A high cocoa powder and low flour ratio makes these brownies as chewy and perfect as they are. They’re so simple that it feels almost silly to have to put out a recipe for them; like, why isn’t this something that you’re just born knowing how to bake?? It seems like such an obvious life skill. If you’re the kind of person who gets a bit saddened by looking at monochromatic foods (hi, we have a support group, we meet alternating Wednesdays) you can always dress these up with scoops of ice cream or clouds of icing sugar, but they truly need nothing extra in order to be their best selves.
BA’s Best: Cocoa Brownies
Taken directly from BA’s Best arsenal, with wording tweaks
Makes 1 8x8 pan of brownies (~16 squares)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray, for pan
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ¼ cups white sugar
¾ cup very good-quality, natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Green & Black’s)
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, measured correctly
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8x8 pan with foil, pressing it firmly into the pan and leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Spray the foil with nonstick spray and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then let cool slightly for ~5 minutes. Whisk the sugar, cocoa, and salt together in a medium bowl to combine. Pour the butter into the dry ingredients in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating vigourously after each addition. Stir in the flour until just combined – definitely be under-generous with the stirring here to avoid overmixing. Scrape the batter into the foiled pan and do your best to spread it into each corner evenly, then try to smooth the top out. The batter will be thick and resistant to spreading easily (probably because the rest of this recipe is just SO easy that the batter needed to kick up a little fuss somewhere along the line). Bake the brownies until the top begins to crackle and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it, ~25-30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Use the foil overhang to lift the brownies from the pan. Cut into squares and try to avoid getting drool between the cracks.