I wrestled with the title for this one. Other options included: "Perfect Brownies," "Oh-Too-Easy Brownies," and "Doesn't-Survive-The-Night Brownies." I also considered "You-Can't-Have-Any-These-Are-Mine Brownies." In the end I choose the name that best personifies the attraction to this recipe: it's chocolate, and it's easy. Oh boy, is it easy. I've made this recipe several times in the past few months, and every time they vanished before I could get a picture. Not that I had anything to do with the vanishing though.... not me!
I am a brownie fiend, but before this recipe I was terrible at making them. They'd always be too dry, too wet, or have the wrong balance of sugar and chocolate. When I finally did find this recipe, I promptly saved it in six different locations for backup, to insure I would never, ever lose it. Unfortunately, since then I've lost track of the original source and have no genius attribute the recipe to. Brownie god, if you're out there, please direct my thanks to your acolyte.
My requisite description of oncoming sugar-coma: I'm a fan of fudgey brownies, and these don't disappoint. A thin, crispy crust on top adds texture to the smooth chocolate beneath. It's a very flexible recipe, tolerating all sorts of additions and swirls. And best of all, from start to finish takes under an hour. My poor waistline.
* 1 1/2 c butter, melted
* 3 c white sugar
* 3 tsp vanilla extract
* 4 eggs
* 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
* 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 tsp salt
* nuts, chocolate chips, or other additions to mix in (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9"x13" clear glass pan (clear is preferable to keep the edges from burning).
In a large bowl, blend melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt and mix until smooth. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan (in California 30 minutes was plenty; in Washington I let them bake for 50. Allow for your climate. Also, if adding chocolate or something that would affect the consistency of the batter, add 5-10 minutes to the baking time). Let brownies cool, then cut into squares. Enjoy!
These are also very good with a ganache topping.