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“Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: Deliciousness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good.” ~Mariska Hargitay

Brownies have a special place in my heart. Not only because I’m a lover of anything chocolate, but also because they are the first thing I ever learned to bake bymyself as a child. Growing up we always had a perpetually stocked brownie mix section of the pantry, and so naturally it was a very common dessert in my house. Especially once I learned to do it myself.  It was the perfect recipe because it was quick, easy, always came out well, and eventually allowed me to put my own spin on it. Chocolate chips? why not. More eggs? sure. Walnuts? Sprinkles? Coffee? Peanut butter? Frosting? It all worked, and made them taste like a completely new dessert every time. Brownie mix is the best American culinary shortcut invention ever.  At least this was the opinion of my family. In sending packages to family in Poland, a box of brownie mix was always added as a bonus treat to pass on and spread the word. I’m sure both of my siblings could say the same: that brownies were their first baking accomplishment.  As far as I can remember, brownies have always been my brother’s birthday cake. So, needless to say, brownies are near and dear to my family.

So, now on my food journey, I decided to take the next step because I have recently had the honor of trying some amazing homemade (not from the mix, yes they exist!) brownies. My love of food made from scratch has caused me to  seek out my own perfect go-to homemade brownie recipe. It wasn’t easy. My first round of trying this recipe ended like this:

This fail was attributed to my typical carelessness and thinking I’m too good to read directions. My third grade teacher would be disappointed. But I am trying to be less careless and so baking is good practice for paying attention to details. Take 2 with the recipe came out much, much better. Lesson learned: you must melt the butter, just softening it will give the brownies a weird consistency, no fudginess. Now that I figured out how to make it the right way (they are so perfectly fudgy and delicious), I can’t wait to play around with this recipe with different flavors like I have in the past.

This recipe was found on allrecipes.com if you are interested in the original with frosting. I have adapted this recipe slightly by changing proportions to fit a 9×13″ pan, and adding chocolate chips instead of frosting. It’s all up to personal preferences.

Best Homemade Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1  cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 9×13″ inch pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder. Finally  fold chocolate chips into the batter. Do not overmix!(overmixing will result in more cakelike brownies). Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook, to maintain a perfect proportion of fudge and cake consistency.

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