In my experience, brownies hold an amazing power over people. Bring a plate of brownies to work or a party and watch them disappear. A boxed mix provides perfectly delicious brownies and are great when wanting to satisfy a brownie craving , but they can be pricey and include a long list of unfamiliar ingredients, something has to keep those mixes fresh for 9 – 12 months on the shelf! On the flip side, many homemade recipes are time-consuming and call for melting large amounts chocolate which while delicious, isn’t very economical or quick.
What if I told you that you could make brownies at home in less than 45 minutes that are rich, moist, fudgy and of course that beautiful shiny cracked top; without having to chop and melt chocolate. Believe it or not, all of the chocolate from this recipe comes from the old pantry standby of cocoa powder.
Cocoa Powder Brownies (As Inspired by Smitten Kitchen)
16 – 25 brownies, depending on how large you cut them
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks butter)
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (“splurge” on the real stuff, Costco has a large bottle for less than $5.00)
- 2 large eggs, keep cold until the last minute
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 F and reposition your over rack to the lower third of your oven. Line bottom and sides of 8 x 8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving some overhang. Make sure the foil or parchment is pressed tight against the pan.
- Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a medium heatproof bowl, placing the bowl in a skillet of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally as the butter melts, after 7-10 minutes the butter should be melted. Stir until mixture is smooth and hot. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit gritty, it will smooth out in the next step.
- After the cocoa mix has cooled a bit, yet still warm, add the vanilla and stir. Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each one. Once the batter is looks thick and shiny, add the flour and stir making sure the flour is well incorporated and not visible anymore.
- Beat the mixture 40 times with a spoon or spatula, stirring in the chocolate chips if using. Spread the batter evenly into the lined pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, checking after 25 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the center comes out slightly damp with batter. Let cool completely on a rack, then carefully pull off the foil or parchment. Be patient! 🙂 Cut and serve!