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Author Notes: I’m a purist when it comes to brownies. I don’t believe in adding nuts, chips or frosting. To me, that’s necessary only when a brownie doesn’t have enough flavor to hold its own. I grew up with amazing brownies. They were created by my Great Cousin Mollie, over 50 years ago. I never met her; she died before I was born. Yet, she was a tangible presence in my life, appearing anytime my mother made brownies, and she has continued to appear in all the kitchens of my adulthood. I’m now 42 years old, and I realized I had never tested her brownies against some of the famous ones: King Arthur, Barefoot Contessa, Katherine Hepburn, Cooks Illustrated. Maybe my nostalgia was clouding my judgment & there was a better brownie out there. I decided to get scientific. I made a batch of each & gave my husband & I one of each kind. It was seriously no contest; Mollie’s won hands down. I thought, ‘How is this possible? The others have more chocolate, more butter, more ingredients, or more steps, yet somehow less flavor.’ I think the lesson is that sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.If you’d like Mollie to visit your kitchen, give these simple brownies a go, but don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. They are divine! —Phoenix Helix
Serves 12-24, depending on how big you like your brownies
- 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1½ cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the chocolate & butter together in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to blend.
- In large bowl, blend sugar, eggs & vanilla at high speed for a couple of minutes. Add the chocolate-butter mixture & blend well & then add the flour & blend well.
- Pour batter into greased 9x13 pan & bake 25-35 minutes. (Note: Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a little of the moist brownie stuck to it, but not like it’s been dipped in wet batter. If the toothpick comes out completely dry, the brownies have been cooked too long.)
- This recipe is a Community Pick!