia

    I have yet to make a recipe from your blog that isn’t DELICIOUS!!! Made these brownies last night. Not only were they wonderful, but they were easy to make. I am not a baker! Thanks for your dedication to this blog, your wonderful photographs AND your fantastic appreciation for food.

  112. Alice

    These look great and easy. My daughter doesn’t like homemade brownies only the mix kind so I am always looking to beat the box! Thanks, I will make them and mail them to her for valentine’s Day!

  113. Pat

    Oh no, not another potentially delicious brownie recipe! The chocolate marbled brownies have been declared the best brownies ever by my husband and the physical therapy department (he was having shoulder rehabilitation) that I shared them with. I always have to make a double batch if I make them to take somewhere. One to stay at home. Of course I will try these and prob?ably take them to my class for a taste-off (they’ve been complaining that I only talk about the best brownies ever). If I do, I will let you know the outcome.

    Have you ever had “That Chocolate Cake?” A culinary arts instructor shared the recipe with me. (I’ll share it with you.)

  114. This recipe looks very similar to the one I make and very much enjoy. One addition I frequently make is to add a bit of Kahlua to the batter; it can really kick the chocolate up even another notch.

  115. Jean Marie

    Most of us here have been hooked on david lebovitz’ dulce de leche brownies except for one certain person who prefers a box mix. This recipe sounds quick and easy and likely to please everyone. Thanks!

  116. ann

    no no NO! i have renounced homemade baked goods for two weeks so that i might renew an appreciation for other foods. (i was baking compulsively after receiving a dorie greenspan book a few weeks ago). and now you post this?! argh!!!! no no no no no

  117. sugar shack

    i, too, have discovered that brownies made with cocoa are sooo much better than those made with chocolate. i have also discovered the key to taking them over the top. after some serious negotiating, my friends’ 10 year old daughter shared her fabulous brownie recipe with me, and guess what the secret was? the cocoa icing goes on as soon as the brownies come out of the oven, and when cool, forms this amazing layer of perfection between the brownie and the icing. sublime.

  118. Cindy

    I juz baked some of them last Sunday… It was a bit too gooey. In the end, we had to use spoons to scoop it off the baking pan.
    Think next time should increase the baking time or put in the fridge b4 cutting…

  119. Melanie

    Wow, Deb – I had to make my first comment ever after making these last night. They’re really tasty and lining the pan like that meant no scubbing either! Double win for me. Now I’m mostly snowed in and trying to decide if I am going out to get the ingredients for the rye bread. Thanks!

  120. I love using cocoa powder in baking. It just tastes ‘right’ to me :-) These brownies look fantastic, but I’d expect no less from you Deb :-) I think I’m gonna try these with my King Arthur black cocoa, wow that stuff is intense! They ought to be deeeelicious!

  121. I’ve made a recipe similar to this for a while now. I am gluten free and use coconut flour, so they come out more cakey, but the extreme chocolate factor is still there.

  122. amy

    ooooh! this is my go-to brownie recipe!!! SUPER AWESOME EASY brownies. i love how it is sooo fuss-free and does not require a lot of time making it. yummms. maybe i should make a batch right now:) If you want to check out mine, hop over to my blog, they are tagged under go-to brownies:)

  123. Ruthie

    Did you know that the trick to cutting brownies at any temperature without shredding them is to use a plastic knife?
    Took me 40 years to figure this one out.
    How many WW points are in one of these amazing morsels?

  124. Mischelle

    Aloha~ Funny how great minds work together…I have been craving a good brownie for awhile; I have made a few of your recipes~ always divine!! This one is so similar to one I happen to make last night …my search was for a recipe with coconut oil. Essentially, I just opted to use 1/2 butter & 1/2 coconut oil; then in my classic style I usually substitute WW Pastry flour, if reasonable. They were decadent. As with many cocoa/chocolate recipes, I like to add just a touch of espresso powder. The flavor had a subtle ‘je ne sais quoi’ ~ rich coconut. Give it a try…any excuse to try a new brownie recipe is good!! Mahalo Nui!!!

  125. Jenn

    OMG–Wow! Made these last night (the beauty of using cocoa powder which everyone has around, eh?). These are seriously dark, grown-up brownies. Had em for breakfast this morning. Ruthie’s comment has me cracking up about WW points–think I gave that up when I made these!

  126. I think these would be perfect for my son’s 3rd grade classroom Valentine Party coming up in a few weeks. Add a few sprinkles for the kids and they’ll be in love for sure!!!

  127. Kate

    I am one of those who really likes the box brownies, but hates all of the additives, and yet most bake-from-scratch recipes just don’t cut it. Thanks for posting this great recipe!

  128. Kristin

    I made these yesterday as my first attempt at non-box brownies. I used my as-seen-on-TV “Perfect Brownie Pan” and these actually came out better than anything I had made in it to date. Huge hit at Game Night. Thanks a ton!

  129. Rosemary C

    Like Shelley, my favorite recipe for brownies is the Ina Garten recipe. But…..I keep large packages of Ghirardelli double chunk brownie mix (that I buy at Costco) at home. I am on the funeral call list for our church, so they are my go- to mix for funeral receptions. I am always asked for my recipe. The secret: I use very strong coffee in place of the water that is called for; or a little expresso powder. I am going to try your recipe because it looks fudgy and delish. It may become the new “funeral brownie” :)

  130. Dee

    This has to be THE most comments I have ever seen on your recipes. I attribute it to two things…everything chocolate, and Jacob! This was the only way my mother would ever make brownies. Powdered cocoa rocks, I love a good recipe that uses it so that you can make it to your own level of desired sweetness. I myself, would rather taste an immense bite of pure chocolate as opposed to a mouthful of sugar any day! nothing short of awesome!

  131. Thank you for this recipe. I got lost a few minutes ago, went to Shuna’s blog, swooned over her writing about chocolate, went somewhere else, saved a few sites I’d not seen before, then finally made my way back here to thank you, also, for the great ride. :)

  132. Deborah

    I thought the link “fairly gritty” was going to be a picture of Jacob!
    My own Jacob is now a 30 year old married lawyer, but still adorable.
    Oh, also love the description of these brownies and will definitely try them.

  133. Nadia

    I didn’t grow up in the United States so I really can’t stand Hershey’s cocoa, even if every Hershey’s recipe I’ve ever tried has been fabulous. Like Kelly (#183) I use Green & Black’s cocoa.

    Deb, do any of your brownie recipes use honey? I’ve always wanted to make brownies with honey.

  134. I made these this morning and had I looked at the “fairly gritty” link I would have had the answer to this question before now! The question was..does the cocoa/butter/sugar mix get liquid in texture because mine was still stiff and dense.So I’m guessing, from the photo on your link, that the mixture stays fairly gloppy and dense! I thought, as I was making them, that..oops.. I messed up this one! I was waiting for the butter to melt the mixture into a soupy consistency but this never happened. And it never got really hot, like you mention but this may have just been my bowl?
    However, my story has a happy ending! Brownies were well received by all.

  135. Rennie

    Until I tried Nick Malgieri’s Supernatural Brownies, these were my absolute favorite- now I alternate! These are ridiculously good and are so quick. Alice Medrich’s book Bittersweet has been my most beloved dessert resource for years. Her instructions are perfectly detailed and her stories are educational and fun.

  136. Renee

    I have been using Alice’s cocoa powder brownie recipe for years. I find that they are actually better the next day as far as texture is concerned. Plus you don’t have the cutting problem.
    Her recipe for Bittersweet Decadence Cookies are awesome also and Easy to make. They’re my quick go to cookie/brownie recipe for any occasion. Less baking & cooling time. I am always asked for the recipe every time I bring them somewhere. They have that great candy top as well. And you can customize the nuts & chocolate chunks to your liking. Or even no nuts at all. Which makes them even richer.

    Also, I really like the brownies in Martha Stewart’s book Cookies. It uses both melted chocolate & cocoa, so you still get a great candy top. Plus a technique of whisking the eggs with the sugar till pale in color. They are still very fudgy, a little less dense, but not cakey. I’ve seen this technique in a couple other recipes as well. And this is the only recipe using melted chocolate that I’ve ever really liked. Just thought I’d share this for all those brownie connoisseurs out there.

  137. Emily

    I made these this afternoon and they are absolutely amazing! I had a little trouble with the bowl-in-simmering-pot scenario because it kept trying to boil over, but other than that it was very easy to make :) and delicious! very dense and rich. got great reviews from the family :)

  138. I made these today …. and then topped them with a 1/2 recipe of The Pioneer Womans Icing for her Texas Chocolate Sheet cake.. ( As if they needed to be any closer to heavenly ???) And I might have achieved Perfection … just saying … :) THANKS DEB !!

  139. moni

    making these now! i’m wondering if the parchment paper treatment is necessary? can i just butter the baking dish and be done with it?

  140. Ida

    Thanks for another lovely recipe! I made these this afternoon and they were simple to make and so very delicious.

    @Moni, I buttered the pan instead of using foil and they turned out great.

  141. April

    I made these the other day when I was craving brownies and only had cocoa powder in the house. Even with Hershey’s they are amazing! They are so perfectly fudgy and chocolaty.

  142. April

    By the way, I only ate a few before sticking the rest in the freezer. I pull one out when I need a fix. They have been in there for about a month and are still fantastic. It’s great if you’re watching what you eat but still want a little treat now and again.

  143. Salena

    I’ve always preferred box brownies until I made these yesterday–this will be my go-to brownie recipe from now on. They are fantastic! I did the first part in the microwave and had no problems. Thanks, Deb!

  144. John

    This is a terrific recipe for comparing cocoa powders, both for flavor and for properties of Dutch vs. natural cocoa, which I’ve always found to be a mystery. Lots of experts agree the higher acid content of natural cocoa sets eggs sooner in batters (which may help account for the extra cooking times noted in comments when dutched cocoa was used); but otherwise the experts seem to be all over the lot on which is better, and when.

    I made side-by-side batches, one with a high-end dutched cocoa and the other with Hershey’s ‘Special Dark,’ which is only slightly alkelized. Visually the difference was night vs. brown, as one would expect. The Hersheys produced a slightly softer crumb, and while the batches tasted noticably different I didn’t find either one superior to the other: They were just different.

    I’m strongly inclined to get 4 or 5 different cocoa powders and whip up an equal number of brownie batches, then cut them up for a blind tasting among a crowd. The good folks at Cook’s Illustrated did that with various recipes and reported being floored that the NON-dutched cocoas (indeed, the cheapest of them, which looks to have been Hershey’s natural cocoa) got the best marks across the board. That seems hard to believe, but this recipe gives an easy and tasty way to find out.

  145. I was just reading about what makes brownies chewy in the most recent Cook’s Illustrated too. This recipe does sound delicious. While it does not boast that crackly shiny crust that appeals to my eyes, I think the deep chocolatey-ness will win me over enough to try these out anyway!

  146. dana828

    Oh. My. Goodness. These just came out of the oven and I couldn’t wait more than 10 minutes to cut off a tiny corner..
    These are absolute heaven! And *way* too easy to make…this could be dangerous

  147. Cat

    Baked these up this afternoon, and finally cut into them… Um, why did I wait?! They’re so delicious, and easy to make! Do I bring some in to my coworkers tomorrow, or save ’em all for myself and the beau? I’m thinking save ’em…

  148. Jayne

    I have everything I need for this recipe in the kitchen. lovely! :-)

    By the way, how long would these keep? Can I place them in the oven and heat them up when needed? I’m thinking of whipping a double batch and freezing 1 1/2 batches for future needs (LOL). Possible? Can be kept for more than 1 month?

  149. Suzanne from the RVA

    Used up the last of my Valrhona on these today. Used the microwave method for combining the cocoa, butter and sugar. Super-easy and really, really good!

  150. sg

    Made these the moment I saw them pop up on this site because I love brownies, had the ingredients on hand, and love box mix brownies!! Since finding out I’m gluten intolerant the perfect brownie has kept me trying unsuccessful, expensive, gf box mixes..but my quest is over; these were perfect! I just substituted gf flour and they came out like perfection!

    Thanks!

  151. Ram

    Truly, you can’t please everybody. I baked this today thinking that my husband will be pleased because for me it is one of the best brownies I’ve ever tasted. Chewy and dense, I just love it! But when my husband tasted it, he said that it’s too rich, too chocolatety, bitter and definitely not for kids brownies! Oh well, next time I’ll be baking him the one in the box, I’m sure he’ll be a happy camper!

  152. I made these with half the cocoa, because when I was in the middle of making them and measured my cocoa I only had 40 grams. Guess what. They were still awesome and cocoa-y.

  153. Ram

    Deb, will you please clarify the way to melt the chocolate, do you put the bowl directly on top of simmering water on a wide skillet (this is exactly what I did) or do it like a double boiler where the bottom of the bowl is not suppose to touch the simmering water??? Thanks!

  154. bubble&squeak

    I have a brownie recipe from Maida Heatter, I think, which uses only cocoa and it’s fantastic! I love Maida Heatter. Everyone should bake from her books. This recipe whips up in less than 45 mins inclusive of baking time.
    I just love the fact that I almost always have cocoa on hand. I save my good chocolate for fancy things like truffles and ganache.
    Brownies are usually are made in my home as a quick sugar fix when I’m not wanting a very fancy dessert so cocoa is fine for me.
    The brownies are so chocolaty and rich despite using just cocoa. I will try your recipe and compare the results.
    By the way, you have such a great site. I’m truly smitten!

  155. Libby

    I made these today and they are fudgy and delicious. I did make them a bit healthier by cutting the butter in half and replacing the other half with five tablespoons of vanilla yogurt. They really couldn’t be better and I don’t miss those calories at all! Thanks for such a great recipe.

  156. Sara

    Deb, Valrhona is a Dutch-processed cocoa.
    I would think those tests turned out that way because there are times when natural cocoa is best, with its more aggressive flavor. But there are times the less acidic Dutch-process is best.

  157. I went all out and used the Scharfenberger cocoa powder. Surprised no one else brought it up. I am sure the Hershey’s would have been fine – this was just super dark and profound and almost completely devoured by 4 people in one sitting.
    The other teapot tempest in this thread of comments is the whole wooden spoon thing. Geez, people are fussy. I used to worry about the whole cast iron pan issue-seemed unsanitary just to wipe it out. I finally got cast iron religion and not only have never looked back, I kick myself that it took so long for me to get cast iron. People have been using wooden spoons for how many thousands of years now though? GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

  158. Henry

    Mimi pond: I can’t agree more. Scharffenberger is my absolute favourite cocoa powder. I personally really dislike the metallic taste of dutch-processed cocoa (V. included…) Natural cocoa actually tastes of chocolate, not of cocoa!

  159. Jessie

    These are AMAZING! I ended up having to bake them for an extra 20-25 minutes, which had me scared, but they’re perfect now :D

  160. These look amazing. The Thomas Keller recipe from the Ad Hoc At Home cookbook has stolen my heart. I use the Valrhona cocoa and then chop up a bit of the bar to add to the batter before baking. Soft brownies with little chocolate bites in them. They’re wonderful, but I think I’ll be trying these next.

    Surfas, the L.A. restaurant supply/specialty food store has a 1 lb tub of the cocoa powder for $13. But, I’m sure after shipping, it’s not a great deal.
    http://www.culinarydistrict.com/Products/Chocolate-Candy/Valrhona-Cocoa-Powder-1-lb

  161. Tamsin

    Ouf! Why did I only see this recipe after I made the emergency chocolate cake for my husband? Looks like a much better use of the ingredients! Oh well, will store this recipe away for future cake emergencies.

