“Black as midnight, black as pitch…”
Remember that movie quote, all you children of the ‘80s? And boy, does it apply to these magnificent, rich, deep, dark brownies. That is a lot of adjectives. But you’ll see; they’re completely justified.
This is my favorite brownie recipe: simple, rewarding, customizable. You do the whole thing in one big saucepan. What could be easier? Alone they are delicious. The decadent chocolate frosting, however, brings them to a new level. Perfect for some chocolate therapy on a dark night of the soul, or any time you deserve a little indulgence.
1 cup unsalted butter
4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened chocolate – I use Ghiradelli’s 100% Cacao
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped nuts – totally optional. If you do use nuts, toast them first.
Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
In a 3-quart saucepan over very low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon until they are blended in. Stir in the flour, vanilla, and salt until blended. Add in the nuts if you’re using them.
Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake: a dry brownie is a sad brownie! Cool completely in the pan. Frost when they’re cool. Cut into bars. Makes about 3 dozen brownies.
These freeze nicely! If you are going to freeze them, don’t frost them! Freeze until you’re ready for them, then thaw, then frost them.
And you will want to frost them.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Another one-bowl wonder! For this recipe I mixed half regular cocoa powder with half Black Onyx cocoa powder for a total of ½ cup. Magnificent! This made a glossy, almost purple-black, totally irresistible frosting.
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 2/3cups powdered sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder – this will make the frosting very dark chocolate-y. Use ½ cup for a medium flavor, or 1/3 cup for a lighter chocolate flavor. Blend cocoa powders if you are feeling bold.
4-6 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In your small mixer bowl, beat the butter. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with the milk; beat to spreading consistency. Blend in the vanilla. Makes about 2 cups of frosting. Spread on the cooled brownies.
You can go wild with adornments and add-ins. Try some grated orange peel for a different taste. It is always fun to add a candy corn garnish for Halloween. Extra chocolates on top for Valentine’s or Easter… Use your imagination. Enjoy!