Getting Baked With Liz: Episode Two — Brownies So Perfect They Need a Warning



Approximation of Liz, 20-plus years ago
  • Approximation of Liz, 20-plus years ago

The first time we met, I talked you through the emotional roller coaster that is whipping up the perfect classic chocolate chip cookie. Remember how great you felt? If memory serves, you said things like, "I'm so excited..." and "Oh, Elizabeth!"

This time, I offer for your culinary consideration, the elusive brownie: Though I've enjoyed this gooey, chocolately treat for most of my life, I never even considered making them from scratch. Don't ask me why. They just seemed complicated, and the box is cheap and I tend to be lazy. Then my college roommate posted this recipe on her blog a couple years ago, and, after a few trials with other, less successful recipes, I've been a faithful follower.

Hate to brag, but these brownies are the best. They nail the essence of what brownies should be: They're chewy, with crisp tops and soft centers. And, they're not sick-to-your-stomach sweet. Bonus — they're easy. And dare I utter it, but they might even be easier than a box. The best part is that you probably always have the ingredients on hand, so they're simple to whip up for dessert or to drop off anytime at the Scene offices in just 30 short minutes from start to finish (travel time to Scene office excluded).

Voila: The perfect brownie.
  • Voila: The perfect brownie.
Also, instead of overdoing it for a group of 10 to 15 like the box recipe, this version makes the perfect serving for a more realistic 6 to 8. (Tip: I find them best chilled, because the center stays soft and chewy in this recipe.)

• an oven
• a baking dish that’s 8x8, or close to it, and butter/Pam for it
• a medium sized pot

• 1 stick butter (8 tbsp)
• 1/2 c brown sugar
• 1 c white sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 c flour
• 1/2 c cocoa
• Pinch salt
• Tbsp vanilla
• 1/2 c of walnuts (optional)

To make 'em:
•Preheat your oven to 390. Grease your baking dish. Get out a medium-size pot and place it on the stove.
•Put your stick of butter in it and melt it. Make sure not to burn the butter.
•Take it off the heat and set aside for a minute or two to cool.
•Add the sugars to the bowl and stir. The mixture starts to look like caramel and you can marvel at how bad caramel must be for you if all you've used so far is butter and sugar.
•Add the other ingredients. I add the cocoa last, but I'm not sure there's a point to that, and I'm frankly not interested in the science. Just put it all in the pot and mix well.
•Pour into the baking dish. Put in oven. Go watch Real Housewives or American Pickers or Top Gear for 20-25 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy, or pop them in the fridge and enjoy later!

That's it. It uses two dishes and stuff you probably already have. You're going to want to eat these all the time. (I guess that should be a warning: YOU'RE GOING TO WANT TO EAT THESE ALL THE TIME.)

Also, because I'm an art director and not a writer, here's a pdf of the instructions to download!

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