  162. Tamarisk

    There are so many comments I couldn’t get through them all…sorry if I’m repeating this…but THANK YOU for listing amounts in grams, I’m in London and have gone out and bought cups but the grams measurement makes the shopping part easier!

  163. Roxlet

    I am living in Cairo this year, and your recipe for brownies hit a real American nerve. They are cooling on the counter now as the mezzuin sings the call to prayer. Since I have very limited cooking equipment and no 8″ square pan, I wound up doubling the recipe and cooking it in a small pyrex oblong pan. I figure that these will freeze well if my chocoholic son lets them get as far as that. I was extremely nervous when I pulled the bowl off the pan with the water since it really looked like the cocoa had seized. Can cocoa seize? Anyway, I soldiered on, and everything seemed fine once I mixed in the eggs and flour, but I will know for sure once they cool and we try them. As a note to the files, doubled, and cooked in the pyrex pan, this recipe required 37 minutes to bake.

  164. Deb, the *speaking of awesome” is most def awesome!! Thank you for always giving us a glimpse of Jacob: we are getting to watch him grow up, and change, and hair-adjust. SUCH a pleasure for us…

  165. Stephanie

    This is almost exactly like my mom’s brownie recipe. Except hers has leavening. And technically, the originally recipe called for unsweetened chocolate squares, but we always used cocoa as a substitute. I’ve never had a negative opinion of cocoa because I always thought her brownies were the best.

  166. I found this recipe last week through the link that you posted to shuna’s blog, and then a link she posted to lemonpi, and I have made them twice already–one batch for us, and one for a friend on his birthday. They are dead simple and the best brownies ever–no frosting or box mix necessary. One question–how did you get yours to cut so neatly? Did you chill first and use a plastic knife? I cut mine while still warm and they were a bit jagged…

  167. This looks like a smaller version of my favorite brownie recipe. I think you should make a bigger batch recipe, because these delicious bites of heaven will be devoured in no time!

  168. Roxlet

    These brownies are extremely rich! Maybe it was the high-fat European butter that is all you get in Cairo, but my son felt that they were even a little too rich. That’s never happened before…

  169. youbettie

    Whew…JUST.WHAT.I.NEEDED! I made these yesterday and it was the perfect end to the weekend…and I used some “throw-away” coco powder that I had to buy, in a pinch, while out of town. I was just about to toss it…thinking…”why would I ever use this?! Well..they came out great, even with the less frou-frou ingredients.

    …and they gave me the energy bump I needed to get through the last of the laundry!

  170. Neesha

    I have a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com and it’s for vegan brownies. I love it! it makes great brownies whether I use dutch-processed cocoa or just natural unsweetened. I might try this recipe because of the pictures. but hubby and I are supposed to be dieting hahaha!

    baby jacob is so precious! my brother and his wife had a baby last january 3rd. My first nephew! Boys are the best!

  171. kellie anderson

    Must try this recipe with gorgeous Green & Black’s cocoa. May top with roasted cocoa nibs if this is allowed. Re your cutting brownies dilemma – use a plastic knife. A friend told me this trick and it really works. Don’t know why, but it does.

  172. Sara

    Oh my god, these are amazing. Thanks for sharing! I also tried the eggs poached in tomato sauce on bread, and yum! I love you blog! Keep cooking yummy food!

  173. I just made some brownies and was so dissapointed. I swaped butter out for oil and that was a huge mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I’ve learned my lesson…and will perhpas try your recipe to make up for the aforementioned disaster.

  174. magrkira

    WOW, these were really really good. Very fudgy. One of the things I liked was that they were so satisfying and rich that you didn’t need a huge portion. I used Hershey’s Special Dark, b/c it’s what I had, and I actually really enjoy that cocoa. It’s tastes much more expensive than it is. Also, I only had one egg on hand, so I substituted 1/3 cup applesauce for the other egg. It was perfect! I think next time I’ll do the same thing, even if to just lower the fat content since it didn’t alter the taste or texture. Thanks for putting this recipe up, Deb! A new fave!

  175. absinthe

    Don’t know if anyone will see this way down here, but fwiw, I waited as you suggested until the brownies were completely cool and used a (very sharp) pizza wheel to cut them which worked beautifully. Delicious brownies, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Medrich or you.;-)

    1. deb

      absinthe — Great tip! I will absolutely try that next time. I had mine almost frozen before I could get clean cuts, even with a sharp knife.

      my little expat… — Pizza wheel! (See above)

  176. This is the first time I’m trying a recipe from your blog. I’m glad I did! These are delicious. I used Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I live in The Netherlands, it would be sacrilegious not to) and the chocolate flavor is unbelievable. They’re dense and chewy and… the best treat for a chocoholic. I baked them in a round 23 cm spring form pan since I don’t have any small square baking pans around, and they came out great, just not all of them exactly squares :) I just had a little trouble cutting them. The knife kept sticking in between the brownies. Next time I’ll put the pan in the fridge like you suggested, see if it makes any difference and use a sharper knife!
    Thanks for the recipe.
    Magda

  177. Guess I am an anomoly in the chocolate lovers’ world. Because I really, really love chocolate and I am not at all dubious about cocoa. In fact, the best brownies I have ever made – the ones my friends drool over and request every. single. time. I come over for dinner – are made with cocoa. Hurray for cocoa! I think it all depends on the recipe, as you have so deliciously shown. :)

  178. Erin

    I just recently started reading your blog, and when I saw this recipe and realized I had all the ingredients on hand, I HAD to try it. Made them last night, and Oh. My. Goodness. These brownies are to die for.

    I did have some trouble cutting them; next time I’ll follow your recommendation to bake them longer than 25 minutes, and also I’ll wait longer to cut them. (I did put them in the fridge, but got a little impatient and cut them while they were still slightly warm. :-)

  179. I’m a firm believer that one can never have too many brownie recipes on hand, and totally agree that cocoa-based brownies are usually unappealing. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

  180. Jen

    I loved these brownies! I took mine out a bit early so they stayed nice and chewy. I do wish that I used a bit of a smaller panthough, as I thought the brownies came out a bit on the thin side (I used a 9″ square pan).

  181. elise

    Great recipe! I cut down on the sugar and baking time a little bit. They turned out fantastic and have a really nice rich chocolate taste. I have always been really skeptical about using cocoa, but you’ve converted me into a true believer!

  182. I have recently bought Bittersweet and ca’t wait to try her recipes. I only wish there were more photos in the book. I just don’t care too much for a recipe when it doesn’t have photos! But given that it’s Alice Medrich, I might just have to suck it up and go ahead anyway. I have a favourite cocoa brownie recipe that everyone seems to love! And frankly, they can’t tell the difference between chocolate brownies and cocoa brownies.

  183. Rhema

    Hey Deb! Thanks for the wonderful recipes. Do you have a preferred cocoa brand? Yours looks so dark and luscious in the pictures. The mainstream brand I normally get at the supermarket always looks sort of pale and pasty to me.

  184. This is almost completely flourless. I have almond flour and I think I will give it a try with that (not that I don’t have all purpose, but I worry about the almond flour going bad in the fridge)!

    1. deb

      Susan — Oh god didn’t we have this conversation months ago? I thought it had been concluded the other way. My memory is not what it once was, sigh.

  185. I made these first thing Saturday and they are far and away the best brownies I’ve ever made. Ok, so I’ve made brownies from scratch exactly 2 times, but still! They are so moist, they’re like fudge. They’re dense in a good intense way, not in a heavy way. And oh my goodness are they ever so chocolate-y.

    The only problem? After I baked them I went to take a shower. My chocoholic husband decided he couldn’t wait to let the brownies cool and came into the bathroom to inform me he had dug into them. I said that was fine. So what if a square is missing? Well I went downstairs to find he had oh so helpfully cut the entire pan of brownies. Sufficed to say they look nothing like yours, Deb. My heart broke a little after spending so much time making these bits of heaven that 1) he cut into huge piggy squares, and 2) were completely obliterated, all jagged edges and crumbs. And to top it all off, he didn’t take the brownies out of the pan before cutting, so he scratched my pan. And when I oh so gently made it known that he ruined my brownies, he had the nerve to get mad at me! I’m considering meeting with a divorce lawyer this afternoon.

    Ok, not really, but I am still pissed.

  186. I will fully admit that I am the person who reaches for a brownie mix more often than not. Then I doctor them up with all sorts of chips or ganache. These however look absolutely incredible on their own and almost as easy to make. Must try asap. Thank you for sharing.

  187. Annalisa

    I loved this recipe! I admit, I lie to friends and family with my “top secret family brownie recipe” (AKA Ghiradelli Brownie Mix with a handful of chocolate chips).

    This is nearly spot on to that recipe! I bet if I used Ghiradelli powder it would have been the same. FYI – I used Trader Joe’s regular cocoa powder.

    I do wonder if canola oil was used instead of butter if it would make any difference?

    Once again, another awesome recipe!!

  188. rach

    look at all these comments! another amazing recipe. have abandoned any thoughts of starting a food blog as all i seem to do these days is cook your recipes. every morning over here in little new zealand fist thing i do, well after feeding a hungry 18 month old her porridge and making myself and hubby coffee, is to check smittenkitchen. continued thank deb, from me and all the friends who benefit!

  189. shelle

    Thank you Deb! This is the recipe I have been searching for the most amazing delicious brownie. Now I need to hid them from the kids…

  190. Looks can be deceiving, I guess. I made these brownies at the last minute when my cupboard held nothing but cocoa powder. I didn’t have high hopes. And when you said their texture was like that of a box-mix…..oh boy, I had zippo hopes for them. BUT they were delicious. One little girl told me they were the best brownies she’d ever eaten. I made them again the next night, with a half tbsp of ground coffee. So thanks, you proved me wrong. If you want another excellent recipe..

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fudgy-Chocolate-Chunk-Brownies-with-Walnuts-2990

  191. Susan

    I have to laugh..Yes..we did have this conversation a while back. I thought about that when I saw your post above and thought, I wonder if she’ll remember? Hey..I’m the 60yr old here, maybe it’s my memory. Nah… I wouldn’t forget the humiliation of David pointing it out to me on his forum..LOL!

  192. laurie

    John–
    I love doing side-by-side taste tests In an older issue of Cooks Illustrated, they compared different brands of chocolate (wish I could remember the date.) They didn’t particularly like Baker’s Unsweetened chocolate (in the orange box), but noted that it was excellent in brownies. The one-bowl recipe on the box is my family’s favorite.
    I have some cocoa in the pantry and am looking foward to making these!

  193. Stephanie

    Delurking because these are VERY similar to my fudgy brownie recipe, which is requested for the annual Superbowl party and is the only brownie recipe my family has ever known. It’s about double the quantities, though: 1 cup melted butter, 1 cup cocoa, 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 1 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1½ teaspoon vanilla, and ½ teaspoon salt. Mixed in order listed and baked at 350 for 20 minutes or so in a 9×13 pan.

    I made yours tonight to test out the difference – this has a greater quantity of butter and cocoa and a touch less flour, and WOW! I thought my fudgy brownies were the best ever, but these might take the prize. The extra cocoa powder made them that much richer, and the extra butter gave them an even chewier texture. I might try to sub these in at the Superbowl party and see what the consensus is! Thanks for sharing, Deb.

  194. We are so excited to try more recipes with cocoa powder.Yours sound so tasty! We just did a post on cocoa beans and learned that the cocoa bean was said to be introduced by the ancient Maya. They created a drink with it, but first they used it as currency (like money). Can you imagine working for cocoa beans! We decided we love chocolate so much that we just might do it.

  195. rose

    Oh Deb. I almost wrote that these brownies were better than my family recipe, but then I remembered that you didn’t pick favorites with your brownies and I don’t have to either. But THESE. ARE. AMAZING. Who would have ever known that cocoa brownies could be so good? I’ve made them before in a pinch, but never this good. And I forgot the walnuts! Anyway, thanks again for a winner. As always, you present something delicious with a fresh perspective. And for other readers, I used Scharffen Berger and they were great/rich, but other chocolate would be ok too I think. Definitely try these!

  196. Hill

    i just tried these brownies and they were delicious! they were so quick and easy, it’ll be hard to justify buying box brownies ever again! this definitely goes on my ‘comfort food’ list :D

  197. Deb! I am so happy that you posted a cocoa brownie recipe! I live in rural Uganda (and still have the audacity to try your recipes on a regular basis with the meager ingredients we have here in the midst of a 30-year drought – I plan on trying the roasted carrot and avocado salad for lunch today) and it’s difficult to get real chocolate. We do, however, have cocoa! I will make these tonight and use it to smooth away the hot day of dust, culture clash, and political intrigue. I heart the smitten kitchen!

  198. Karen

    These were so good. And a shout out to other celiacs who read this blog: You can easily swap the all purpose flour in this recipe for an equal amount of an all purpose gluten free blend (I used Gluten Free Pantry). They were awesome, and gluten free. Thank you Deb!

  199. Bumped in here through foodie blog,and liked it a lot,u have an amazing space,awesome collection of recipes… Chocolate Brownies looks enticing…Got to try this…

    Great going…Keep Rocking….

  200. Heidi

    I made these while snowed in on Saturday, since they looked so wonderful and I had everything on hand. While I don’t have much to add to the comments already posted (microwaved the butter/cocoa/sugar mixture, used Droste cocoa powder, cut after 20 mins. in the fridge, turned out perfectly), I just wanted to share this ringing endorsement – they (minus the several I ate for “testing purposes”) were part of the food care package I took over on Sunday to a friend who had her first baby last week. She emailed me last night to say “Those are the BEST brownies I have ever had in my entire life.” So there you have it!

  201. laurie

    Hi Deb, I really really hate to bother you, but the printable recipe still says “mendrich” with the “n”
    Now on to chickpeas!

    1. deb

      There is nothing that can be done about it. There is only one version of the post, and in that it is corrected. The print template has apparently just logged the earlier version. What matters is that in the print template, the recipe is correct.

  202. These were wonderful. The only thing they require is a big glass of milk to make the heavenly experience of the perfect brownie complete.
    Thanks for sharing.

  203. kookie in London

    Hi Deb, made these last night, they came out just like your picture (only I had to make them in a 9″ round pan as I don’t have an 8″sq one) – I added a dash of kalhua and as my 1/2 cup of flour came out as 88g, I used 76g of flour, and did a mix of brown and white sugar. Incredibly dense! I would class this as an “after-dinner” brownie, it’s very intense and rich. My other brownie recipe is sweeter and more kid-friendly. Having said that, my 1yr old had a nibble of your brownie today and definitely would have had a bit more… an aficionado already!
    Have you tried the olive oil brownie from Traveler’s Lunchbox? Another different take but surprisingly delicious.
    What’s with yr comment about jalapenos, btw? is that to do with the chana masala recipe??

  204. B

    these were really good. The kids love them ofcourse without any nuts and so do we. the batter was kind of thick and was hard to move around in my 8” square pan. Did I do something wrong. They were kind of thin, which was fine by me given the richness. But is that how they are supposed to be

    1. deb

      Hi B — Yes, the batter was very thick for me too. Basically, it poured into the pan okay but then quickly stiffened up. This is just fine. I just spread it out and popped it in the oven.

  205. Erica

    These were perfect! Have you tried using a plastic knife to cut your brownies? I don’t know why but it creates very few crumbs and gives a nice, clean edge.

