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A photo of brownies on a wire rack.

Stella Parks' Brownie Recipe

yield: 20 brownies
Prep Time: 5 mins
Work Time: 30 mins
Bake Time: 35 mins
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces or 128 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups (4 ounces or 113 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted if necessary
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks or 12 ounces or 340 grams) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) dark chocolate (between 60% to 70% cacao), from whole fèves or a high-quality chocolate bar chopped into ½- and 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ¼ cups (16 ounces or 454 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup tightly packed (2 ounces or 57 grams) light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Prep your oven and pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the pan’s two long sides. Spray the parchment, too.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt.
  • Brown the butter, then add the chocolate. In a light-colored saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it starts to foam. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally to prevent the milk solids in the butter from burning. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the butter smells nutty and is amber with dark flecks at the bottom of the pan.
    Remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and combined. Pour the mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Set it on a wire rack to cool slightly while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Whisk the sugars, eggs, vanilla, then add the chocolate mixture. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk on medium-high speed for 8 minutes, or until thick, fluffy, and doubled in volume. Reduce to low and slowly pour in the warm chocolate mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients. Once the chocolate mixture is combined, use a rubber spatula to scrape down the whisk and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Affix the paddle attachment to the mixer and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined.
  • Assemble the brownies. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth the top.
  • Bake the brownies. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  • Serve and store. Run a butter knife or offset spatula along the edges of the pan and use the overhanging parchment as handles to lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice into 20 rectangles, each about 2 ¼ inches wide and 2 ½ inches long, and serve. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes

  • Adapted from Stella Parks' BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
  • The brownie batter recipe states that you need 6 ounces (170 grams) of chopped dark chocolate to make the brownie batter. If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale, that’s equivalent to 1 cup of chopped chocolate. Each piece of chocolate should be roughly the same size and shape of a regular-sized chocolate chip.
  • When cooking the butter, its color will progress from a bright lemon yellow to a golden tan and finally, a dark amber brown. The longer you cook the butter, the darker and more flavorful it will be. However, there is a fine line between toasted and burnt! There’s no salvaging butter once it’s burnt, so be sure to watch it like a hawk as it browns.
  • The recipe instructs you to add the dry ingredients into a thick, sludgy chocolaty batter. When doing so, make sure your stand mixer is on its slowest setting! If you add too much at once, the dry ingredients have a tendency to fly out the bowl and make a huge mess. I recommend adding the dry ingredients 1 to 2 Tablespoons at a time, only adding the next batch when the previous ones are fully incorporated.
  • It’s better to pull the brownies out of the oven early than leave them in too long—if you over bake the brownies, they’ll be tough. They might appear underbaked, but I promise that when they’ve cooled, they will be perfect.