I’ve had the original version of this recipe saved since the NY Times first posted it right after Katherine Hepburn died. When Pinterest came along, I remember moving it from my long list of bookmarks to make it one of my first food pins. It’s since become one of my go-to brownie recipes. It’s everything a brownie should be – crackly crisp on the top, chewy around the edges, fudgy and dense in the middle.
My take on it is a one-bowl version of the recipe that takes 5 mins to throw together. This is my adaption but if you’re a purist and want Ms. Hepburn’s original recipe, you can find it here: Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies.
Butter and cocoa powder go into a bowl together and then into the microwave for 45 seconds. The eliminates the “melt the butter in a pot” step and works just as well. If you’re not sure about the strength of your microwave, start with 30 seconds. Whisk it all together and if you have a few unmelted lumps of butter, don’t worry – it’ll finish melting while you whisk. Let the mix cool a little bit before adding your eggs & vanilla.
Mix in the sugar, the flour, the nuts/chocolate if you’re adding them. This is also the time to mix in the espresso powder. This is the brand I keep handy for all chocolate recipes – because every chocolate recipe is made just a little better with a hint of espresso.
Finally, pour into a pan lined with parchment paper. I doubled the recipe this time and cooked it in a 7×11 inch pan. More about that later.
And out of the oven – perfect brownies.
Crackly crust on the top and fudgy and dense in the middle. Cut these into small bites – anything more than about 2″ square is going to be overwhelming. The original recipe makes 16 brownies.
I double this recipe a lot and make it in my toaster oven (which is also a convection oven), which is the reason for the odd sized pan. It’s a hit of brownie goodness without having to fire up the big oven which heats up the kitchen quite a bit. I actually do a lot of baking in my toaster oven specifically because of that.
Using the smaller pan, the doubled recipe makes for a thicker brownie, so you have to cook it for about 50 mins and I sometimes throw a sheet of foil over the top after the first 30 just to make sure the crust doesn’t burn.
These brownies aren’t for the faint of heart and they aren’t low calorie by any stretch of the imagination. Nutritional information (if you dare to look) is below. Or just skip right on to the recipe.
Serving size: 1 brownie (or 1/16 of the single recipe)
Without nuts: Calories: 442 | Fat: 6g | Carbohydrates: 98g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 1g
With nuts: Calories: 489 | Fat: 11g | Carbohydrates: 99g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 1g
Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
Fudgy, dense, chewy brownies. Everything a brownie should be.
- ½ cup cocoa
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 325°F
- Step 2 Melt butter in a bowl in the microwave and mix in cocoa powder until it’s a thick paste. (You can also do this on the stovetop in a pan, but then you have an extra pan to clean.)
- Step 3 Let the butter/cocoa mixture cool for a few mins and then whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
- Step 4 Add sugar, flour, nuts, chocolate, salt, pecans, and vanilla and stir until just barely mixed.
- Step 5 Pour into an 8×8 pan and bake for 35 mins.
- Step 6 Let cool slightly before cutting – the middles are fudgy and gooey and they need to set up a bit.
- Step 7 Enjoy!