  206. Ronni

    I made these this morning and after cooling for an hour, finally ate one. I have about 23 brownie recipes in a folder and/or bookmarked, but this is going to be my go-to recipe. They are so easy and so delicious. I ran out of ‘good’ cocoa and used the backup Hershey’s in the cupboard and the I think they’re perfect. They are a little difficult to spread in the pan, but I gave up on spreading them perfectly and they still turned out wonderful. I did the first step in the microwave and baked them for an additional 10 minutes. And I didn’t add the nuts. Perfect!

  207. Just made these with my daughter–home sick from school–and we decided that they are absolutely the best brownies we’ve ever made. I may never go back to making non-coca brownies. Thanks!

  208. Mimi2Quads

    Can’t wait to make these! BTW always use a plastic knife to cut brownies. They don’t tear when you use a plastic knife.

  209. KosherInAnnArbor

    Hey Deb, you’re doing great things.

    Tried these out last night and was incredibly happy I did. I hope you aren’t offended that I used margarine instead of the butter (I wanted to make them non-dairy to be more compatible with my kosher lifestyle). I also decided to throw in some orange zest on a whim, and it was fantastic.

    I can also see a little mint extract doing good things here.

  210. Colleen

    Rather than checking with a toothpick, I just touched them and they felt and looked set. I was completely wrong. They were still batter in the center and the edge ones were kind of soft. It is not preventing anyone at work from ohhing and aahhing over the edge pieces. The center was thrown in the freezer to be cut into squares to be cooked into individual brownies as needed. I do not think that the batter will spread much. I keep cookie dough in the freezer to cook one or two at a time, and I love the crunchy outside and the warm, melty, not cooked batter inside.

  211. Colleen

    And I will put in a plug for the Penzey’s high fat cocoa. It has become my standard house cocoa. I want to say $7/lb (without shipping). So wonderful in frosting as well.

    Deb– thanks for including weights makes for much easier baking and fewer dishes to clean.

  212. Shannon

    Do you know why the recipe specifically says to use cold eggs? I always thought it was better to use room-temperature ingredients when baking so everything gets incorporated easier without stiffening the batter. I wonder if using cold eggs here creates a different texture than room-temp eggs would.

  213. julianne

    this recipe inspired me to use the lamaison de chocolat cocoa powder that i have had sitting in my pantry. i have tried so many brownie recipes and the only one that i have liked as much as this one is the luxury brownie recipe from chocolateandzucchini.com (i do not include the nuts) http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/01/brownies.php

    Baked recipe i found too sweet, cooks illustrated i found not chocolatey enough, amy’s bread recipe i felt the texture was off….

    i love the cocoa powder brownies but i am still searching for my favorite.

  214. Deb, so smitten was my entire family with the recipe that I got very excited while at Surfas, the Culver City chef’s supply house, and bought both a pound of Valhrona and a pound of Black Onyx cocoa powder – satisfying both my twin bulk-buying and tightwad obsessions. (Wish you could go to Surfas!) I didn’t even know what the Black Onyx was, but after reading up on it decided to go half-and-half with the two powders for another go at the brownies. Even at half-and-half, they turned out BLACK as night and because the Black Onyx is lower in fat, I added a couple more T. of butter. This produced an intriguing, profoundly cocoa-flavored but less-sweet brownie. Husband liked the original better -whenever I alter a recipe not to his liking, he acts flummoxed. “Why would you change it?” If I made them again, I probably would only add a couple T. of the Black Onyx. It’s the kind of thing I will probably throw in the pot next time I make chili. Just fyi!

  215. Thanks, Deb! I think I have my next cooking assignment! I have decided, though, that the half-and-half Valhrona-to-Black Onyx ratio for the brownies is REALLY GOOD. I mean, hell, the Hershey’s is good. What could be BAD about this recipe?
    What could be bad about your site? It’s my religion now!

  216. Heather

    I think this will be our mother/daughter activity tomorrow. Except we’ll make them in a mini muffin pan so they’ll be brownie bites (otherwise they won’t survive until the weekend).

    I’m going to use one of my hershey’s cocoa powders (have the regular and the special dark), but when I can scrape the money together I’m gonna spring for a few pounds of El Rey’s cocoa powder if I can find it.

  217. Antigoni

    Oh my goodness! These were wonderful! I have since discovering your website made the Mushroom and Brioche Bites (the were like crack! I couldn’t put them down!). I made the caramel pudding. Yummy. And now these Brownies! About 2 weeks ago all I wanted was Brownies and went into Whole Food and bought what I thought were the most wonderful Brownies EVER! Until I made these! My boyfriend and I have loved every last bite (though when I’m making them they made 9 per pan!!) I think if I cut them into 25 squares I would actually end up eating more! Thanks for the awesome recipes!

  218. This is quite similar to the alton brown recipe for cocoa brownies which I just happened to make today. I don’t follow his mixing method though in favor for the king arthur one similar to Alice’s recipe – melting the butter and sugar for a shiny top. Yum. The AB recipe has a good bit more cocoa, two more eggs and six tablespoons more butter. Oh and about 1 more cup of sugar (split evenly between brown and white).

  219. Christie

    I made these this past weekend and they were fabulous! I halved the recipe and cooked them in a loaf pan lined with parchment and they turned out great. I like that you have the weights on the recipe because I hate dirtying my measuring spoons/cups.

  220. Carolyn

    For me they took a bit longer than 25 minutes. I left them to cool overnight, and they cut quite easily and neatly this morning. This morning they seemed a bit “chewy.” Nontheless, I took them to work, but left them in the car (in the warm Hawaiian sun). When I finally brought them in they seemed improved. They were dense, but fudgy and wonderful. I used Ghirardelli cocoa I buy in bulk at the health food store. Thanks for the recipe!

  221. Laura

    I saw this post tonight, and I had to make them tonight! I love that this is a good “I need brownies on a Wednesday night, I wonder what’s in the cupboards” recipe, and they’re moist and chewy and very chocolatey! I had the perfect amount of cocoa left in the can, so I figured it was destiny. I used Dagoba cocoa. I used the microwave to heat the butter/ cocoa mixture and it worked out just fine. I checked every 30-40 seconds and stirred. I used mini-muffin pans, greased, to which I delivered heaping scoops of batter using a 1 1/4″ ice cream scoop (I got at the shop in Chelsea you’ve previously talked about when I went to visit friends in NYC- I am a dork and wanted a food-related souvenir even though I could easily get this item in the Bay Area :P ). I baked 10 minutes, rotated the pans, and then another 8-10 minutes.

  222. Anne-Fleur

    I made these yesterday and they are really wonderfull. And, also important, very easy to make without going to a shop. Butter, flower, cocoa powder and eggs are things we always have in our cupboard. So perfectly to make this for unexpected visitors.

    We had it yesterday with a bowl of fruit salad (mango, apple, banana, lemon juice), a very good accompaniment. The warm, dense, chocolaty flavour of the browneys combined with the slight tartness and freshness of the cold fruit, it just combines very well.

  223. Nadia

    I made these today. Loved the dense chewiness and they definitely hit the chocolate spot but that’s still way too much chocolate for my taste buds. I’d probably cut the cocoa by a third or even a half next time. (I used Nestlé Toll House cocoa.)

  224. Where was this last night when I was scanning my blogs for a new brownie recipe! Those look divine and exactly what I was looking for in a brownie! You know, not til you said everything about tempered bars vs cocoa powder in brownies did I think I was the minority! I always always have used nothing but cocoa powder. Just how I was raised. If a recipe calls for melted chocolate, I do the cocoa powder and butter/shortening/ oil route instead. Something about cocoa powder always seems to equal brownies to me. Not melted chocolate. This is a definite recipe to try though. Thanks!

  225. Kelly

    Ok these are to die for! I made one batch to give away and was immeditaly requested to make another once the leftover brownies were tasted. My new go to. Thanks Deb!!

    and just wanted to tell you how super super cute your little one is and how wonderful your blog is-it’s really one of the best and I look forward to your post everytime. Thanks!!

  226. Kat

    These were amazing! I even took the shortcut of melting the butter and cocoa mixture using the microwave and they turned out incredibly well. They’re moist and chewy and just the right amount of chocolate (although I also added some chips to the top of 1/2 of the pan and that was a nice addition as well, granted I have an insatiable sweet tooth).

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  227. Bhumika

    We just made these – unreal! SO SO good! We split them amongst 3 friends, I got 5 pieces…and well there’s only 2 left. With the snow storm coming tomorrow, doubtful there will be any left by noon tomorrow. =)

  228. I am so excited to make these! I bake almost everything from scratch, but I’ve always secretly preferred box-mix brownies to homemade. I’m so glad that I’m not alone, and that there is hope to make yummy brownies from scratch!

  229. LOVED this recipe! The brownies were fudgy and delicious! I substituted the walnuts for chocolate chips and then topped with powdered sugar : ) and I did the microwave route to melt the chocolate and it worked perfect.

  230. Heather

    I was wrong, these won’t make it until tomorrow *leers at the three brownies she brought to work* I need to make a double batch next time.

    I used the microwave method for the first step, it was easy and super fast–90 seconds or so and it just needed to be stirred so it’d smooth out. I’m going to try it with a different cocoa next time, the hershey’s special dark cocoa made them super dark (almost black) but the chocolate flavor isn’t over powering.

    This is a great recipe Deb :-)

  231. riddly

    In the UK- Oxfam’s ‘Divine’ cocoa powder is the best on the market- it’s like a whole higher realm of chocolate..(and it’s free trade).. where other brands are dry dust, this one is as rich as snuff, moist, oily and dark….arggggggggglegh….

    keep kitchens for men. R

  232. Just made these — awesome!! Disappeared in record time when shared at work. I used Hershey’s Special Dark like many others, and they were perfectly chocolatey with a unique (to me), almost black color. Also added some leftover Andes baking pieces — I really like the sweet, bright mint and the dark, fudgy chocolate. I don’t like nuts in baked goods but always like a little texture/flavor complexity…. hence the addition!

  233. Sharon

    Amazing! I used Droste dutched cocoa, they baked in 25 minutes, and were dark, deep chocolate-y. My 4 year old wasn’t a fan, but my husband loved every bite. Iusually make the CI brownies. I think these are more “adult”, not as sweet. I think my next dinner party will feature a brownie throwdown!

  234. Patty

    I have a pan in the oven now, using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, (looked like coffee grounds after the first step!), and some crushed Heath bars that I had in the freezer. We’ll be taking them camping tomorrow…if I can wait that long to sample them.

  235. Annelise

    You read my mind. I have been looking for a great cocoa brownie recipe and these were wonderful. And I didn’t have to go to the store for anything (used Pernigotti cocoa powder)! I did mine in the microwave. I recommend doing it in 30 second increments and stirring each time to get the right consistency. Also, soak the bowl quickly because that batter is thick and unforgiving when dried.

  236. Kersten

    I made these last night and added tart dried cherries and bacon. I could barely come to work today as all I want to do is snuggle the brownies until they were all gone…

  237. Cristina

    Just made these this week and they were fantastic. I also found that I had to bake them an extra 5 mins. to have it set, and was a bit worried that they’d be overcooked on the bottom, but they turned out fine. The dense, fudgey, chewiness is perfect! It definitely is a more “cocoa” taste than a “chocolate” taste, which I like. I used just a regular grocery store cocoa, but I am living in Holland right now and am on the hunt for Droste. I wonder what a high-quality cocoa will do for the flavour….

  238. Made them as planned for our lab meeting today. They are gone. :-)

    Mine had to bake for 32 minutes to get set and just a little moist with the toothpick test –

    I had a horrible time cutting them, even refrigerating for a while, but it did not seem to matter, the students gave two thumbs up…. and happy students make for a happy lab :-)

  239. Ena

    Made these yesterday, baked them for 32 minutes and next time I’ll bake them 5 minutes less as they weren’t exactly on the soft side:) I left them at room temperature and cut them today. They softened and are really great!

  240. Sarah

    Brownie recipes everywhere! I just saw a company highlighted on food network that makes a chevre brownie…kind of like a cheesecake brownie but with chevre. I must try! I think I will use this recipe for the brownie base and try it with the chevre filling.

  241. Susie

    These are ridiculous!!! If you are a chocolate addict like myself, then you must
    make these. Very easy and quite honestly the best brownie ever. I made them with
    Penzy’s brand Dutch cocoa and they are a true dark chocolate fix. Thank you for
    this recipe.

  242. Carrie

    Hella good brownies, and so (too?) quick & easy! I’m in MD, and these (along with lots of other baking & cooking!) are getting us through the blizzard. I melted the butter, etc. in a double-boiler, because it just makes sense. If you put a bowl into a skillet of boiling water the heat would just conduct directly through the base of the bowl and be much more likely to burn the mixture. In fact, I was sure that instruction was a typo until I read the comments!

    Your boy, by the way, is beautiful. I have a 7-month-old, and it just gets more and more fun (even on the early mornings, I promise!).

  243. stephanierose

    Made these last night and they were INCREDIBLE! according to my boyfriend, best he’s ever had. i baked them for 30 minutes exactly and they are soft and chewy and fudgy, yum :)

  244. Here’s the thing. I used to go to this place in Philadelphia that had giant brownies. they were over 2″ tall and about 3×3 square. They were the best brownies I ever had, and I cannot for the life of me reproduce them. They were very moist but not fudgy,and also not cakey and they were consistent all the way through. Of course that place closed, but I did ask for the recipe and they acted like they did not know where the brownies came from. But I know, they came from heaven.

  245. Tina

    I almost never make brownies from scratch because they never come out the way I want them to. But when I saw these and how easy it was to make them, I thought I give it a try. And OMG, they are so GOOD!

  246. Heather

    I just took these out of the oven and burned my mouth eating one, but it was worth it. Thank you so much this is my new go to brownie recipe, perfectly moist and dark with out being to sweet, yum! I am going to have to try these again with the mint candies and another batch with tart cherries which both sound amazing : )

  247. MrsKruse

    I just made these…the snowstorm kept me inside all day. I found ours were a bit too oily. Perhaps I didn’t cook them quite long enough?

    I like my brownies a bit more cake-ish.

  248. Billie

    Made these brownies today and everyone loved them. I’ve been looking for a brownie recipe to be “the one,” you know? This is it! Thank you so much :)

  249. Paula

    For the low-carbers and/or gluten-free among us, I made a killer adaptation of these…best LC/sugar-free/gluten-free brownies I’ve ever made.

    Substitute Splenda for sugar (I used half Splenda granular in the bag and half liquid Splenda). I also substituted 1/4 cup almond flour (actually Emerald cocoa roasted almonds) and 1/4 cup coconut flour for the flour. I baked for 20 minutes — they’ll be dry if you overcook.

    I also ground some sea salt on top, and they were spectacular! Approximately 3 carbs each for 25 servings (and they’re rich — 25 is a realistic serving size.) Enjoy!

  250. I accidentally came into some black cocoa powder, and then this recipe dropped. Well, I’ve never made brownies before (because I am baking deficient), but this seemed an opportune place to start.

    To balance the darkness of the black cocoa, I not only added vanilla, but also zest from an orange and some ground cloves. And then a generous amount of walnuts.

    It ended up taking about 45 minutes to bake, and while the corner I nibbled was delightful and unlike any other brownie I’ve ever had, I’m waiting until they are fully cooled to see how the middle turned out.

  251. I’m so glad you posted these – I’d been intending to make them for awhile (having had them recommended to me after I complained no recipes measured up to the Ghirardelli box mix) and this was the boost I needed. They’re very good with just Hershey’s cocoa, which was my only option on a snow day, and I’m looking forward to trying again once I get some higher quality cocoa.

