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Posie Harwood, who finds the best back-of-the-box recipes in the grocery store, is taking one-bowl brownies to new (excessively frosted) heights.
I've sampled a lot of brownies in my life. Personally, if I were to get philosophical about it, I like a brownie that teeters on the edge of fudge-like. It should just toe the line: A slight cakiness should keep it from being too dense. Rich but not too rich, it should freeze beautifully and make you the star of all potlucks and picnics and birthday parties, forever and always.
This one-bowl recipe fits the bill exactly. It comes from the back of the Baker's Chocolate box, and it could not be easier. You melt butter and chocolate together, then whisk in the rest of your ingredients. That's it! You don't have to temper chocolate, or clean multiple bowls, or worry about technique.
The original recipe calls for nuts. I didn't add them because, to be perfectly honest with you, I didn't have any in my kitchen. If you're into that sort of thing, you can toss a cup of chopped nuts into the batter.
If you want to get really wild, you could add chocolate chips. Should you? Probably not. We are going to add some frosting soon, and chocolate chips might push us into the territory of true excess. But if you think you can handle it, I trust you. Go forth and douse yourself with chocolate.
The frosting is delicious. First, you melt butter, buttermilk, and cocoa powder in a saucepan. The buttermilk gives a subtle tang that helps to balance the intense sweetness of the frosting. Then, you transfer the warm mixture to a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer) and beat it with powdered sugar.
If the frosting gives you any trouble, here's some advice I gleaned from own mistakes: If your frosting is very thin and liquidy, try sticking the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill it. Colder frosting will whip into a lighter, fluffier texture. If it still looks too thin, add more confectioners' sugar. I suggest starting with 2 cups, but you might need up to 4 cups.
Adapted from Baker's Chocolate
Makes one 9- by 13-inch pan
For the brownies:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!
Photos by Posie Harwood