There’s nothing like a pan of warm, chewy fudge brownies, still fresh from the oven. They’re an especially nice treat on the cool nights that signify the coming of autumn. Although creating the perfect fudge brownie can seem a little intimidating, it’s not all that hard. Even the most inexperienced baker will be able to produce superb brownies the first time around. Here’s how to bake fudge brownies from scratch.
What You Need
Besides an oven, some measuring cups and spoons, a large bowl, a standard-size cake pan and a little courage, you will also need the following:
1 cup of butter
1 ounce of baking chocolate
2 cups of white sugar
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose or cake flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
A Note About Chocolate
It’s not necessary to use baking chocolate squares in your brownies. A popular and equally successful alternative is cocoa powder. When substituting, use three tablespoons of cocoa powder and one tablespoon of oil for every ounce of baking chocolate the recipe calls for. Semi-sweet chocolate chips are also a popular choice. Use three tablespoons of chocolate chips for each ounce of baking chocolate. Keep in mind that when using baking chocolate or chocolate chips, you must melt them down before adding them to the recipe. You can do this by microwaving the chocolate in ten second spurts, stirring each time.
Making the Brownies
Before you start mixing anything, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease and flour your baking pan. In your large mixing bowl, combine the flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. If you’ve chosen to use cocoa powder, add it too. Mix everything up with a spoon, making sure to break up any clumps of cocoa or baking powder.
In a separate small mixing bowl, soften the butter by microwaving it for about ten seconds at a time. You don’t want to melt it, just soften it. After that, add the sugar and whip the two ingredients together until they’re smooth and creamy. This will give your brownies an extra-fudgy consistency and richer flavor. Next, add the vanilla extract and lightly beaten eggs. If you’ve chosen to use chocolate chips or baking chocolate, you should mix them in with the other wet ingredients.
Finally, it’s time to mix everything together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, making sure to get everything out of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Using a large spoon or a mixer, combine everything until it’s completely smooth. Try not to over-mix the batter or mix it too hard, as this will ruin the fudginess you’re trying to achieve. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and place your masterpiece in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. You distract yourself from the heavenly aroma during that time by licking the bowl or cleaning up. When time’s up, stick a toothpick into the middle of the brownies. If it comes out clean, they’re done. Congratulations!
Tips and Suggestions
Brownies are a highly versatile dessert. You can add a wide assortment of custom ingredients, both as additions to the batter and as toppings. One way to make your brownies even more decadent is to use melted butterscotch, white chocolate or peanut butter chips to create ribbons through the batter before baking. Shredded coconut, chopped nuts, candies and marshmallows can be used to give your brownies a more complex texture and flavor. Some people even like to get fancy by adding shreds of white, dark and milk chocolate on top of their brownies. You also can’t go wrong with an old-fashioned sprinkling of powdered sugar to contrast the chocolate’s slight bitterness.
If you want to make a fudgy brownie that’s more suited to Christmas or Thanksgiving, some people recommend making mint chocolate brownies. You make the recipe as normal, but then you add artificial mint flavoring or bits of peppermint candy. After they’re done baking, it’s fun to frost them and decorate them using a cake icing bag.
By following this recipe, you’ll be able to make scrumptious fudge brownies for any occasion. Friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers will rave when they taste them, and you can bet they’ll ask for more.