There are a few things every girl needs. A little black dress. A friend she can call at 3 a.m. if she needs to (hi, Candy!). And a good brownie recipe.
When I first graduated from college and settled into my first job and my first apartment, I decided I needed a go-to brownie recipe. My first apartment had a spacious kitchen and my grandma had given me a complete set of bakeware, so I had plans to be that girl who always had something yummy to bring to a party.
Now, every girl has her own idea of the perfect brownie - some people like the cakey brownies with thick frosting. I prefer a moist, chewy brownie with a little bit of a crunch on top. Baking from scratch was a must, so I started auditioning recipes. The "Better Than Brad Pitt" brownies I tried were too dry and too bitter. Others were too complicated - I wanted an easy recipe that I could put together at any time, and who's always got heavy cream in the fridge? Though I can't remember where I found it, I finally stumbled upon the perfect recipe - the Goldilocks brownie, if you will.
These brownies are moist and chewy with a bit of crispness. The recipe is quick and easy, and the results are delicious.
It's very easy; I've whipped it up in 10 minutes. It's moist, chewy and has that bit of crunch that I like. It's not too sweet and not too bitter. It is, for me, the perfect brownie.
One unusual aspect of the recipe is that it requires melted butter. The other ingredients seem to dissolve in the butter, and the resulting batter is thinner than you might expect.
As usual, I altered the recipe to make it gluten-free by using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour Mix and a pinch of xanthan gum. My Tribune coworkers, who acted as guinea pigs, couldn't tell the difference.
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan. In a large bowl, blend butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to egg mixture. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool, then cut into squares.