Best Cocoa Brownies- Secret Recipe Club

My assigned blog this month for Secret Recipe Club is Sweet As Sugar Cookies– a perfect fit! Lisa is a super cute girl who bakes and tries some of the tastiest treats. We seem to both have a special spot in our hearts for trying chocolate chip cookie recipes as well :) Her weekly Saturday Sweets round-ups are also a hit…so many treats to try, so little time….

My first choice from Lisa’s blog, however, were her rich, delicious cocoa brownies. I’m still up in Washington with my family and my brother-in-law will not eat cookies, only brownies. Ok, then, no problem, I can do brownies! Lisa said that after trying these, you’ll never want to use a box recipe again, haha. That immediately caught my attention since I happen to think from-box brownies are quite delicious for the level of convenience. Well, she was right! These babies are rich, chocolatey, fudgy amazingness.

You do need to have a double boiler for your stove, or at least a heat-proof bowl that fits on top of a pot for the water to boil underneath. Otherwise, making these is just a little more time consuming than from the box, but nothing much and 100% worth it. Instead of lining the pan with foil, I sprayed the pan and it worked great. Just make sure to let them cool completely (fridge, freezer, room temp, whatever) or else you’ll have a fudgy, yet still tasty, mess.

Best Cocoa Brownies

10 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips or nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the sugar and stir until combined. Add the cocoa powder. Take off the heat and let cool slightly until it is no longer hot. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs and stir vigorously. When the batter looks shiny and well-blended, add the flour and stir till you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with a spoon. Add chocolate chips or nuts, if using. Spread in the pan.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 min. Let cool completely on a rack. Slice into 16 squares.