    The secret to cutting brownies with clean lines is to use a plastic knife. Try it – you will be amazed!

  252. Hi Deb! These are baking in the oven this moment. I used about a half cup of Green and Blacks cocoa and Hershey’s for the rest. I also no longer keep white sugar in the house, so I used 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of turbinado sugar. Figured the heating would negate the texture issue. Super simple to make…except for the parchment lining! I had the durnedest time wrangling the paper into the pan. I thought maybe it needed something to cling to, so I sprayed the pan and then put the paper in. It kept popping out, so I sprayed the paper while in the plan, and tossed a spoon in to weight it down. When I poured in the batter, the paper shifted and folded…grr. There must be an easier way to do this…suggestions?

  253. So, I found your blog because of someone else’s write up on the butterscotch sauce you posted back in December. After I read (and bookmarked) that post, I began browsing and came across this brownie post. I don’t know where I got this recipe – maybe epicurious.com – but I LOVE THESE BROWNIES! They are hands down the best brownies I have ever had, and I am so glad to know that others have discovered the joy of amazing brownies, too!

  254. Teri P

    I had to make these, just to see if it was possible to make chocolatey brownies with only cocoa. I used Droste cocoa and the gram measurements made everything so much easier, fewer utensils to wash! I needed to bake the brownies for 30 minutes and they were perfect. I mixed the butter/cocoa/sugar/salt according to the directions and couldn’t seem to get the mixture hot enough, so I finally put the bowl in the microwave for just a bit. I can’t believe what a wonderful recipe this is. The brownies are indeed very chocolatey using only cocoa. Thanks! I will definitely make this recipe again, it’s a keeper!

  255. I made these as a treat last night and they were perfect! I’m usually a Baker’s one bowl brownie kinda girl, but I thought I’d give these a try since I can’t get Baker’s here in Germany. I did add the peanut butter swirl to the top and my huband and I couldn’t have been happier with the results! I do have a new favorite brownie and will be loyal until something else as yummy comes along :)

  256. Alex

    I didn’t have an 8 X 8 pan to cook these in and didn’t have enough cocoa to make a double batch so I baked them in a 12 count muffin pan for ~30 minutes. Worked like a charm and they were delicious (especially with vanilla ice cream melting on top) thanks for yet another fabulous recipe.

  257. Randi Lynne

    I needed a quick dessert to make for a Super Bowl party yesterday and I went with this. I can’t wait to try out all of your brownie recipes, but decided on this one for yesterday. I realized this morning that I forgot the +2 tbsp of cocoa, but it didn’t change much. I used Hershey’s Natural Dark Chocolate. The only other change I made was to add 1 tsp of instant espresso. I thought the brownies had a wonderful texture and flavor. They had a crisp top/edges and a perfectly chewy center. Next time I will be more adventurous and try the spiced up ones!

  258. These are simply sinful! And so good cut up into teeny tiny squares (1/2-inch cubes), tossed on a giant scoop of vanilla gelato and then topped with fresh whipped cream. Perfection! Thanks for the recipe!

  259. Jennifer

    I would love to make a brownie/marizpan combo. The Odense website recommends grating the almost paste and mixing it in with the brownie batter. I also saw a video where someone made a brownie in which the marzipan was swirled in.

    Any suggestions? I would really like to make this tonight (so I can mail it to my son at college for Valentine’s Day). I don’t want to waste all the chocolate and almond paste with a mediocre recipe….so if anyone has a suggestion, I’d appreciate it.

  260. I made these for an office potluck and they were a huge hit!
    I misread my own handwriting/scrawl and only put in 3/4 a cup of sugar, but it turned out to be a selling point.

    I may even have heard a student assistant cry when they ran out

  261. made. twice in one day. 4 times in one weekend. once with walnuts. i think i need to try the version with orange zest. Morgan! More brownies! This time with orange zest please. i love my daughter.I love these brownies. Thank You.

  262. lizzie

    I loved these and put them in the garage to cool I was in such a hurry to eat them.
    I cut them into l” squares – they are treat I look for at the end of the day. I loved them with walnuts – I used the ones in the shell left over from Christmas. I used a mixture of Godiva and Herseys. Such a superior brownie.

  263. SnowedIn

    Made these yesterday–they were amazing! FYI to all the people confessing about how much they love the taste or texture of box-mix brownies: the most recent issue of COOKS ILLUSTRATED has a new recipe for homemade brownies that have the same texture as box-mix brownies but a better more chocolate-y taste. As usual they explain very scientifically why box-mix brownies taste the way they do–it’s interesting! A very different-looking recipe than this one–the more the merrier!

  264. taylor

    I used to be a dedicated browser due to my sister’s recommendation of your site, but lately I have been using more cookbook recipes than online resources. Due to an intense brownie craving, I used the first cocoa recipe I found and pulled them out of the oven literally a minute before reading this post. Next time, I will definitely try this one.

  265. Sugar Ashley

    Oh my goodness; I’m in heaven.. I had some spare time today and decided to try out this recipe.. I’m sitting here and savoring the freshly baked brownies and they are AMAZING!!! *happiness* =)

  266. Jack

    Made them a couple times and doubled the recipe both times. Originally got them from here:
    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/suzannes_best_brownies/
    Although I used vanilla extract cuz some in my family don’t like almond extract.
    The 40 strokes are a bit of a hassle (maybe cuz of doubling the recipe)… my hand hurts at the end… but well worth the effort.
    Nothing beats them! and they freeze well too.
    Love the way the dough ends up… nice and dense… easily moldable… shiny!!!

  267. Natalia

    These were delicious! I liked how they were fudgey and chocolatey but not overly sweet, they had more in common with a good semisweet bar of chocolate than boxed brownies. Yum! And so easy! I’d bought some high-fat high quality cocoa a while ago and couldn’t use it as often as I wanted… now I know what I’ll be making!

  268. yum! that brownie batter might have to be the most beautiful thing ever! I used 200g of butter as it didn’t seem as runny as yours. that may be from using partly brown sugar as I ran out of white (horror!) the brownie was delicious. I need to get some better cocoa as my husband bought some quite nasty cheap stuff.

  269. Tammy

    Thank you! I have never made cocoa brownies before, but tried these (using Hershey’s) and they are so tasty! I have never gotten brownies so smoothly moist and it has that light skin-type-crust on top that classic boxed-mixed brownies do! Lovely recipe, thank you!

  270. Julie

    I made these brownies last weekend for a Superbowl party and they were a huge hit (to no surprise)! It also took me a bit longer to get done, but I don’t think anyone would ever complain about a brownie being too moist! Thanks for providing great recipes that I can always count on being delicious and beautiful to boot.

  271. These look very doable, and should convert easily to gluten-free. I’m so glad I don’t have to choose between giving up chocolate and giving up gluten–it’d be too hard to decide! In my ideal world, brownies are a form of currency. ;)

  272. Tracey

    These were too easy for words, but they didn’t rival the Outrageous brownies. They did take longer to bake than the reccomended time. I set them out on our ten inches of snow to cool down!

  273. Issa

    Hi Deb,

    I’ve been reading your site for a few years now, and I really just have to say, I love it! The aloo gobi recipe you posted has been something I consistently make, as do I with one of the chocolate chip cookie recipes and they always turn out great! I made the brownies today and they were delicious – and pretty damn forgiving since I eyeballed some of the ingredients – I don’t think anything I’ve made with inspiration from your site has ever turned out badly, so delurking today to say a quick thank you! Cheers.

  274. Jessica S.

    My husband and his friend ate 3 of these, EACH, last night. I think I’ve found my “perfect” brownie recipe. My other recipes almost always end up too cake-like, but these were almost like eating candy. So good! thank you!

  275. Kintea

    I tasted these brownies yesterday while babysitting for friends! At first glance, I thought they would just taste like your typical homemade brownies, which I like. But, what you said rings true for me: there is something about boxed brownies that i regrettably love! I regret it because I am a baker as well, I would never make a cake from a box! Anyway, the brownies were great! I dare to say, they were so much like the box of Ghiradelli’s brownie mix! But better, since they were homemade! I look forward to making this recipe my go-to when brownies are needed!

  276. Ami

    These were delicious. But the batter was SO THICK! I really think my right bicep is larger than my left after the 40 stirs. p90x out, cocoa brownies in. Love the site!

  277. Karen

    I made these the other night with Scharffen Berger non-Dutched cocoa.They took a good 35 minutes to bake. Delicious! Great recipe using ingredients I always have on hand. I’ll try it with Droste next time.

  278. Heather

    I’d like to know (since I just did it myself) how many people let the heatproof bowl sit in the hot water for a bit, then grabbed it with your bare hands to stir? Come on, how many? Ok maybe it was just me. :D

  279. MJSamuelson

    I used the microwave method to melt the butter – worked well, though the bowl was much hotter than I would have liked afterward.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and your experience with it – made a great Valentine’s Day present!

  280. Jo

    OK. Exactly the same as Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies but more Butter (1 Stick vs. 1 & 1/4 Stick) and 1/2 Cup Flour instead of 1/4 Cup , plus this calls for Cocoa Powder.

  281. deb

    Jo — When three ingredients of seven (and six are standard in almost all brownie recipes) are different, we’re really no longer talking about the same recipe.

  282. NB: NYC&B might have the Valrhona for *slightly* less. In other news, I decreased the sugar by 1/4 cup and added 2 TBSP of strong coffee. Nice. Very nice. No matter how much I stole the idea from Ina Garten.

  283. Nicole

    Oh.My- These were awesome and so easy to make! Between these brownies and the crisp oatmeal white chocolate cookies, I am going to need to buy bigger clothes. No self-control here! And the caramel pudding. And soon the chocolate souffle cupcakes!!

  284. Ilana

    Killer brownies! Super easy, super tasty. I finally got the difference between a cake and a brownie, the gooeyness in these makes the brownie!

    A question: is there a reason why these brownies wouldn’t work in your Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake?

  285. Michal

    I was skeptic about cocoa brownies, but they looked so delicious I had to try them. Was a bit late for work because they took a little longer than I expected to bake (my usual brownie recipe takes 17 minutes, these took nearly 40 – perhaps all that butter?), but my boss thought it was worth it, and so did everybody else – they got snapped up within minutes. Nothing like the smell of freshly baked goods to lure the entire office in…
    Oh, and since this is my first post (long time lurker though) – I love your blog, especially the marvelous pictures which make me want to try out everything. Thank you!

  286. I made these brownies as a surprise for my boyfriend for valentine’s day and we both fell in love! They came out PERFECTLY moist and chewy and cakey and…yum! One thing, I was short about a quarter cup of sugar, but they were definitely plenty sweet for my taste. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  287. meg

    Not that you need one more comment here, but these were seriously the best homemade brownies I ever made! And honestly, they were no harder than whipping together the boxed mix. Of course, I trained for an hour on my Wii Fit and then ate two, immediately eradicating any exercise benefits!

  288. Adam

    Okay. Just made these for the SECOND time in a week. But I tried Mimi’s trick (#328) and used half black onyx powder with half raw cacao powder, went gluten-free thanks to Paula (#376), used barely a cup of sugar, sea salt on top… INCREDIBLE!! Cooked about 45 minutes. It’s all about the course sea salt, though. And the Redi Whip. Thanks everyone!

  289. I haven’t made cocoa brownies since elementary school, but tried these last night. I substituted most of the butter for coconut oil because we’re almost out of butter, and used whole wheat flour because that’s all we had. Delicious!

  290. Lauri

    Somebody earlier mentioned the lacy coconut topping from Bittersweet… that intrigued me so much and I was thrilled to discover that on Amazon I could use the “search within the book” function to see a sample page. I typed “lacy coconut topping” and found the recipe. Yay! They were both great – brownies AND topping. Definitely took longer to bake than directed as others have said.

  291. ADP

    I made these brownies tonight and they were absolutely delicious, probably the best brownies I’ve had. I’m a dumb college kid who doesn’t know a thing about cooking, but I liked how simple the recipe was and how easy these were to make. The recipe is perfect too. The brownies came out super rich, very chocolatey (if that’s a word), and very soft-just how brownies should be. Thanks for the recipe!

  292. I made these babies today and they are exactly like what you described.

    Some changes that I made: I forgot to add the 2 extra tbsp cocoa (no biggie because they were still yummy!), I reduced the amount of sugar slightly (just a bit), I used 100g butter + 41g applesauce (as I didn’t have enough butter) and lastly I dipped each square into cocoa powder for a more bittersweet taste!!

    Thanks for the recipe :)

  293. Nicola

    I’ve just made these – they look great and the smells coming from the kitchen are fabulous. Can’t wait for them to cool down so we can tuck in!

  294. Robin

    How delicious! Mine weren’t as pretty — I couldn’t wait for them to cool completely — but they were so wonderfully fudgy and dense. Thanks!

  295. ah! came here from the wednesday chef… this is my *go to* brownie recipe. esp since all you need is a tin of cocoa to achieve the same taste as a version with a melted bar of 70% dark chocolate – it’s too fabulous. alice medrich is truly a baker magician extraordinaire. honestly, if you haven’t tried her ‘new classic brownie’ recipe (http://tinyurl.com/yfbzf3m) with it’s remarkable freezer trick, it’s also *highly* recommended.

  296. kim

    These are some of the best brownies I’ve ever tried, not to mention simple to make! They turned out fudgey, a bit chewy, and just perfect. We made sundaes with them – vanilla ice-cream and the amazing butterscotch sauce you posted about recently. Thanks!

  297. Sara

    soooo delicious, so much so that i had a huge piece as my dinner! Keeping them in the fridge keeps them fudgy. I made them in a circular pan, could be just as good cut in slices like cake

  298. I just made these brownies last night (2 batches!!) they were amazing!!! I had originally wanted to make just 1 batch for a coworker who’s moving to New York this weekend, but as soon as my boyfriend smelled it he asked me to make another batch for him. They were so very very good, thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!!!

    Oh, and your baby boy is just ADORABLE!!!!

  299. Rebecca

    We made these last night, and they were great! But you were right, they did take at least 30 minutes – maybe more – to cook through. Yum, and thanks!!

  300. Just wanted to add that these are delicious brownies and I will probably only make this recipe from now on. However, next time I’ll be buttering the pan or lining it with parchment paper because the foil struck to the brownies (should have sprayed it…) and is making it extremely difficult to remove without having the brownies split in half.

  301. deb

    No, it is definitely slippery. (Might have missed your first comment, sorry.) Do your best to get them in and crease them (maybe with the back of a knife) into their respective corners. That way when you put the batter in and it wants to slip around you have a position for them that will be easier to rest them back into.

    You could also wing it a little and just put a square of parchment on the bottom. You’ll have to make sure you cut well around the sides (still butter the exposed pan) and probably slide a thin spatula underneath the parchment square to remove them but it might be easier than the two sheets…

  302. cathy

    I made these last night and they turned out perfectly. I also had to bake them for a good 10-12 mins longer than suggested. Now I just need to divide them up to give away to neighbours so I don’t eat the whole pan!

  303. Sarah T.

    Another way to cut out the vanilla is to use vanilla sugar, made by leaving a split vanilla bean in a jar of sugar for a week or two (or longer and keep refilling the jar).

  304. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I was amazed at how every step of it unfolded to the tee, right from the gritty first step to the smooth finished batter.
    Just a question – has anyone tried making the brownies with agave syrup instead of sugar? I don’t think the fudge-like texture would be achievable without sugar.

