I have had the worst case of the “mean reds“- as Holly Golightly called that kind of indescribable anxiety in Truman Capote’s novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I have just been avoiding everything I love to do and feeling kind of apathetic towards all of my favourite things. But recently I can see the sun again and I’m feeling a little more like getting back to it. These Brownies are a sure cure for a brown study, the blues or even those evil mean reds.
Brownies are a favourite treat around our house. We make them often and of course I’ve posted about them before. One of my new rules is that I can have a treat if it’s homemade so I know what ingredients are in it and also make sure it is worth the calories.
I can never understand why people use mixes for these. Made from scratch in under a half of an hour with basic ingredients you can keep at the ready, they are easy and so much better when made with real butter and chocolate. I play around with the flavours now and again but the basic recipe remains the same:
Brownies Master Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter- if you even think of using margarine stop now and don’t make these
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate- I usually use Guittard Oban buttons
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Optional add-ins of Espresso powder, chopped chocolate bits, nuts, dried fruit, spices etc. (e.g. chile powder and cinnamon for mole brownies) can substitute other extracts for part of the vanilla such as peppermint, almond or orange etc.
Prepare an 8″ x 8″ pan by buttering and flouring it or lining with parchment- I use parchment because it is so much easier and cleans up fast- I cut two pieces the width of the pan and cross them to completely line the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the butter and chocolate over low heat until smoothly melted remove. In a medium bowl, place the sugar and pour the melted butter and chocolate into it. Stir until cooled. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat in. Add the pinch of salt and vanilla or other extracts. Stir well. Add the flour and any dry spices you might want to add. Stir just until combined. Add in chocolate, nuts or dried fruit now if desired.
Spread in pan and bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes or just until set. Cool (if you can stand to wait) and cut into squares.