I made these for Edward and Elsa on their first day of school. I chose brownies because they are easy yet impressive... and I only had half a cup of flour on-hand and zero motivation to shop. I Googled brownie recipes and saw guidelines and ratios changed drastically depending on the kind of textural outcome you are looking for. I like a dense, buttery, intensely chocolatey brownie. I wrote this recipe in mid-August around my half cup of flour and re-tested it earlier this week; this time with a milk chocolate buttercream icing and sprinkles on top. My friend Elana told me, "They seemed to be like cake at first and then the chocolate demanded they be brownies." My friend Jacqueline described them as, "A fudge brownie... It has the fudge and brownie texture at the same time." I especially like this recipe because all the batter ingredients can be mixed in one sauce pan, meaning super easy cleanup. Be sure to make these with enough time for them to cool before serving. After about an hour of cooling on a wire rack, 30 minutes in our deep freezer finishes the job. Then they are ready to ice, and cut beautifully into single serving pieces. Both times I have made these, I have snuck from bed after everyone is asleep to have just one more square.
Fudgy Cocoa Brownies
You will need an 8x8 glass baking pan and parchment paper
10 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
7/8 cup, or 65 grams, unsweetened cocoa powder (Penzeys Natural High Fat Cocoa is amazing here)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, cold
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
Position rack in top third of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line pan with two strips of parchment paper, so bottom and sides of pan are covered, and brownies may be lifted out with overhanging paper.
In a medium pan over low heat, slowly melt together butter, shortening, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Once the butter and shortening are melted and the cocoa is mixed well into the melted fats, it will still be gritty.
Remove from heat and let sit a few minutes to cool a bit.
Stir in vanilla with spatula or wooden spoon.
Stir in eggs, one at a time, and being sure to mix well and fully incorporate each egg between additions. After adding the fourth egg, be sure to scrape down sides of pan well and stir until uniform in texture and glossy.
Add sifted flour and baking powder and stir until well combined. At this point, give your batter ten more good stirs. You should have a dark, shimmery batter now.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Give the filled pan a couple of gentle taps on the counter to ensure a level fill.
Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out moist, but not streaked with batter. I start checking how well the center is set when I can smell chocolate.
Remove from oven and let sit in pan for about ten minutes before removing to cooling rack.
Once completely cool, you can frost these or dust them with cocoa and confectioner's sugar.