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Best Brownies Recipe

These best brownies by David Lebovitz are chewy but not gooey, cakey on the outside and fudgy on the inside, and are truly the absolute best through and through.

Best brownies. That’s quite the claim. Yet David Lebovitz stands behind the title of this recipe. “I’ve made a lot of brownies in my life, and these really are the best,” says Lebovitz. These brownies are, in all seriousness, cakey on the outside, fudgy on the inside, and the absolute best through and through. Lebovitz learned recipe from the late Robert Steinberg, cofounder of Scharffen Berger chocolate, who in turn had adapted the recipe from cookbook author Maida Heatter. We at Leite’s take our superlatives quite seriously and tend to eschew such boastful words as “best.” Still, after tasting these chewy but not gooey brownies, we chose to leave “best” in the title intact, for what we think are obvious reasons. This recipe has been updated. Originally posted April 6, 2010.Renee Schettler Rossi

Best Brownies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 9 to 12 brownies

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted or salted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for the pan
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • 2. Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 long lengths of aluminum foil or parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to one other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Lightly butter the foil or parchment. [Editor’s Note: The original recipe calls for a 9-inch square pan, although we’ve had better success with an 8-inch pan.]
  • 3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the chocolate and stir by hand until it’s completely melted and smooth.
  • 4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs by hand, 1 at a time. Add the flour and stir energetically for 1 full minute—seriously, time yourself—until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the saucepan. If you don’t beat with all the vigor you’ve got for an entire minute, the brownies may come out dry and crumbly, and that’s a fate we wish on no one. [Editor’s Note: There are two crucial elements in the making of these brownies. One is stirring with everything you’ve got, as the recipe stipulates. The second is making certain you stir the batter for a full minute. The batter may appear to separate a few seconds into stirring, and it may appear grainy midway through, but when you stir with vigor for a full 60 seconds—and we do mean a full 60 seconds, along the lines of “One Mississippi, two Mississippi,” and so on—you’ll end up with a batter that’s rich, thick, satiny smooth, and glossy as can be. Therein lies the difference between disappointingly dry, crumbly, mediocre brownies and these best brownies.]
  • 5. Stir in the chopped nuts and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center is almost set, about 30 minutes. Do not overbake.
  • 6. Place the pan on a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely—yes, we understand just how difficult this can be—before lifting the foil or parchment along with the brownies out of the pan. Cut the brownies into squares. (The brownies will keep well for up to 4 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month.)

Variations

  • To add a little bling to these best brownies, stir in any of the following….

    1/3 cup chopped dried cherries

    1/3 cup cocoa nibs

    Crush the contents of one 50-­gram tin of peppermint Altoids in a sturdy resealable plastic bag. Add the crushed mints to the batter along with the nuts (or, if you prefer, omit the nuts). If you like very minty brownies, add 1/2 teaspoon mint extract along with the crushed mints.
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