  305. Happy happy Joy makes me wanna make these thingies too and yes today, in a few hours, I’ll be in the store to get some Droste and Vanilla, wonder what kinda sugar I’ll pick. I nearly never do these kinda things, They look nice dense ‘n dark, hopefully a tiny bit sticky wet cause that is how I like good brownies, and yeah maybe some *sweet* wine too

  306. Hi, Deb! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve made this recipe a few times, and everyone loves ’em! This last time I added some chopped chocolate chunks to the batter. All my fellow vet students inhaled them!

  307. sanaya

    I have been searching high and low for a brownie recipe made with cocoa since yonks… i’ve tried numerous recipes (have been told that the results have been pretty good) but i have never been satisfied as they are never gooey or fudgy enough… i happened to land here today and your brownies look so fudgy that i’m just gonna pop into the kitchen to try them out… i think my search has finally ended… hopefully the result will finally satisfy me… thank you

  308. Jules

    I made these brownies for Valentine’s Day. Made brownie sundaes (with a fudge sauce from Lora Brody’s ‘Growing Up On the Chocolate Diet’) and must say it was devine and satisfied every chocolate craving I was having. We pulled out the remaining bars from the freezer last night and savored them again. I’m already looking forward to making them again. Oh yah, my boys (ages 7 and 3) want to make sure you knew that they LOVED them. Thanks for making yet another family fave.

  309. Nuj

    As previously commented, I also used “dark” cocoa powder–the results were delicous! Mine didn’t look much like yours because I didn’t take much time to spread them evenly in the pan, thinking they would even out during baking. They kept their original shape, resulting in a strange looking top, but who really cares when they taste so good!?

  310. Awesome brownies! In addition to the taste, what I love about them is that they are somehow very satisfying. I cut my sheet of brownies into about 25 small pieces and I thought my husband and I would polish them off in a matter of hours, but we actually savored them over three days, and our neighbors and a classmate of mine had a taste as well. You know how sometimes, if a food is really, really flavorful (and rich), you don’t need to eat a whole lot of it – a small amount satisfies you? These brownies are like that.

  311. Rachel

    I will definitely give these a try! I am very fickle about my brownies! I have to say I just tried the one in the new issue of Cook’s and it was sooooo good! I wouldn’t call them “chewy” as much as dense, with a nice shiny top… and just delish!
    This recipe looks a little easier though!

  312. These are currently cooling on a rack! All this discussion reminded me of an amazing brownie recipe by Bill Sewell. I originally found it in Waitrose mag (an unbelievable supermarket in the UK) and made them immediatedly – they were sooooo good! A few weeks later I went for a job at his cafe and got the job. I got to eat those brownies whenever I wanted:)

  313. S

    I made these this morning. I cut the sugar down to 1 cup. If you’re serving this to people who prefer chocolate over sugar, then 1 cup is enough sugar. I think if I make this again, I’ll keep the original amount. It is very chocolatey and dense! The brownies fell apart a bit when I tried to cut and separate them. I may have to freeze them too, like you, Deb, to cut them better. I’ve never made brownies with cocoa powder before (I used Hershey’s), but these were surprisingly good and easy to make. It’s a keeper! Thanks, Deb!

  314. Spencer

    These look delicious. Has anyone tried making them vegan? I’d like to try this replacing butter with oil and egg with flax seed. Anyone think this would work?

  315. Lala

    I’ve been linked to your blog by a friend who felt it was worthy of sharing. Now, I can’t stop going through the archives! Then you mentioned ‘cocoa’, I was sold so I made the brownies last night, and they were amazing. I brought them to work this morning, and they were gone in less than an hour! I also added an extra 10 mins to the time mentioned on the recipe.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  316. Hannah

    I just baked these. One word: DELICIOUS!!! They were easy-to-make and perfect because I was going to make a brownie recipe from a cookbook of mine but then discovered I didn’t have any chocolate. Only one bowl dirty as well.. *sigh* I’m in chocolate heaven. They were dense and dark and all that a brownie should be. and with NO chocolate?!!??!! Unbelievable…which is probably why I’m in self-denial (i.e. it’s fine if I just eat one more of these incredible brownies because they’re so good and easy they can’t actually be there so they’re not even existing which means I’m not putting any calories on). A very, very, very good deal all around, Deb!!! I cannot thank you enough.

  317. Hannah

    Also, btw (for those of you who are interested) didn’t use any vanilla extract because I didn’t have any in the house, used room-temperature eggs and also only had one brand of ordinary cocoa so had to use that. And didn’t have any nuts…Result? FANTASTIC!!! So don’t be put off if you haven’t any vanilla, nuts, cold eggs, etc. They will still be out of this world =P

  318. Ashley

    I have never cooked from a blog recipe before, and after spending a while baking a tasteless (but light, moist and great textured) Spice Apple Cake, from the Sono Bake book, the day before I wasnt intending to break that tradition. However at 8.30pm my six year old son, who was meant to be sleeping, comes down to talk to me and on the journey down bumps his head. My only option – bake brownies. I only had cocoa and recalled reading this recipe so out came the bowl and “hey presto” we had brownies. I winged the measurements (UK based, scales had run out of battery and only had some cup measures) and only had a much bigger than suggested baking pan. What did I come out with – very, very good dense and fudgy brownies that were eaten as soon as cool and worked magic with the bumped head!

  319. Tess

    I really wanted to whip up something chocolate-y for afternoon coffee, but upon immediate inspection of my pantry, I found out that I didn’t have any chocolate. I did have, however, some fabulous cocoa powder, and let me just say: these brownies are sinfully divine. Enough said.

  320. Mels

    I’ve been wanting to try these as they look like the perfect sinful brownie and with bf looking for a late night snack, have them in the oven now! A little worried about all the bubbles at the top? I assume that’s air and not flour? Thought I mixed well enough with the 40 strokes..but I do have cooking issues…lol. Anyway they will be out of the oven in 5 minutes and the house smells delicious!! Can’t wait to try them :)

  321. Colleen

    These are FABULOUS! They brought me out of lurking to post. I’ve made about seven recipes from your blog and have loved them all, but this one, mmmmm, this one is it. I am one of those box brownie people. One summer I made a different brownie recipe each week in the quest for the best, and nothing could beat the boxed Pillsbury to me- until now. These are sooooo chocolaty and fudge-like. My only regret is not doubling it to a 9×13. I microwaved the first part for 1 minute and it worked wonderfully. I used Hershey’s cocoa (don’t ask how long it was sitting in my cupboard) and they are divine. Thank you so much for this simple, DELICIOUS recipe.

  322. Lindsay

    Okay, made these for my friends today. Also made a variation with added espresso powder, and drizzled caramel on top and sprinkled the nuts on top so that it would be similar to the turtle mocha at Caribou. My friends could not stop talking about them!

  323. Sophie

    I baked these for my friend this morning, and they turned out absolutely PERFECT! She looked totally blissed out when she bit into them.

    Mind you, they were the first batch of brownies I have ever made that actually cooked through as well; I was SO happy when I lifted them out of the pan :’D
    I think this will be my go-to brownie recipe for sure! :]

  324. Elizabeth

    These were excellent – like little squares of dark chocolate fudge. (I think I may have underbaked them a little. Yum!) I totally agree with you on portion size. They’re so rich that the smaller squares just hit the spot. I’ve been debating about making them again with a pinch of coffee powder a la Ina Garten. Do you think that would be too much?

    That pizza cutter idea was brilliant! I’m so doing that with the next batch!

  325. Brurya

    Is there any chance of using oil in this recipe instead of the butter?
    I would really like to make these but I need them to be non dairy…

    1. deb

      Brurya — Someone emailed me last week about trying it, I said go for it, she reported back yesterday that she couldn’t even tell butter was missing!

  326. Vidya

    For anyone who commented about veganising these, they are way easier to veganise than normal brownies. Brownies using chocolate need lecithin to bind the whole mix together, I don’t use eggs in my cooking so whenever I replaced the eggs in those recipes with a powdered egg replacer, like Ener-G, they didn’t work. So I switched to tofu, which may sound gross but it works and you can’t taste it at all. These use cocoa, and have a lower fat content so a powdered egg replacer or anything you usually use in cakes, etc. would work. You may want to increase the flour a little though, to give it a little more binding power. Or just use tofu. Again, you can’t even tell.

  327. yin

    Hi Deb.. just wanted to tell you your fantastic :) At the risk of sounding lazy … has anyone tried having the mixture beaten using the mixer instead of a wooden spoon? and if one were to use the wooden spoon, is the 40 strokes crucial? never made brownies before..

  328. I was just discussion on a forum with someone about the virtues of flavour with chocolate when it contains cocoa butter as in a GOOD bar of choc or like in this recipe just using 100% cocoa….I remembered seeing this post of yours a while back

    …it was only just now that I realised (came out of the discussion) how Flavour & Fat are crucial…and my conclusion that chocolate & cocoa butter are necessary for optimum chocolate flavour…Cocoa butter plus fat in a recipe and here’s why…

    …research carried out at the University of Nottingham of people being given liquids to drink that contained 5%, 10% and 30% of fat and at the same time their brain was being scanned by MRI scan to find out our brain responses. When the 30% fat (equivalent to double cream) was drunk the brain reacted the most. Our brain reacted to the 5% and 10% fat as you’d expect but with the 30% fat there was further areas that were stimulated, the area that detects texture and the area of Reward also reacted. The “Reward” part of our brain is stimulated by high FAT…I know it’s no surprise to us foodies but good to have evidence though…

  329. Sara

    Just made these brownies for my mom for Mother’s Day. She really liked them and I did too. Also, loved how easy they were to make. Really not any harder than a store bought mix and so much better tasting.

  330. brooklyn baker

    I’m not sure what I”m doing wrong. I’m not a novice baker and I’ve successfully made the Epicurious cocoa brownie recipe with good results but this one eluded me. I haven’t eaten them yet, but they don’t look or feel very promising (just out of the oven). I followed the instructions fairly precisely (I think I left out one tablespoon of cocoa powder but I don’t think that should have been make-or break. After 18 minutes there was a big bubble in the middle of the pan and when I took the pan out the texture was very firm and springy. I’ll let them cool and see if it improves …

  331. These brownies.

    Wow.

    They are as close to perfect as I’ve ever made at home, and better than 90% of brownies out there. It’s like a brownie from your favorite cozy, neighborhood, awesome chef restaurant that you’d get smothered in vanilla ice cream. The rich fudginess of the brownie doesn’t prevent it from having a crumbly top (the definition of a brownie, of course), and flouriness to hold it together, it’s not sticky. It’s not fudge, but it’s definitely chocolate. I used regular Hershey’s cocoa that I’ve had around for ages since everything uses tempered chocolate now, and it was still good without being organic or whatever quality.

    One thing is that the batter is very thick and a little unwieldy, but with practice I think one could get the hang of it. I initially used a Le Creuset spatula to stir the batter and understood why a wooden spoon is best here to stir in the egg. Though it was hard for me not to beat the eggs first. It’s something I learned is always necessary to activate or mix the proteins in the egg.

    Thank you for posting the best simple, home-cook, yummy recipes. You need to publish a Smitten Kitchen compendium. Many of your recipes have become household classics (tomato butter sauce which I make many times a month, and mushroom bourguignon for instance).

    brooklyn baker, did you test them with a toothpick before taking them out? Mine took 30 minutes rather than 20 or 25. For me the timing was definitely an experience, instinct thing. The bubble is interesting since mine were so thick that only small bubbles formed. They’re definitely dense brownies. How did they taste?

  332. Wow! I made these on the weekend on a whim and they were perfect. I used hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Brought them in to work this morning and everyone is very, very happy about it…

  333. Malea

    OK, I love these brownies, and I have made them 4 times. The first two, they were amazing. The second two, the butter separated out while I was stirring them, and after they were cooked, they were so hard I could lift the whole thing like a brick from the pan. Luckily, I live in rural rwanda and the other foreign staff here will eat anything with chocolate in it (they insisted on calling it chocolate toffee, and it was gone in a few minutes). Thoughts on what I’m doing wrong? Has anyone else had this problem?

  334. rita

    These are sitting in my oven right now and I just cannot stop eating the batter from the bowl. I seriously had to throw some soap into it to get me to stop. You need to put a health hazard on this recipe, Deb! The raw eggs! The Salmonella! The Horror!

    But more seriously, this recipe is great. One bowl? Cocoa? I’m absolutely in love. This will surely be another hit in my house!

  335. rita

    Oh and I also second (or third or one hundredth) the microwave recommendation. My bain-marie was taking forever, and I just gave up. 20-30 seconds in the microwave did the trick just great!

  336. Alphie

    I have made these a couple of times. They are even better after they sit for a day or two. Less bitter and more wonderful — Laurie Colwin once wrote an essay about a chocolate dessert that improved greatly after sitting for a few days (and see today’s Feed Me piece in the NYT about brownies, which suggests the same).

  337. I never cared for brownies much because the ones I ate out were always either too hard or cakey. Studying this recipe convinced me that THIS may be the brownie I’m looking for, less flour, more chocolate. Boy did it turn out just the way I like it… I was licking bits of batter and later crumbs off the parchment.

    I had no problem with using a silicon spatula all the way. I used the black gold Valrhona cocoa and castor sugar to up the bitter and tone down the sweetness.

    This is the first baked good out of my new oven and it’s THE thing on my mind everyday, my boyfriend and I rationed ourselves to a maximum of 2 a day. Hiding it in the freezer doesn’t help… need to make more this weekend!

  338. Shannon

    I made this recipe for the first time this weekend and darn are they fudgy! I always think I like fudgy brownies, but then when I’m eating them I think I’d like them to be cakier. I baked these 27 minutes, until an inserted toothpick came out with just a little bit of batter, but now I think they probably could’ve used another 5 minutes in the oven.

    I was intrigued by these brownies because you described them as being like box-mix brownies, but I don’t think these are box-like at all. I think these are much more fudgy with a much more chocolate-y flavor. These are still good, just not my favorite, I wasn’t prepared for how rich they’d be!

  339. Emily

    I just made these brownies a few minutes ago, and well, they taste like cocoa brownies and to be quite frank, I don’t like choclate brownies. I’m sure they would be lovely if brownies were your thing, so I hope my parents like them.

  340. I made these brownies (at 1am last night – go figure) and they were absolutely wonderful! I reduced the sugar a little and increased the quantities by 50% because my baking dish was too big, and baked them for about 30 minutes. They were super fudgy and delicious – thank you for another great recipe.

  341. My friend Lauren made these brownies for me after I gave birth. They were so good I snuck around and ate all of them before my family realized I had brownies in the fridge. LOL!

    I finally asked her for the recipe and she pointed me to this website. I just made a batch, cut them up into 20 pieces, and promptly ate 3. Now I feel bad, but I want more! Great recipe! And lovely pictures.

  342. nandini

    hey, these brownies look so so so good!! im from india and am a vegetarian. so no eggs are ever brought at home. i have managed to find an egg replacement (u know the powdered stuff that comes) after a lot of searching. do u think it will work here? i so wanna make these! pls gimme ure opinion on the replacement.. ive never used it and m hoping it works reasonably well.

  343. Hello Deb,

    I’m helping with a friend’s wedding and I decided to make these brownies for the reception. I have to make 200 brownie pieces. I spoke to a pastry chef and she suggested I use chocolate ganache as a topping for the brownies. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this come out beautifully? I’ve made the recipe about four times at home, but never in large amounts as are needed for this reception. Thank you so much!

