Best Brownies

These best brownies by David Lebovitz are chewy fudge brownies that are easy and moist and homemade from scratch and all the things a chocolate brownie ought to be.

Best Brownies Recipe

Best brownies. That’s quite the claim. We take our superlatives quite seriously and tend to avoid such boastful words as “best.” Still, after tasting these chocolate brownies, we chose to leave “best” in the title intact. The recipe is courtesy of David Lebovitz, and he, too, 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. They’re ever so slightly cakey on the outside, superbly fudgy on the inside, and, in all seriousness, the absolute best brownies through and through. They’re also exceptionally easy to make. Lebovitz learned recipe from the late Robert Steinberg, cofounder of Scharffen Berger chocolate, who in turn had adapted the recipe from a recipe by cookbook author and baking legend Maida Heatter.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, using a wooden spoon, stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined. Beat in the eggs by hand, 1 at a time. Add the flour and stir, still by hand, with everything you’ve got 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. [Editor’s Note: Seriously folks, if you don’t beat with all 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. After a few seconds of stirring the batter may appear to separate, and midway through the minute of stirring it may appear grainy, 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,” all the way on up to 60—you’ll end up with a batter that’s rich, thick, satiny smooth, and glossy as can be, and the brownies that result will have that irresistible crackly surface and fudgy gloriousness. And therein lies the difference between disappointingly mediocre brownies and these absolutely 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 how difficult this can be—before removing the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil or parchment paper. Cut the brownies into squares. (In theory, the brownies will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month. But c’mon. We both know that’s not going to happen.)

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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