Classic Brownies

It's been a couple weeks since I posted anything but I promise that I had good reason - I was in Europe for 10 days!! My sister and I went on a fantastic trip to the Netherlands and France and we had such a wonderful time. I will be sharing pics (LOTS of food pics!) soon, once I can go through all my photos, so stay tuned! 

Until then, enjoy this recipe for classic brownies. I'd have to say that brownies are one of my all time favorite desserts. They are easy, delicious, and always a crowd pleaser. I like my brownies rich and fudgy, those recipes that are full of butter, chocolate (not just cocoa powder) and eggs, with a tiny bit of flour to hold everything together. The only problem with these type of recipes is that I don't always have enough chocolate in the pantry to make them as they often call for 8+ ounces of chocolate (plus this can quickly get quite expensive).

I thought this recipe was a good compromise. It calls for some melted chocolate, but not half a pound of it, and only 6 tablespoons of butter which is really reasonable in a brownie. They are super easy to throw together and bake up beautifully, fudgy and dense, moist and chewy. Great chocolate flavor, a great go-to brownie recipe. 

When I was trying to find a brownie recipe to make I couldn't find anything just right. The recipe I used as a starting point for this recipe looked perfect, the only problem was it called for unsweetened chocolate which I did not have and didn't want to go buy at the time. I decided to try and adapt it so I could use bittersweet chocolate and just see how it worked. So I replaced the unsweetened chocolate with bittersweet chocolate, cut back a bit on the sugar, and added a little cocoa powder to boost up the chocolate flavor. In the end I thought they turned out great! I don't know how they compare to the original but it doesn't really matter, they are great as written below. If I ever find myself with some unsweetened chocolate maybe I'll try making the original recipe, but until then these brownies will do just fine!



Classic Brownies
Heavily adapted from Cook's Illustrated

  • 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, at least 60% cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 8-inch square or similar sized baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and greasing the parchment with butter. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 15-30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, being sure you don't overheat the chocolate. When chocolate is smooth and melted add the sugar and stir until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each egg until completely combined. Add in vanilla.

Add 1/3 flour mixture, fold in with rubber spatula. Repeat until all flour is used and mix is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan- make sure to spread into corners of pan. Smooth the surface for even baking.

Bake brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out almost clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove brownies from pan by lifting out the parchment. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely before cutting. For cleanest slicing, once brownies are almost completely cool, place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes until chilled all the way through before cutting. 

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

As a huge chocolate lover, I'm always on the lookout for any recipe that will satisfy my chocolate craving. There are just days that desperately call for chocolate, and nothing else will do. Sometimes it's no problem to whip together a pan of brownies, or break into that secret stash of chocolate bars hiding in the closet, but what about those days where there is no time to bake something, and for some funny reason that chocolate stash seems to have disappeared? That's where this recipe comes in. With a batch of these cookies stored in the freezer for emergency situations, you will not have to worry about being without a chocolate fix, which is always a comforting thought. 

While I do already have this amazing death by chocolate chip cookie recipe, and these awesome double chocolate chip cookies on the blog, both of these recipes have a good amount of chocolate melted right into the dough. I love having this chocolate melted in, it makes the most intensely rich chocolate cookies, but there are times when I either don't have enough chocolate, or I don't feel like dealing with that. So these chocolate fudge cookies skip the melted chocolate and use only cocoa powder along with some strong espresso to bring out that chocolate flavor. 

Now, if you're afraid that this lack of actual chocolate will diminish their chocolate-ness, have no fear, they are still super chocolate-ty and awesomely rich. Trust me, you won't even miss the melted chocolate. In fact, these cookies are just fantastic. If you are in dire need of some chocolate, these cookies are exactly what you need. 

One word of caution with this recipe; only use natural cocoa powder, don't try substituting with Dutched. The first time I made these cookies I tried them with Dutched cocoa powder and while they tasted really nice, they did not turn out like they are supposed to. The original recipe did not specify whether the cocoa powder should be natural or not, so I just decided to go for it with the Dutched. 

Looking at it now, I should have realized that this wouldn't work. Dutched cocoa is cocoa powder that has been alkalized during processing. Because of this, Dutched cocoa will not react with baking soda during baking because baking soda requires and acid in order to react and do its job. Since this recipe calls for baking soda as a leavener it makes sense to use natural cocoa powder. 

But it all turned out in the end, I made them again with the natural cocoa powder and they turned out great, and in the meantime I also got a bit of a science lesson. So if you're looking for a super delicious chocolate cookie, grab some natural cocoa powder and head straight into the kitchen, you won't regret it!

Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Adapted from Pinch of Yum

  • 1 cup salted butter (1 stick melted and cooled, 1 stick room temperature, see directions)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 2⅔ cup all purpose flour 
  • ½ cup natural cocoa powder (not Dutched)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Start by melting ½ cup (1 stick) butter in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or until completely melted. Transfer to the refrigerator or freezer and cool until solid, about 30 minutes. Leave the other ½ cup butter out on the counter to bring it to room temperature. 

With an electric mixer, cream the melted and chilled butter, room temperature butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the coffee and mix to incorporate. 

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. The dough should be thick and sticky, but dry enough to touch with your hands without making a huge mess. If it's still too sticky, add more flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into even balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10- 12 minutes at 350 degrees until just set, don't overbake. Cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: I was able to make 25 50-gram cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Bars

Last week my dad asked me if I'd be willing to bake him something for his Bible study on Sunday night. Of course I said yes, any excuse to bake something, especially something I might not normally make for myself. I looked at some recipes I had set aside and settled on these oatmeal fudge bars. A sweet and buttery bar full of oats and covered in a layer of rich and smooth chocolate fudge. They sounded heavenly. They sounded so rich and made such a big batch that I knew this was something I wouldn't' just make for myself on a whim, so this was the perfect opportunity. I never actually asked what everyone at the Bible study thought, but I know what I thought: they are rich and delicious!

These bars were really easy to make, and use pretty basic ingredients. The only ingredient that maybe might be a little more unique is the sweetened condensed milk, but I almost always have at least one can in the pantry. Other then that, you're probably all set! Throw it together and then into the oven. These bars also freeze very well, and they actually taste really good straight from the freezer. They don't get super hard so it's easy enough to eat. But however you store them, they are pretty delicious!

Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Bars


The Hub of Our Home


  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 and 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 3 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Fudge Layer:

  • 14 Ounces Canned Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract


In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, set aside. In the bowl of your mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy(about 2 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time beating for one minute after each egg. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Stir in the oats. 

Set aside 1&1/2 to 2 cups of the mixture. Spread the remaining oatmeal mixture evenly in a greased 9x13 pan. Set aside and prepare the fudge layer. 

 In a medium saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and butter. Heat over low heat, stirring continually, just until the chocolate is melted and the ingredients are combined. Be sure to watch the chocolate carefully. 

 Pour the warm fudge mixture into the 9x13 pan over top the oatmeal layer. Drop small bits of the reserved oatmeal mixture evenly over the fudge layer. Don't try to spread it. Dropping it creates an open lacy pattern allowing the fudge to show through. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the chocolate layer is dull and starting to come away from the sides of the pan. 

 Cool on the counter for 2 hours and then refrigerate for 1 more hour before cutting. Store in an airtight container.