    Sincerely,
    Denise

  344. An anecdote:

    Some time ago, when I Thought I Knew Better Than Everyone Else, I’d left my childhood home to live with A Very Bad Idea of A Boyfriend, and my parents and I didn’t speak for months that turned into years of very brief visits and clipped words and too many If You Don’t Approve, Get Away From Me’s.

    When I ultimately decided that Yes, It Was A Bad Idea, and called them in the middle of the night and asked them if I could come home, they were there as though they’d had the car gassed up and running from the moment I ran away.

    That night, in the silly hours of the morning, while dad watched the Weather Channel and dozed off, my mom made the brownies she’s been making since as long ago as I can possibly remember. While I sat in my childhood room and cried my silly heart out because First Love is Stupidly Cruel, my mom made me brownies, and when she brought them to me, still warm from the pan, we curled up on my childhood bed, and she told me Everything Would Be All Right, and sang me the same lullabye she did when I was a baby, a toddler, a gangly middle-schooler, and even an angry and sullen teenager who hated everyone.

    The brownies tasted like every celebration, every snow day, every late summer night, every sleep over, every relaxing end to a long day, and every warm and comforting hug I’ve ever known. They were since dubbed Nostalgia Brownies, and they are, without a doubt, the one thing I’ll always associate with the love of my mother.

    And they always had been, and always will be, made with cocoa.

  345. Gowri

    These were delicious! A co-worker of mine brought them into work last week, and I asked her for the recipe. I made them just now and added red chili powder for a little kick! Was a beautiful recipe and fun to make. Thank you!

  346. Jennifer

    Another fabulous recipe. Made with Hershey’s cocoa, I used the microwave instead of the double boiler method, and a silicone spatula rather than a wooden spoon. Mine baked for 24 minutes, just so they are solid, yet retain that unbaked gooey-ness that is beloved in my household. Thanks again Deb!

  347. Hayley

    I really like brownie but I have never been able to make it before – it always turns out cakey and doesn’t taste rich and chocolatey and doesn’t cut well. And then I googled for brownie recipes and this came up. I made a few modifications: I added 3 medium size eggs instead of 2 large ones, I used 145g butter, 90g cocoa and I put it in a slightly smaller dish and baked for 10 mins on bake then 7 or so on fan bake. It was amazing. It is definitely a keeper and it was so easy! I didn’t do the whole thing with the skillet, I just heated in a saucepan over the stove and I didn’t have to line a dish with baking paper, I just greased it well with grapeseed oil (any vege oil will work) and it came out neatly. My new favourite recipe, and im looking at your other ones too!

  348. celia

    These came out beautifully and deliciously! Cut into 20 pieces, with a small scoop of coffee ice cream and a drizzle of caramel, these were a great hit with our dinner guests.

  349. Beth

    I made these a few nights ago and they were out-of-control delish!I put mine into silicone brownie mold and baked for 20-25 minutes, they came out perfectly! Thank you for the great recipe!

  350. Anne

    this is my new favorite brownie recipe. they came out really moist and fudgy and chocolate-y! i used dutch processed cococa but i plan to use natural cocoa next time to see the difference. anyways, these were good my brother always asks me to bake them! thanks for this recipe! :D

  351. Lucius

    These are so awesome. I make them on a nearly weekly basis. Today, I was out of granulated sugar, so I tried out using 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Before even adding flour, the batter was thick and dough-like, so I used only 1/4 cup of flour. They’re in the oven now! They may turn out a bit off, but I’ve never had a BAD brownie, so I’m not too worried.

  352. Ana

    I made these tonight. They are divine! I was missing the vanilla but substituted it with almond flavoring then added some marzipan on top to keep the theme. It is good but it doesn’t need any extra sweetness so the marzipan actually put it over the edge a bit. Thank you so much. I have a feeling I’m going to make some friends out of my enemies when I share them. I fear I’ll make enemies out of my friends when I run out…

  353. Katy

    This is an amazing recipe – thank you so much for sharing! I do have to add that I have found that Scharffen Berger Cacao Nibs are a spectacular addition in place of nuts.

  354. Sam

    The brownies are divine! I used a high fat Dutch processed cocoa from Penzys, which was fantastic. Also, I find that a. you must not skip the parchment step and b. if you freeze them for 30 minutes you really do get great, even cuts which provide for an excellent presentation (and who isn’t a sucker for a pretty packaged dessert?!)

  355. Hayley

    i wonder how those would turn out if i added some chopped dried tart cherries and slivered almonds into the mix.. maybe with a pinch of cayenne? would it be too much?

  356. farrah

    hello! can i use hershey’s special dark cocoa in this? i’m dying to make it but i’m not sure if my available cocoa would be okay for this. do i need to adjust the measurement if i use it? thanks!

  357. Paula

    Hi, first time to visit and I find this brownie recipe posted on my Mom’s birthday (a good omen). Always use cocoa but I do find brownies to be tricky and as I’m not a fan of the boxed type we do not have brownies often. I just had to make these tho, and I did read many of the posts before beginning to bake, was worried as others about the texture of the whole mix early on…Took out at twenty minutes and threw some sixty percent cacao chips on top and spread them for an icing as they melted… cooled in fridge and cut with a plastic knife per a comment here. OMG. they are so chocolatey, just decadent! As MacArthur said, “I shall return” here, again and again.Thanks for the recipe!!!

  358. Deb

    K, just found this blog and I think I love you.
    Anyway what I was going to say was, cocoa is *the best*! This passover I was forced to figure out that you can make any chocolatey thing way better with cocoa instead if you cook it up in a sugar syrup first, use way too much butter and almond meal. I think I might have invented that so basically, you’re welcome.

  359. Jacinta

    I didn’t have any cocoa for some reason, but really wanted to make these…what I did have though was some natural hot chocolate mix, which was basically cocoa and sugar with lavender and orange extract. I omitted the quarter cup of sugar and it turned out delicious…YUM!

  360. Alegria

    I just made these last night on a whim and they were great! Way better than my Better Homes and Garden melty baking chocolate standby. When I woke up this morning, most of the pan was gone….

  361. Marjorie

    Best brownies I have ever made/eaten! The only cocoa I had in the pantry was Trader Joe’s and it worked great. I am going to experiment with crushed peppermint candy for a topper. YUM.

  362. julia

    made these to send to iraq (my brother claims brownies are the only thing he’s ever baked and it’s his birthday). evidently butter and margarine spoil in transit so i subbed butter flavored crisco sticks. tastes great! only difference was it didn’t get all gritty as the recipe predicts. now the post office dudes have put in a request…

  363. Andrea

    I’ve made these 3 times now, with a couple of modifications. I’m currently dairy and soy free (baby boy has an allergy), so the first time I subbed out oil (safflower) for the butter. They were nice, but my husband found them a little less sweet then he likes (he’s a box brownie fan). The next 2 times I continued to sub out the butter (I miss baking with butter!) and subbed 50% brown sugar for granulated sugar (and added a couple of tablespoons), to give a bit of a stronger flavour. They are a definite hit!

  364. Andrea

    I should add – I used a stand mixer to make these and I didn’t heat anything (since the oil doesn’t need to be melted). Also, I didn’t use nuts (not a fan in brownies).

  365. als

    Like Julia I also just made these to send to my brother in Iraq–unlike Julia it didn’t even occur to me that the butter might spoil on the way! Yikes! Um, I guess I will tell him to smell his food before he eats it!

    But they are amazing, perfectly bitter sweet. I am surviving on bites at a time–my husband wants something salty to balance them off. I’m thinking brownie bites with a peanut butter topping are in our future. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  366. These are fantastic and were a Thanksgiving hit. :) I made a few very small changes and included a post on them in my blog, and would like to link to your picture of the “gritty” stage. I’ve included links to your main page and to this recipe, and given the link to your photo credit, but please please please let me know if you would like me to remove the link for any reason. Thanks for another wonderful recipe, can’t wait for your book! :) -christine

  367. Courtney

    Oh my gosh, DEB!!! I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a few months and finally got around to making a test batch this afternoon. I even splurged on fair trade vanilla and cocoa for my very sweet coworker who’s going through a rough time right now. I dug into my test batch to be sure I did it right and I’m pretty sure I’ll never eat another brownie again. I’ll probably take these to my work Christmas party and let these be the go-to for friends’ birthdays. And since they’re so easy to make, I’ll probably just always have them around.

    Suffice it to say, you are the woman! :)

  368. Icy

    I just tried this and I really liked it. It’s fudgy and soft.
    I did tweak the recipe a bit. I made it for my friend and she doesn’t like dark chocolate so I added 1/4 cup more sugar so 1 and 1/2 cup altogether and I also added milk chocolate in the batter so there’s chocolate “surprise.”
    I wanted to try sea salt instead of normal salt and it was a bit salty so I”ll stick to normal salt next time or just use 1/8 teaspoon for sea salt.
    But altogether its on my top brownie recipes and I’ll just eat it with milk to lessen the impact of the salt

  369. Carol Hilker

    My boyfriend just disgustngly licked all the batter off his fingers. I am pretty sure I am going to break up with him b/c I am pretty effing grossed out… But…nonetheless, they are in the oven and the batter in itself was amazing. I added Fluer de sel because I used margarine. I am sure someone is laughing I used these together. I can’t wait for the brownies to be done.
    Deb, you are my favorite food blogger, hands down. I go to you first before any other site. Please keep up this amazing work of yours. I am now onto Oatmeal Cookies sans icing and filled with marshmallow cream. Umh.

  370. Grace

    Hey there! Is there any tip/trick you use to get your brownies so flat? Mine rose a bit in the middle and there was no way I could slice them so neatly :/ Still delicious though! TIA

    1. deb

      Grace — Not sure why yours puffed, but I always get my brownies very cold before cutting them, makes cleaner lines. Also, I’ve learned from readers over the years that a plastic knife also cuts brownies very nicely, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  371. Morgan

    Came to compare a cocoa brownie recipe I tried a few days ago with any you may have. Well, well, well… the recipe posted is the same one I found on an web search. And it was FANTASTIC! My cookies came out delicious and fudgey with a wonderful crisp sugar topping. Thank you for the insight.

  372. Theda

    I live in Shanghai, and threw these together this morning to bring as a Christmas offering to my Chinese colleagues. They disappeared before I even got to try one, and everyone keeps coming up to me and asking, “where did you buy them?” Thank you Deb!

  373. Grace

    Instead of slicing bake and forth with a serrated knife to cut through the crusty top layer I decided to press the knife in instead and it cut them into perfect little squares! Still not sure why they rise though, but I’m not complaining too much cos it tastes great! Gonna make another batch today (:

  374. Best brownies I have ever, ever had. I had the same qualms about the no-chocolate, but those are long gone. I’ll never use another recipe. Alice Medrich FTW!!!!!

  375. Alix

    I just made these last night for the first time when I late night brownie craving hit me. They were delicious! I might have slightly over baked them but none the less, they were a total hit. I found they were the perfect balanced of chocolate and sweet without being too much so. I used the microwave method mentioned in another comment to melt the sugar, butter and cocoa and I worked wonderfully! Thank you for the recipe!

  376. Eleanor

    Did the mix split for you? I increased everything to a 3 egg mix and after the 3rd egg it split. I can only think that my butter had too much water in it from the freezer or I used too much.

    Very strange.

  377. Kirsten

    These really are the best brownies I’ve ever had evvvver. And I really appreciate that they only call for cocoa rather than solid chocolate (I can’t keep solid chocolate in the house because my husband just eats all of it). I’ll make these again and again!

  378. Lisa

    BTW I skipped the “set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water” part and just used a heavy saucepan on low heat, turned out fine.

  379. Paula B.

    Just realized that this was the first recipe I had ever made from here, silly me. I made again yesterday, again with good ol’ Hershey’s cocoa. We had a day playing cards as many of us had a were off from school with what is becoming a weekly bizzard around here! These brownies are just so unbelievebly rich there just aren’t adequate adjectives to describe. This time I added a dash of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of cappucino flavored instant coffee granules, and a mix of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips, oh my!!! Everybody requested the recipe…oh, and mine come clean from the toothpick test at twenty minutes. You are indeed a genius!

  380. Ella

    I stayed up until 3 am making these last night, then woke up my fiancé (who had to wake up for work at 6) to try one. They are EXQUISITE. Perfect texture throughout instead of crunchy on the outside and soggy in the middle. I didn’t let them cool completely before cutting — it was pushing sunrise! — but they still cut fairly cleanly into nice squares.

    I made one tweak: I took half of a big bar of Cortes chocolate, the kind you use to make hot chocolate, and rough chopped it with a cleaver. I added that to the batter instead of nuts. It left slightly gooey pockets of chocolate boost everywhere, and because it’s not meant for eating straight but for making HoCho, it’s a tiny bit bitter — the perfect complement to these already cocoa-tangy babies.

    It did take them over an hour to bake, but they baked evenly and didn’t burn anywhere. The oven hasn’t been malfunctioning otherwise, so I don’t know what to make of that.

    The fiancé loved them so much that he didn’t mind losing the sleep to get a glass of milk and have another. He loves him some box mix brownies, and said these are infinitely better. He took some to work for lunch — I won’t be surprised if I have to make more before the week is out!

  381. Merritt

    Oh man. This is The One. I have been searching for The Brownie Recipe for Me my whole life, and this is it! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  382. These. Were. Delicious. Loved the box mix texture! And can I just say a big THANK YOU for putting your baking measurements in grams? I live in Norway now and it is always SO FRUSTRATING to try to translate my old American recipes to dl, and weight is so much more convenient anyways! I hope that more Americans start cooking this way, it’s so much easier- and makes for much less cleaning!

  383. Ruthie

    made these once again. amazing. this time, added some chipotle/cayenne for some spice.

    I reiterate, from my past posts waaayy back…use a plastic knife to cut. not problems with snags.

  384. Beth

    I made these today and had only white whole wheat flour in the house so I used it and they are excellent. added a little cayenne for kick and used one cup coconut palm sugar which is also the only sugar I had in the house and WOW. They cut with plastic knife, but I did put them in the fridge for about 20 min.

  385. Cindy

    The BEST! I made this, tonight, for dessert. Dinner was the spaghetti with lemon and olive oil that you posted 2/24/11. A great meal!

  386. Cait

    I have been making these brownies for a year as my go-to favorite brownie, but Bon Appetit’s slight adjustments to Alice’s recipe published in the February 2011 issue put them even further over the top than I ever thought they could go (and if anyone reads comments on these old posts I highly recommend this little adaptation—it’s very much in Deb’s wheelhouse). They add 2 extra Tbsp of the cocoa, double the vanilla to 1 tsp, use a little less flour (1/3 C + 1Tbsp, or 48.6 g), and BROWN THE BUTTER before adding the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and salt. The flavor is the same amazing flavor (maybe even a little better) but the texture just blows you away.
    http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/02/cocoa_brownies_with_browned_butter_and_walnuts

  387. Hi! How much does a large egg weight? I used two eggs but my batter didn´t look shinny like yours, it still looked grittled and I´m thinking it´s the egg, please HELP!!

  388. K

    I scaled this up for a 9×9 pan because that’s all I had, and thought I’d share the measurements in case anyone else wants to do it that way —- 12.5 Tbsp/176 g butter; 350 g sugar; 102.5 g cocoa; 1/3 tsp salt; 5/8 tsp vanilla; 2 extra-large or jumbo eggs; 82.5 g all-purpose flour; 3/4 c nuts. It comes out the same depth, so the baking time is the same. Hope that helps someone!

