Brownies can be polarizing. Some people like it chewy, some like it fudgy, even gooey, and some like it cakey. I like the crust, but others like the middle. I’ve had several brownie recipes over the years, but none of them came close to what I considered to be my personal favorite kind of brownie: Chewy but still soft, with a classic chocolate taste. Sometimes complicating things with indulgent 70% dark cocoa, brandy, or salted caramel just doesn’t cut it. Maybe I still relish that brownie box mix texture and taste from childhood.
Recently, I visited the King Arthur Flour Flagship Campus in Vermont. That place is pretty glorious, and dangerous for any baking enthusiast. After making several impulse purchases in the store, I sat down in the cafe and had their brownie. After a bite I realized, this is the brownie I want to bake at home. After getting home I promptly searched the King Arthur Flour website and found several brownie recipes but the one labeled “Fudge Brownies” stuck out as being the classic brownie recipe I’d been looking for.
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After trying several different brownie recipes, I was shocked at how simple this recipe is. In fact, I wonder if you can make this brownie in about the same amount of time as making it from a box of brownie mix.
Of course, the point of a mix is that if you don’t bake regularly you don’t have to buy all the ingredients. But let’s get real for a second. A Betty Crocker brownie mix (which is what my mother often used) has: Sugar, Enriched Flour Bleached, Cocoa, Palm Oil, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Carob Powder, Salt, Canola Oil, Artificial Flavor, plus you add eggs, water, and vegetable oil. The King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownie recipe has: Flour, Cocoa, Salt, Baking Powder, Espresso Powder (optional), Vanilla Extract, Eggs, Butter, Sugar, and Chocolate Chips. Less ingredients and more wholesome? Sounds good to me!
So the only part of this recipe that is more effort than a mix, is the bit where you have to melt butter and mix sugar. The recipe says to use a microwave but I don’t have one so I did it over the stove top. Still, this process can be done while you mix the other ingredients so it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of extra effort.
I have already made this recipe several times with variations like adding peanut butter chips or using different size pans and they have all come out consistently great. This is one of those classic recipes I would keep forever!