Classic Cocoa Brownies (and a KFD twist)
I’m guessing I have some explaining to do since the title of the post is “Classic Cocoa Brownies” though the picture is anything but, and what’s KFD? All in due time - we’ll get there. But first, let’s start with what’s become my favorite classic chocolate brownie recipe.
What do I mean by classic? Good question. The kind that reminds you of being a little kid, maybe because they resemble the result of store-bought brownie mix. They’re just a bit dense, just a bit fudgy, but still have a crumb you can identify. They’re intensely chocolate, and have that wafer thin crust-like topping that will crack at the slightest touch. They’re almost two inches tall, and will easily make you sick if you eat too many (but who cares, do it anyway).
I’m a big fudge brownie person and I’m sure I’ll get to posting those favorite recipes too, but for now I couldn’t wait to share this one.
Okay, so why aren’t there any pictures of actual BROWNIES in this post, right? What’s up with that? Well, I’d already made these brownies the week before, and rarely choose to make the same thing twice when given the option to make something new.
I also needed something to send some folks for KFD on March 12 - Katie Fisher Day! Read all about it here - http://katiefisherday.org/ - and get to some baking stat! So, technically KFD is all about cookies, so if I was going to make these brownies I had to incorporate cookies somehow…enter the discovery of the Triple Double Oreo. Experiment time!
So here’s the recipe for my favorite classic brownies, followed by a bit of a twisted version - the Brownie Oreo Cookie Cup.
Adapted from www.KingArthur.com
MAKES 24 2” square brownies
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup (85g) King Arthur Double Dutch Dark Cocoa* & .25 cup (21g) King Arthur Black Cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter
2.25 cups granulated sugar (450g)
1.5 cups all-purpose flour (180g)
2 cups chocolate chips (12oz)
9x13 glass baking pan
*The tastiness of your brownies will be directly correlated with the quality of cocoa you use. If you use Hershey’s your cake will be tasty, if you use Ghirardelli or the like your cake will be tastier, and if you use - in my opinion - King Arthur’s Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa and Black Cocoa your cake will be tastiest.
Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly spray the bottom and sides of your baking pan.
Whisk your 4 eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add 1TB vanilla and sprinkle over your 1tsp espresso powder. Set aside.
Gently whisk your 1.25c (125g) cocoa, 1tsp salt and 1tsp baking powder. Whisk your espresso into your eggs, then add the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth and combined.
Melt your 2 sticks butter in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, then add 2.25c sugar, whisk to combine thoroughly. Microwave the mixture again twice, 20-30 seconds each time, stirring in between, until it is hot (but not bubbling) and shiny. This step is important! It’s what gets you that pretty thin crust on top of your brownies. (You can do it on the stovetop if you don’t have a microwave).
Add the hot butter/sugar to your large mixing bowl with the egg/cocoa mix, whisking until smooth.
Switch to a spatula to fold in your 1.5c flour - fold gently but thoroughly until there are no traces of flour, then fold in your 2c chocolate chips. (If you don’t want your chocolate chips to melt into the brownies, wait until your batter is completely cool before adding them).
Spread the batter into your pan, smoothing the top even. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool before serving.
BROWNIE OREO COOKIE CUPS:
MAKES 14-18 cups
14-18 oreos of your choosing (instead of the chocolate chips)
Cake Goop, and a little extra cocoa
2 muffin/cupcake trays
1.25” cookie (aka ice cream) scoop
Peanut butter (optional)
Follow through step 6 above, skipping the addition of the chocolate chips.
Drop a pinch of cocoa in each of the 12 cupcake spots in your tray, then brush the bottoms & sides of each with a little of the cake goop.
Using your cookie scoop, drop one scoop of batter into each, makes sure it settles to be flat/touch the sides (you can help it along with a clean finger tip if need be).
Place one oreo in the center of each, and if you’re a daredevil top them with a teaspoon of peanut butter.
Top each with one more scoop of batter, smoothing it out VERY gently so it falls around the sides of the oreo.
Fill additional cupcake spots in your second tray one at a time, starting with the cake goop, so that you don’t end up with gooped-up spots that you don’t have enough batter to fill!
Bake 20-24 minutes or until a tester in the side of the brownie cup comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Don’t overbake! (but, if you do, and they come out hard once cooled, 10-15 seconds in the microwave should do the trick).
Let cool 5 minutes in trays, then carefully extract each one and let them cool completely upside down on cooling racks. If they’ve overflowed like mine did and are sticking, gently run a butter knife underneath the spilled-over edges, and give the cup a little twist to loosen before trying to remove.