  389. Hi Deb, just wanted you to know that I tried this recipe in the weekend, looking for a chewy brownie recipe as that is the kind my husband likes. I added a bit of Dulce de leche and gave it away to a birthday boy (who absolutely loved it) and save a few bits for us the next day. If you could only had seen the eyes of my hungover husband – boy did they light up after one bite! Thanks again for this!

  390. Linda

    Oh dear. I just baked these and everything went horribly right. I risk eating myself to a size “SH” (small horse) but thankfully I have many brownie loving friends. I consider this a win. Also, you’re absolutely correct with the extra time it takes to set. Thanks for the tip. Love this blog.

  391. c.c.

    brownies are not even near the top of my very long “most-craved desserts” but i am pregnant and i wanted, no NEEDED, something really, really bad for me today. so of course i came over to SK, and these caught my eye. these. are so. amazing. i added a pinch each of cayenne and generic “chili powder” and used the flaky sea salt tip. i also was able to successfully melt the butter/cocoa/sugar with just a saucepan on the lowest of low heat and a watchful eye, and a rubber spatula worked beautifully for everything. i was a tiny bit low on cocoa so i added less than an ounce of baking chocolate to the melted mixture. BLISS.

  392. Melea

    I have had a long time brownie box mix preference so I really appreciated your note to people like me. These were perfect brownies and have won me over to the homemade side of the brownie world. Thanks!

  393. Melissa

    I cam across your site originally in search of Car Bomb cupcakes, which have been a hit at every party and ceili they’ve gone to. In the past two days I have made the herbed squash and potato tart and the crispy black bean and slaw tacos.

    And now these. So easy, so fast, so tasty. I looked at my boyfriend, as we discussed dessert and said, “or I could make brownies”. I swear, I was waving a plate of warm, fudgy brownies under his nose before he knew what happened. Love that it’s all mixed up in one bowl, too. Minimal clean up!

  394. HTT

    These look great! And I am quite a box-mix lover, but I’ve been trying to learn things from bottom up. Will definitely give these a try today. Do you think that the substitution of butter-flavored shortening for butter will affect the brownies?

  395. Cait

    I love these brownies because:

    1. I always have all the ingredients on hand.
    2. In the oven in 30 minutes.
    3. Out of the oven in 30 minutes.
    4. All Gone in 30 minutes.
    5. Easy to bake, easy to take along. (Either as a mix, as a previous poster suggested, or baked and ready.)
    6. They DO keep for days on end. (You know, when you intend to bring some to a party, then accidentally leave them in a airtight container in the bottom of your bag and forget about them, only to rediscover them 10 days later at dinner time, sitting in rush-hour traffic, starving, hoping to find something edible materialize in the bottom of your – what’s that? BROWNIES at the bottom of my bag? Jackpot! Who needs dinner!?)

  396. Allie

    THANK YOU!

    I just wanted to say that I am a recent but HUGE fan of this blog. I was having a terrible day, decided to try this insanely easy recipe, and now have a smile back on my face! They are heaaaaavvvveeennn in a bite. :)

  397. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for the loveliest brownies I’ve ever had the pleasure of baking! I love your blog, and will be making these for the inaugural post on my blog, with credit to you, of course. :)

  398. may

    Thank you for another wonderful recipe! I just made a batch and my husband and I couldn’t wait for the brownies to cool down before having some with cold milk. We each took a bite, looked at each other, and both were floored by how wonderful these are. This is definitely my kind of chocolate dessert – rich and dense but not overly sweet. It is so good that you only need a small square. I will have to keep a tin of cocoa powder in my pantry at all times just so I can make these whenever the mood strikes. Thank you for yet another favorite!

  399. nancy

    I just have to make these brownies, so I have ordered Valhrona cocoa powder and have a question: I ordered online, and the seller suggested the cocoa powder be put in a heat protection bag…does that mean that I should keep this in the fridge? I live in Hawaii where the weather is warm. Advice appreciated.

    Btw….I ordered this from Chocosphere, who by far had the best prices and shipping costs.

    1. deb

      The cocoa powder should be protected to extend its shelf life. Brownies kept in the fridge will also last longer, but they can also be stored at room temperature. Personally, I prefer mine cold.

  400. Deidre

    Ditto on Bon Appetit’s version of this – everyone who tried them raved. I’ve never heard so many times from so many people, “The BEST brownies I’ve ever had.”

  401. Treva

    Cutting brownies (even warm) with a plastic knife is the way to go…it doesn’t stick and rip the top like a metal knife does.

  402. Not to get all copy editor on ya, but you’ve misspelled Alice Medrich’s name. She is far too accomplished and awesome a lady to have her name be rhyming with “schmendrik.” Am I right?

    I have made these brownies many times over the past year, including about 10 batches that were requested by a good friend to be served at her wedding (a great accoutrement to a tres leches wedding cake, btw).

    I am considering making them for Passover, swapping out matzoh meal for the flour – or possibly a combo of matzoh meal and almond flour. Any chance you’ve tried this before? Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    1. deb

      Thanks, thought I’d fixed them all but I’d missed one! Someone in the comments of my current post said something about swapping half potato starch and half matzo cake meal for the flour in this recipe and finding it to be delicious. Please let me know if you try it, so I can do the same!

  403. Claire

    I made these for a coworker’s birthday today. I’m a pretty solid baker, though I’ve always stuck to standard cocoa brownie recipes. But I was floored by how delicious these were. My coworkers were floored by how delicious these were. So thank you; you’re helping me achieve fame in my office as “the person who brings in spectacularly amazing baked goods.”

  404. Hi again,

    I made them swapping the same amount of matzoh cake meal for the AP flour – no potato starch, just cake meal. The change was basically indiscernible- in other words, completely fantastic. They were a big hit at both last night’s and tonight’s seder. Thanks!

  405. Neera

    Made these yesterday. These are absolutely the most amazing brownies! I used Maldon salt (1/2 tsp) and Droste cocoa powder. So so so so yum!

  406. Ashley

    Oh my goodness. I have made this recipe several times. I bake these alot. Well all these commenters talked about how they added stuff which I have never added before. I just made a batch and added a little cayenne, cinnamon, and some walnuts. THEY ARE SUPER GOOD. Warm and cinnamony and awesome. :D Yum!! :)

  407. Just made these and I added toasted almonds a welcome crunch and lovely contrast in textures. I keep mine stashed in the freezer. This is a perfect recipe. I would recomend decreasing the sugar to 1 cup if adding a layer of frosting.

  408. Suzy

    These were so good, and came together so quickly! It was an hour from when I started to when I could eat. Perfect study break. Thanks Deb, your recipes are getting me through finals week!

  409. Chloe

    I made these for the first time today, and I was floored. They. Are. The. Best. Brownies. E.V.E.R.! Dense, chewy and chocolatey, which are all the characteristics that make a brownie good for me. I will never use another recipe ever again, not even one with melted chocolate.

  410. I made these a week ago, when I was desperate for a chocolate fix. I can still taste their yummy chocolate goodness! I will definitely be making these again & again. Thanks for the best cocoa brownies ever! :)

  411. Hillary

    These brownies were verrry good, and I only needed to use one bowl for the batter! Next time, I would up the salt content because that’s just how I like it, and, though I added walnuts to this batch, I think I would omit them next time. I might also experiment with the sugar content, try reducing it by 1/4 c just because the cocoa’s so dang good! For the sake of transparency, I did use some high quality E Guittard Dutch-process cocoa. They definitely transported me to the box brownies days of old, which I have no shame in admitting I loved. These were no exception!

  412. Lee Anne

    Deb, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It should not be possible to make something as wildly decadent as this with so little effort! I shared the link to this recipe with my friends living overseas, who like me, often have limited access to ingredients. The simple ingredients and steps in this recipe have made it a huge hit within our circle, friends in Bulgaria, Zimbabwe and Kenya immediately heading for their kitchens to try it out! They thanked me for sharing, but really the thanks goes to you! Brownie mix will never be requested by us in a care package again! :)

  413. Lee Anne

    I’m sorry, I forgot I had more gushing to do: I absolutely love how detailed and precise you are in your recipes. Details such as “the batter will be gritty, but it will be ok” is really, really helpful. I often find myself cooking your recipes thinking, “Yep, this looks exactly how Deb said it would.” Thanks for not only posting awesome recipes, but taking the guess-work out of it too!

  414. Hannah

    Hi Deb! Just made this. Absolutely wonderful! I was wondering if you need an intern for the summer. I will be finishing an internship with the pastry chef at Hearth (in the East Village) mid June and starting college in September. Please email me if you’re interested and I’ll send my resume.

  415. Kimi

    It’s 100 degrees in NYC today but I’ve been craving chocolate so I’m going to try this recipe seeing as the response has been great so far. I’ll sub the white sugar for brown and maybe add a few of these mint chips to half and see what happens!
    Comment after the jump.

  416. Erin

    I just made these brownies and they are delicious! Perfectly gooey and extreme chocolate flavor. Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  417. Kimi

    So I made the brownies and whoa.. DELICIOUS. The brown sugar probably made them a little chewier but there were NO complaints. I even made them again yesterday for a party last night and there were literally NO crumbs on the platter.
    Great recipe. Will definitely use again and again.
    THANKS!

  418. angelique

    Im about to make these now, with chocolate extract instead of essence and dark brown sugar because i don’t have any white.. they’re going to be intense!!

  419. Mary

    Deb, can I double this recipe and put it in a 9×13 pan? Otherwise I am making 120 brownies with one 8×8 pan. Thanks!
    PS – I am totally starstruck when you answer questions from little old me!

  420. Wow, the amount of comments says it all! I have to try this recipe, I haven’t found the perfect brownie recipe yet but I hope this is it! I love the brownie mix gift idea!

  421. Kate

    Made these with coconut oil instead of butter (minus a few tablespoons), a splash of milk to compensate for the moisture, and mint extract instead of vanilla. Fantastic!

  422. I love love love love love to infinity these brownies. I am going to use these over all of my other brownie recipes from now on. They’re like heavenly bliss in brownie form.

  423. Wow, that looks yummy..Since I love to eat brownies, I am going to tell my mom to bake that one for me..!My mom is really a good baker, we even have a bake shop..Thanks for sharing the recipe.You are truly great.!!

  424. Eli

    excellent brownies! After a quick cooling in the freezer I took out a pastry brush and brushed a thin layer of ganache over the brownies, and they turned out very well. I will definitely make these again.

  425. Sarah Jane

    It’s crazy hot here in Austin and I didn’t want to turn the oven on, but I can fit an 8×8 pan in my toaster oven. They took a while to set (about 45 minutes) but they were perfect.

  426. Ya know I read this and I didn’t think you could make anything good with Cocoa. So I kind of didn’t believe this when I read it but I decided to give it a shot and all I can say is wow. These things are great. I can finally say you can make something that not only is good but is delicious with cocoa.

    Thanks for the great post :-)

  427. Frecklefest

    I’ve made these brownies a few times with gluten-free flour and they are excellent. Really works because of there isn’t much flour in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  428. Just discovered this recipe tonight when I had a powerful craving for brownies and realized the only chocolate in the house was unsweetened cocoa. I subbed a tablespoon of espresso powder for one tablespoon of cocoa, which gave them an extra rich, dark flavor. The texture is spectacular. Like a few commenters above, I often prefer box brownies, but never again. This is my new go-to brownie.

  429. I tried a melding of the two types of brownies: both cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate… and added bacon and sea salt. They were out of control.
    I love your blog and find it fun when we’re cooking similar things.

  430. KW

    I got home with a brownie craving and thought “I should make that ‘best cocoa brownies’ recipe from my old recipe book.” But then I thought, “I’ve only just started reading Smitten Kitchen – I should see what she recommends.” Hilarious to find the same Medrich recipe here, which just confirms that we share excellent taste.

  431. Emily W

    Just wanted to chime in on what a delicious, easy, rich-tasting recipe this is. It’s now become my go-to brownie recipe, partly because whenever I bring the little squares to a potluck, people grab them off the plate with unseemly haste (so moist and chocolate-y looking) and then, invariably request the recipe from me. And partly because I always save a few at home to eat the next morning with cold milk. Now, THAT’S a breakfast!
    BTW, I’ve been using Callebaut Belgian Chocolate (Dutched; 22-24% fat, on line from WorldWideChocolate.com for $26.95 a kilo–2.2 #. ( BUT then I have to pay $11 shipping.) Valhrona is also available from this source for about $1.00 more; now that I’ve read everyone’s comments, I’m going to order this cocoa powder next time. Thanks!

  432. Oh my god, these are the most delicious brownies I have had in a long time, definitely the most delicious ones *I* have ever made. I needed to make a couple of time/temperature adjustments (340 degrees and about 40 minutes), but they came out just awesome.

    The husband and I tried them when they were still warm (couldn’t wait), and they were like fluffy fudge with a little bit of crispness on top. I feel like they’re more dense than other brownies I’ve had, but I’m not complaining. My husband loves them, and he’s very very picky about baked goods. He said they were the most “satisfying, decadent” dessert he’s ever had, and if I wasn’t in the house, he’d eat the whole batch in one night.

  433. Franziska

    I must say that whilst making the dough I was pretty sure these brownies would turn into a disaster, the dough being way to thick and dry. However, after adding an extra egg, the finished product was brilliant and everyone loved them. Maybe Australian large eggs are just smaller than American ones?!

  434. kath

    Hi Tanya – this is a link to my fav brownie recipe from the sadly now past episodes of ABC Cook and the chef – http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/txt/s2049158.htm

    the dried pear is delicious, and have used dried figs or dried cranberries too – all amazing! I’m going to try your brownie recipe asap! I saw a pic of Van H dutch cocoa in your site somewhere – so good isn’ t it!
    Kath

  435. These look like they are exactly the kind of brownies I always crave. I’ve never actually made brownies from scratch because I love the texture of box brownies, but I think these will make me switch to homemade. Now I just need to buy cocoa!

  436. Thank you for this recipe. I got lost a few minutes ago, went to Shuna’s blog, swooned over her writing about chocolate, went somewhere else, saved a few sites I’d not seen before, then finally made my way back here to thank you, also, for the great ride. :)

  437. Cupcake Girl

    Deb, I made these for my family last night: they were AMAZING! so chocolatey, so rich, and so so good. Sadly though, they were so rich I could only have one bite size piece before feeling completely satisfied: such a shame.
    In mine though, I used dark chocolate cocoa powder (Hersheys special dark). Personally, I loved them this way, but do you think they’d taste better with regular cocoa powder? The Dutch process cocoa is particularly hard to find, so usually all I have on hand is regular cocoa. Do they taste the same/better with regular? Thanks!

  438. ann

    We love these brownies! My family is crazy for them, as we are all chocolate lovers. We are pretty spontaneous too and since everything in the recipe is stuff we have in the cupboard anyhow, it makes for a fantastic simple dessert…clearly many folks agree. Thank you so much Smitten Kitchen!

  439. Sabina sophia

    I just made these yesterday night and had one for breakfast, they are incredible ! And such clean brownie too, virtually no dishes to do at all, which makes it go waaaay up in my Best Brownie List ! And third best thing, i didn’t have to pull out my beater at midnight, otherwise my neighbour would have killed me (though warm brownies right out of the oven might hve calmed her down). So, hurray for your recipe, thanks for posting it !

  440. Jo

    Hi from New Zealand! I thought I’d add my praise of this recipe if that’s okay :)

    I just made these, and it’s the second time. This is definitely my go-to brownie recipe. I can attest to the wonderful magic that is dutched cocoa; the end product is a moist, dark, cocoa-ey brownie. What I like about this recipe is that it creates a gourmet brownie, but (as stated in the above comment), BARELY ANY DISHES!

