Serves a Crowd

Mollie's Brownies

April 30, 2021
12 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 12-24, depending on how big you like your brownies
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! —Blissful Baker

What You'll Need
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • cups flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the chocolate & butter together in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to blend.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nicole Lyons
    Nicole Lyons
  • Leslie Elmore
    Leslie Elmore
  • Clarissa Arend
    Clarissa Arend
  • Eva
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29 Reviews

kourtcooks October 26, 2022
I think this recipe could be adjusted. I like to bake brownies with Callebaut chocolate that i can easily get within a few days from OliveNation. Their milk or lower dark chocolate would be great for this and then you could reduce the sugar quantity and also have a way better chocolate taste
Matthew O. July 29, 2021
This is the perfect recipe for a heart attack! 2 cups of sugar for this amount of chocolate... Are you mad?!?
Shirley T. March 27, 2020
I found this recipe a few years ago & finally got around to making them. What a disappointment. No chocolate taste; I would never call this a brownie. After reading other reviews, I cut back on the sugar, & they were still too sweet. In fact, that is the predominant taste: sweet. What a waste of ingredients. But, to each his own.
plevee March 26, 2020
Best and easiest brownies. I added a tsp of espresso powder but otherwise mixed everything by hand. Made in a hurry but I'll make these again.
Nicole L. November 5, 2017
This recipe came through in a pinch, however... they are not the best, flavor-wise. The chocolate is more of a 'sour cream chocolate' cake resemblance. I would suggest some espresso powder to give the chocolate more of a leading role.
Max H. August 12, 2017
I added pecan and walnuts, your advice of no nuts is rubbish
Michelle May 5, 2017
If you like more cakey brownies, this recipe is for you. I halved the recipe (small pan) and it still turned out well. As other commenters have pointed out, it's not very chocolate-y and it comes out much lighter in colour than typical brownies. Also, if you're not fond of super sweet brownies, I would advise cutting the sugar in half. I did 3/4 the recommended amount and still found it a tad sweet. Overall, a decent brownie, pretty moist and just dense enough.
Leslie E. July 15, 2016
These were awful. They were not chewy and chocolaty at all, but more like a cake. We even added an extra cup of chips to the batter to make them super rich. The batter was barely light brown and not dark and rich as brownies should be. I think the measurements are off. Will not make them again.
Clarissa A. March 23, 2016
Has anyone tried with cocoa powder yet? How was it?
shiza September 29, 2015
if we dont have chocolate bar can we use COCO powder with butter and then melt it in the saucepan..
Jessica36 January 27, 2015
I made these a few days ago and they were fantastic! I reduced the sugar by one cup and still found them to be PLENTY sweet. They were a big hit with adults and kids, plus they are super easy to make, so this is my new go-to brownie recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Eva November 9, 2014
Super tasty! Nice and moist, although the edges got a little dry. I think I'll try baking them at a slightly lower temp (325ºF) next time to see if that helps keep the edges moister. The edges were delicious anyway, so maybe I won't bother (extending the baking time is the last thing I want when I'm craving brownies!!).
Shirley T. November 7, 2014
Do you use salted or unsalted butter?
Erin November 3, 2014
I made these a few days ago and the brownies didn't have enough of a chocolate taste for me! I'm going to try these with 2 oz. more chocolate and see if they work. Hopefully it won't mess up the balance of sugar, as I don't want to add any more sugar to them.
eva H. August 5, 2014
I added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder because I was using accidentally purchased compound chocolate that wasn't very chocolatey (I needed a way to get rid of it!). This recipe transformed it into something deliciously edible, thank you! I also had to use 1 cup of brown sugar because I unexpectedly ran out of white. Despite all my short comings it turned out fudgey and beautiful, super recipe.
kati March 21, 2014
Is it self-raising flour or plain flour?
Blissful B. March 21, 2014
kati August 5, 2014
Thank you!
ahelfeld January 25, 2014
Delicious recipe. Baked 30 minutes and let cool completely.
shafeeah August 25, 2013
Hi I made these brownies but unfortunately they turned out more like a pudding, any suggestions as to why it happened?
Blissful B. August 25, 2013
My guess is that you needed to cook them a little longer. You want to hit the sweet spot between dry and wet. Their ideal texture is moist and fudgy. Ovens fluctuate a lot in temperature, and I'm guessing your oven maybe runs a little cold.
shafeeah August 26, 2013
They were in the oven for about an hour because when I put a toothpick in the middle, it was wet batter
Blissful B. August 26, 2013
I'm sorry shafeeah, I have no idea how that happened. Maybe your measurements were off? This is a tried and true recipe, and if anything, it's usually easier to overcook it where it becomes too dry, rather than undercook it. I know it's frustrating when you don't know why something went wrong. I hope the "pudding" at least tasted good!
ailuros August 8, 2013
12 tbsp butter is about 170 grams, or 1.5 sticks/0.75 cup.
Blissful B. May 18, 2013
Chrisdis, you can use either. I've always used salted butter in my baking (which I know isn't the norm.)