Friday, March 22, 2013

My Basic Brownie Recipe

I love brownies. Over the years, I had probably spent a lot of money buying a brownie every week. About a year ago, I decided to try to make it myself, primarily so I can save some money. 
basic brownies

I used pre-packaged brownie mixes before, but most of what I found had partially hydrogenated oils in it (translate: TransFats). Mixes also contains a lot of preservatives, so there goes the idea of controlling ingredients. I was thinking to perhaps make it low-fat, wheat-free, or just purely decadent. To get in a healthier mode, I decided to find a recipe from scratch.

I found the Mmm-mmm Brownies recipe from It was simple enough for someone like me, who was just getting back to baking, can follow. After the first try, I decided to change the proportions a bit, maybe substitute the ingredients for something else, and now, it looks like a totally different recipe.

The directions are still similar to the original in Allrecipes, but the revised ingredients and instructions (for your convenience) are below.

Mixing them together.... with nibs, of course.

Mmm-mmm-much Better Brownies
Original recipe makes 1 9 x 9 inch pan.

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

  • Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips instead of walnuts. Better yet, do it in add them to walnuts. I tried using peanut butter chips, but I think this ended up to be too heavy.
  • Add 1/3 cup of cocoa nibs for that extra crunch.
  • Use rice flour instead of all-purpose flour to reduce the gluten. This makes it friendlier for folks watching their phosphorus. Makes for a softer brownie.
  • Replace butter with mashed bananas, preferably overripe. If you prefer, add about 2 Tbsp of butter to keep it moist. Will keep for a couple of days.
  • Add coconut flakes on top for a tropical feel.
  • And lastly, my favorite! Use mini-muffin tin to bake the brownies. It bakes in about 10-12 minutes and makes the perfect two-bite serving. Great for potlucks! I haven't figured out how to remove the bump though.

Brownie bites with a dusting of confectioners sugar

Happy Baking!

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