    The only change I made was, when I trebled the recipe (something I do for everything I make), I cut down on the sugar by 1 cup. Was still sweet and divine without it! Thank you so, so much for this recipe!

  441. Oh yum, my mouth was watering just looking at the pictures and reading the recipe. Have stayed away from Brownies over just not getting the right taste and texture but this one seems a big winner. Thank you.

  442. I’ve been in love with your site & your recipes for awhile now!
    Thank you for being so awesome lady!

    I’ve now made these brownies twice using Valrhona (which I’ve been obsessed with for the past 4 months) and both times have elicited an exclamation from my boyfriend something akin to “Holy Shit! This is the best thing you’ve ever made” —–> and I cook often and pretty well for him. Lucky boy.

    I’ve just baked a batch for my friend as a Thank You gift…
    oh yeah. Keeper.

    thank you for sharing this recipe—>*swoon*
    now for seconds, with milk.

  443. Just messed up on these and accidentally used 2 tbsp or so of cinnamon instead of the extra 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, substituted powdered sugar for about half of the asked-for sugar, and used rosewater instead of vanilla. They still came out damn excellent. I love this recipe more than I love Christmas….considering I’m a jew that may not be saying much but still.

  444. Emily

    Just made these tonight as I did not have any bar chocolate. They were amazing. Basically fudge that can be called a brownie. I added some mini-chips instead of the nuts. WOW!

  445. Anna

    I JUST took these out of the oven for a potluck tonight. I’m totally going to have to change my shirt before I go because this one is covered in cocoa powder. But the brownies smell delicious! (Actually, I’m probably going to miss said potluck for a lovely night of doing homework…and eating a pan of brownies).

  446. Stephanie

    I had a huge chocolate craving last night, came here to see if I could find any recipe for cookies or something that had the ingredients I had on hand, found this. Delicious!! I’d eat the whole thing, but that probably wouldn’t be too good for the waistline, so I brought some to work today, let me say that the Air Force love these and they now think that if graphic design doesn’t work out for me, I should open a bakery. ;) Ahhhh, I might just need to make some more of these next week!!

  447. Mariam

    Wow! I just made these brownies after I realized I had little to send in the kids’ school lunches tomorrow…yes, count them if you must we have nine children… I think I have found a new favorite brownie recipe!
    I did the first steps in the microwave but was worried because initially it was incredibly thick and gritty. I had my doubts when I added the eggs and could see the butter seperating out into a greasy mess, but I continued on. By the time I added the last egg, and then the flour, It was amazing! Smooth, fudgy velvety goodness… I doubled the recipe and it was perfect for a 9×13 pan, which also required about 12 minutes longer baking at 325. Just for fun, I threw a handful of chopped (untoasted) cashews on top. They toasted in the baking process and OMG…They smell divine…Taste divine, and now, I have toyed with the idea of hiding them to eat while all the kids are at school…selfish I know. (These are the thoughts of my villanous inner life which never really play into reality) But it’s nice to wish… This recipe is economical when compared to the price of baking chocolate….and a tastebud tickler…go for it! Thanks Smitten Kitchen!

  448. Nadia

    Just made these, and it’s official: these are the best brownies I’ve ever had. Chewy, fudgey, delicious. This is going to be my go-to recipe from now on. They are quite sweet, though. I think you could probably reduce the sugar a little and they would still be just as good. This is also a great recipe for someone like me who usually has cocoa on hand, but not chocolate, because it just gets eaten. Thanks! Love the site!

  449. Carrie

    Ooh, these were wonderful!! I added some chocolate chips on top after they were done baking, put them back in the oven to melt and then transferred them to the freezer. Before serving, I decorated with shaved chocolate {microplane + chocolate bar}. Thank you!

  450. I agree that this is the best cocoa brownies ( I’ve ever made). I love your style of cooking. Only one thing I always change in your sweet recipe is to cut the sugar down about 30%. In this case, I used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 1 1/4 cups and added unsweetened shredded coconuts. This is going to be my bookmarks. Thank you, Deb :))

  451. Hey! We baked these brownies and sold them at a school carnival and they were sold out really quickly! We love these brownies for their chocolatey goodness and gooeyness! Thank you for this wonderful recipe (:

  452. Meemz

    Hi,

    Can u plz tell me what instructions would be on the papers if i were to turn those into gifts? I don’t know what order to add the liquids in to the dried ingredients since the wet and dry ingredients are added at different stages in the real recipe.

    1. deb

      For anyone who’d like to give this brownie recipe as a homemade “box-mix” gift, here’s how I’d go about it:

      Ingredients for your gift box:
      Bag 1: Sugar + cocoa + salt
      Bag 2: Flour + nuts (if using)

      Ingredients your gift recipient will need:
      10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces or 141 grams) unsalted butter
      1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      2 large eggs, cold
      8×8-inch square baking pan
      Parchment paper or foil to line pan

      Directions for “gift mix” brownies:
      1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

      2. Combine the contents of Bag 1 and your butter in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out. [This step can also be completed in a microwave.]

      3. Stir in your vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the contents of Bag 2 and stir until you cannot see the flour any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

      4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes though it can occasionally take up to 10 additional minutes for them to set. Let cool completely on a rack.

      5. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

  453. Lisa

    Deb, I really must thank you for this recipe – Definitely a keeper for years to come! Like others I have also tried the butter+sugar+cocoa step in the microwave and they always come out perfect. Brownie perfection.

  454. Made these with coconut oil instead of butter (minus a few tablespoons), a splash of milk to compensate for the moisture, and mint extract instead of vanilla. Fantastic!

  455. Jamie

    These look a lot like the brownie recipe I got from Bon Appetit last year – except that recipe has you brown the butter first, then start adding the other ingredients. It has become my go-to “I need CHOCOLATE” week-day night recipe. I like to sprinkle them with coarse sea-salt before baking and they are Ah-mazing!

    I also never thought cocoa-powder was good for anything but hot chocolate, but it makes some kick-ass brownies.

  456. emily

    This is a great recipe, I love it because I always have cocoa around. Just tried melting the butter in a heavy bottom pan, then adding the sugar, cocoa & salt directly into the pan…eventually cooling a bit and adding the rest of the ingredients, so no bowl at all. Turned out just as good!

  457. Carrie

    Growing up, I always made brownies with cocoa- this is the best recipe out there. I just made these (again!) using dark brown sugar, and added 2 tsp ginger, 1.5 tsp cinnamon and .25 tsp cloves, and voila! Gingerbread brownies! Delicious!

  458. Omar

    Yay! Another winner from Deb! I bought some Valrhona cocoa powder recently and was chomping at the bit for something to do with it. This recipe is a real winner. I like how you advised that this would be good for fans of boxed mixes, which are what I grew up eating with and did sing the praises of. As I am now a “from scratch” baker, I really appreciate these. Truly delicious. I will serve them with some good vanilla ice cream and some toasted pecans. Thanks.

  459. Ashley S- Iowa

    I like the idea that these brownies have a rich texture and are not super sweet. My daughter really isn’t a fan of chocolate, yet I would like to give these a try to see if they are something she would enjoy. Putting the brownies is the fridge or freezer is something you always do, or just with this recipe of brownies? Thank you, I’m excited to try and make them for my family lefse day this weekend!

  460. Matt

    Oh dear. I made these (with the metric measurements because I am from the UK) cooked them at 160c for 30 minutes. Crispy outside, nowhere near cooked inside. Not sure what I did wrong but they were so disappointing. Tasty batter though.

    My vegan brownie recipes (no chocolate just cocoa) cooked a lot more evenly and quicker.

    Not sure what I did wrong here.

  461. Ashley S- Iowa

    I just wanted to let you know that I made these over the weekend and they were perhaps the best brownies I’ve ever had. Everyone raved about them. The cooking time seemed to take right around the 30-35 min mark but that’s because we were under the notion that when cooking in glass baking dishes you cook 25 degrees cooler (which was NOT the case with these- we ended up turning them back up to 325). Once again, these were phenomenal and the very first brownies I’ve ever baked from scratch!!

  462. Robin

    I made this recipe last Christmas as part of my baking for gift baskets and this year it is the ONLY thing I am baking. SO glad I found you online again because I’d lost the copy I’d written out. I do mine in mini muffin pan as a bite size treat and just a touch undercooked,then I place a rolo upside down in the center before they cool. I’ve never seen a plate clear so fast:)

  463. Laura

    YUM! I know I’m late to comment here, but these are amazing. I dusted them with powdered sugar and they look and taste scrumptious.

  464. April

    Wow! I have been looking for a good brownie recipe using cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate. I LOVE THESE BROWNIES!!! Perfect texture and so delicious tasting!

    Thanks!

  465. Char

    Oh my, that’s a lot of comments… I just wanted to add my thanks to the rest for posting this recipe – it’s now my go-to brownie recipe – and to report that I’ve tried both doubling the recipe for a 9×13 pan (it worked fine, but I don’t remember if I had to increase the baking time – probably yes), and that I’ve made them gluten free by substituting an equal weight of sorghum flour for the AP flour – and no one who tried them could tell!

  466. Leah

    Thank you, thank you, for such a delicious recipe! I just made these for the fourth time, and as always they’re perfect and I got so many compliments – I took no credit, and just referred them to this site. A couple small adjustments that may help other readers: 1) lining the pan while waiting for the butter/cocoa/sugar mixture to cool after microwaving saved a few minutes (I was pressed for time), 2) adding half a bag of chocolate chips instead of nuts was a delicious addition, and 3) I doubled the recipe in a 9×13 pan for 35 minutes, and only had a 150 gram bag of cocoa (missing about 1/4 cup) – and the brownies still came out great. Thanks so much!!!

  467. Erin

    I made these in an 8″ x 8″ silicon pan without spray or parchment and they worked perfectly. They slid right out and kept their shape well when cut.

  468. Maddie

    I’m a student and have never baked brownies from scratch before. I was trying to be a little ambitious today instead of making my standby banana bread.They turned out AMAZING. Thank you so much for not only the great recipes but also the narratives! Also, a little shout out to not just you but also the commenters for always putting in such helpful hints and tips. For a novice baker/cook it is so great to get information on how to fix little issues that I come across!

  469. Haley

    So yummy! Just made them! They’re super rich so cutting them into small pieces is a great idea. No need for more than a few bites to get your fix! :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  470. Caroline

    Hi! Just made these for the second time and they are so frickin good! Really chocolately and fantastic texture. I used the microwave method for melting and used regular old Hersheys cocoa and they are great. If you use the microwave method they are one bowl brownies too! Thanks!

  471. Sophia

    The most delicious brownies EVER! I added walnuts to mine, and cut them into 25 pieces hoping that I could eat just one little brownie square at a time, and learn some self-control..but no..the are just way TOO good..I probably would have been better off not cutting them at all, and eating the entire pan in one gigantic brownie square given my endless indulgence!

  472. Kate

    Have made these many times as written and they’ve always been gorgeous. Had an egg crisis today and subbed in flax eggs, and to my surprise they turned out! The only differences were a bit less rise, a slightly nutty taste, and a little gooier, fudgier texture, not necessarily a bad thing in a brownie!

  473. Gillian

    These are delicious and so easy to make! Instead of nuts, I added 2/3 cup of organic shredded coconut, and instead of vanilla (I was all out) I added a few drops of pure almond extract. The coconut added great texture and flavour, especially combined with the almond extract. Everyone who tried them wanted more!

  474. these turned out really great! what a wonderfully dark and dense surprise! thanks v much for sharing. i will try more of your beautifully photographed recipes :)

  475. Ellyn

    I’ve been making this recipe for years, but I was wondering–would this recipe work with the white chocolate brownie recipe you use for the white and dark hearted brownies, or is there a difference in brownie height between the two recipes?

  476. Jay

    Probably no one’s going to read this far down the comments, but for the person who does – this is the only brownie recipe you will ever need, period. I was super skeptical because my previous go-to was a Martha Stewart recipe that requires melted chocolate bars. However, despite it being my favorite, I secretly wished it was less cake-like. This cocoa brownie recipe makes THE perfect brownie – candy chew top and edge, rich and fudgy middle. I can’t believe there are comments here claiming that this recipe makes brownies that are too “grown-up” or “bitter.” What’s your definitive chocolate experience, Nestle Kwik in skim?

  477. Oh yum! This recipe was great. Very fudgy and not very cake like. It comes together in a snap, too. I heated the cocoa/butter/sugar in a pot on direct low heat, stirring constantly. I also served them with a chunky peanut butter frosting (quarter cup soft butter, quarter cup chunky PB, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk). Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven – it was awesome!

  478. Kay

    THESE ARE AMAZING!!! I made them today, and they have got to be the best brownies I have ever made… And I’ve made a lot! They are so chewy and moist. I did however find that bakers chocolate squares works great! I was out of cocoa, so I used the chocolate squares and a bit less butter to compensate for the extra fat in the baking squares. They are awesome! Thank you sooooo much for this recipe!!! I love all your recipes so far. Thanks again:)

  479. Gwen

    Just wanted to say for the record that these work beautifully with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all-purpose flour. They take about 35 minutes to bake and need to cool completely before cutting, but they taste delicious.

  480. McKinzie

    I made these today as the brownie layer of howsweeteats.com ‘s s’mores brownies and they were great! Every time I make these brownies, I add 1/4 cup sugar and bake them for 35 minutes. The first time I followed the directions to a T other than debs upped baking time(thank goodness!), I had bitter brownies. Now I make them all the time and they’re my favorite brownie recipe out there!

  481. Marina

    Here’s what I had to do when I didn’t have:
    * enough cocoa – just had 64grams, so I added 30grams of chocolate (65%) and left out a tbsp of butter;
    * vanilla – put some cinammon in for flavor and then remembered it should have been something liquidy and put 1/2 tsp whiskey, too;
    * enough nuts – I only had about 40 grams of hazelnuts and put them in;
    * a proper pan – mine are all either too small or too big, so I used 2 – one 6×6 inch and one 7×4. I baked both things at the same time for about half an hour.
    They are still cooling, but look and smell good, so I think everything went ok :)

  482. Komal

    I just made these last night and they are divine! To make them extra chocolaty I added a half teaspoon of espresso powder. Then I topped them off with homemade salted caramel because I just couldn’t help myself. If I had walnuts on hand I would have added those too lol. Super easy and tasty recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

  483. Molly

    I made these the other day, but I added 1/2 tsp baking powder (because I thought the recipe called for it, I cannot read ) . I also ran out of cocoa and added 2 tbsp of coffee instead. It came out absolutely divine, with the crunchy top and was exactly as sweet and as bitter as I wanted it. Made me very happy :)

  484. Gambit

    if you want to get really even cuts in your brownies, fill a heavy bottomed cup or deep bowl with the hottest tap water and let your knife blade get hot for a couple of minutes in the water. Be sure to wipe the water on the blade with a clean dry towel first. Enjoy!

  485. I made these today and added some marzipan to them. Poured half the batter into the pan then added the marzipan and then added the rest of the batter. So delicious. Fudgy and dense. A big hit all around! Thanks for another great recipe!

  486. Janice

    A bit dry for me and crumbly. Maybe less flour because there’s a lot of cocoa powder in it. I put half muscovado sugar and half granulated. I used hazelnuts instead but only half of the recipe and added chocolate chips. It’s nice. If it’s more fudgy it would have been really great.