Best. Brownies. EVER.

by | Mar 4, 2009 | Food | 9 comments

We make brownies fairly frequently here. Usually on Saturdays, when Dave and I feel like we’re so tired we can barely function, and the only thing that makes sense is a pan of brownies. I experiment with different recipes a lot, because I’m always searching for That Perfect Recipe. Up until now the best I’ve come across is the one on the back of the Ghirardelli Semisweet Chocolate Bar, but it was far, far from perfect.

Then, before our road trip, I decided to make some brownies for the ride (since we’d start our travels on Valentine’s Day, though that was really a flimsy excuse), and I turned to the Smitten Kitchen. I decided to try the Classic Brownies, and I was so excited about them, especially after reading all the comments. But blah, something went wrong, and they ended up as not-very-chocolatey cake.

We actually threw them away, which is saying something.

But then! King Arthur Flour to the rescue! There was a recent Baker’s Banter blog post about their brownie recipe, and the part that really intrigued me was the whole new and different step of melting the butter into the sugar, and then heating it until it was all glossy and lovely, which supposedly makes that shiny crust on top of the brownies. People, this is the perfect recipe. No need to look any more. Fudgey and cakey all at once, with that crackly perfect top crusty thing going on. Oh my goodness.

I did take a photo of pan, featuring Julie’s Fabulous Half-Nuts Half-No-Nuts Craftiness.

(It’s not easy to do, but I pour in half the batter, very quickly mix in nuts into the remaining batter, and then dump that into the other half of the pan. It worked better with this recipe because the batter was thick, but sometimes I have to tilt the pan to keep the No Nuts part on its own side.) (And the big question here is what will happen when Zuzu states a preference, since right now we are 50/50, with Dave and Henry liking nuts and Eli and I on the nutless side. Let’s hope she is diplomatic and likes them both ways, so I don’t have to start figuring out how to divide the brownie pan into fifths.)

I did not take a photo of the finished brownies, because they were so amazing that they were eaten too fast. But they look just like the photo on the King Arthur Flour recipe page. Better, even, maybe.

I also have to take a moment to say how much I love my sugar dispenser, despite the fact that Dave totally mocks me for it, because he says if you need a special sugar dispenser you are eating too much sugar, and then he pantomimes me taking the sugar dispenser and pouring the sugar right into my mouth. Which I don’t do. What I do instead is pour sugar very easily into my measuring cups, rather than wrestling with scooping the sugar out of that stupid sugar bag and getting sugar crystals all over the counter and floor.


  1. Elizabeth

    I hate to mention Jamie Oliver again (as I’m sure I did somewhere on this site), but he also has the BEST brownie recipe ever. Very gooey. And I don’t even like brownies. I think it’s in COOK with Jamie. Love the sugar dispenser, by the way. I have never seen one.

  2. Anne

    I don’t know. I’m very devoted to the recipe on the back of the Ghiradelli bar, because it’s yummy (to me) but also so easy and quick. How quick is this? Maybe I should try it and find out. As it happens, I need to bake something for work this week.

    I like the sugar dispenser. I’ve never seen such a thing. Genius!

  3. Emily

    I have a recipe that’s so fast and easy, but not so SHINEY as this. I think I have to try! but 1 1/4 cups of cocoa! that gets pricey!

  4. Christina

    Oh this post is perfect timing for us– Erik (the baker in our household) had a bad batch of brownies this weekend and we have been looking for a new recipe. Also- where did you get the sugar dispenser??- we NEED one!

  5. Julie

    This recipe is more involved than the Ghirardelli one, but not by much. And I really did think it was much, much better.

    Sugar dispenser was gotten from King Arthur Flour (well, through mom…I asked for it for Christmas, which maybe says a lot about me and my baking habits). Click on “sugar dispenser” in the last paragraph of the post and it will take you there.

  6. Patrick


  7. sarah

    Julie – made the brownies – WOW! Intense! Great recipe. Did you add the espresso powder? Didn’t have any.

  8. Julie

    I did use the espresso powder, but just because I had some. I think they’d still be amazing without it.


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