Like most people who consider baked goods to be a major food group, I keep basic baking ingredients on hand at all times. It keeps my shopping list small when I want to try something new and fancy, and means I don’t have to shop at all when I get in the mood to bake something.
I’m very into seizing the day when it comes to food, so when our muggy New York City summer took a holiday a few days ago and the temperature suddenly dropped to 70, I went on an oven-using spree. I’d been wanting to use the Bon Appetit desserts book I got for the holidays more often, and immediately hopped off my cookbook-covered bed and into my kitchen when I saw a really simple brownie recipe in the book. Anything that allows you to only have to wash one pot or bowl is a winner in my book.
Naturally, I didn’t realize until after I had already started melting the butter that the recipe called for unsweetened chocolate, while I only had semi-sweet, and not enough of it. This is why you should study both the recipe AND your pantry before you start cooking, folks. Obviously, this did not stop me, and I set about altering the recipe to keep it from being too sweet. I cut sugar, added cocoa powder and chocolate chips, baked it in a smaller pan than called for because that was what I had, and hoped for the best.
Here is a very important fact about me: I generally like my cookies and brownies underbaked. Real underbaked. Basically just warm dough or batter, really. Whenever I give you a baking time for these things, I’ve usually baked them for less. So you can imagine my disappointment when I cut into these brownies and discovered that they had a cakey texture. I resigned myself into just bringing them all to work…until I bit into one. Lo and behold, somehow these brownies were actually quite fudgy despite their appearance! They’re still not a true, goopy fudge brownie, but they ARE the perfect medium and a great bar to appeal to brownie fans across the spectrum. I suspect if you baked them a little less than I did they might even be a tad closer to my ideal, but either way, you should make them now. Unless you live in any state having a heat wave, which I think at this point is all of them, in which case I’d suggest waiting until the weekend if you don’t have central air (and if you do, I am oozing with chocolatey jealousy).
3 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if you have dark powder, I think it would work great)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil in one direction, then the other, leaving an overhang on both sides. Grease foil.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and chopped chocolate over medium heat, stirring frequently just until almost melted. Turn off heat and stir until completely melted. Let cool slightly, at least 15 minutes.
Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate/butter mixture, then eggs and vanilla (hopefully you did not break your whisk, because if you use a scrambler thing like me it will take forever), whisking until eggs are well combined. Add cocoa powder, flours, and salt, and whisk until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan and top with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake until brownies look set and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30-35 minutes, but start checking around 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until warm in pan, then use foil to remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack. Slice into 16 squares and enjoy, especially if you’ve got whipped cream lying around.