Best Brownies in the World

This recipe was given to us by Sherri Harris, cook nonpareil, who says it comes mostly from The Barefoot Contessa. Ms. Harris’s nickname, coincidentally, is The Contessa!  These are definitely the best brownies I’ve ever eaten in my life, and I’ve eaten plenty.

A note on ingredients: if you, like we, live in a place where chocolate chips are unavailable, substitute any good dark chocolate.  I used 3 500-gram bars of Lindt dark chocolate and followed the directions below.  Be sure to weigh the chocolate accurately.  You can make completely non-uniform, ugly, but perfectly tasty chips for use in step 6 by putting a bunch of chocolate squares in the food processor and whizzing them around for a while.

These brownies are incredibly rich, and the recipe makes tons of them.  Cut them small, no one could possibly eat more than six or seven at one sitting.

1 lb Butter + 1 Tbls for baking pan

1 lb Semi-sweet chocolate chips + 12 oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 oz Bitter chocolate

6 extra large eggs (or 7 large)

3 Tbs instant coffee granules

2 Tbs Vanilla extract

2 1/4 c Sugar

1 C Flour, 1/4 C flour, + 1 Tbs flour for baking pan

1 Tbs Baking powder

1 tsp Salt

3 C chopped walnuts of pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2.  Butter & flour a 12 x 18 x 1 (inch) baking sheet

3.  Melt together: 1 lb. butter, 1 lb chocolate chips and bitter chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water, or melt them carefully in a medium microwave oven, stirring several times.  Allow to cool slightly.

4.  In a large bowl mix the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar.  Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

5. In a medium bowl sift together: 1 cup flour, the baking powder and salt.  Add to the cooled chocolate mixture, stirring only until mixed – do not beat!

6. Toss the walnuts (if using) and the 12 oz of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup flour, then add them to the chocolate batter.  Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Then rap the baking sheet against the counter to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough.  Bake for about 15 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean.   Do Not Over Bake!!  Allow to cool thoroughly.  Refrigerate and cut into squares.

Bake up to a week in advance.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  These freeze well.  Yum!

Note: If you eliminate the nuts you will have exactly enough batter for a single half-sheet pan; adding the nuts guarantees that the bater will spill over.

5 thoughts on “Best Brownies in the World”

  1. I think this will be my birthday cake this year.
    Thanks, Sherry for sharing it with our butterfly – hope to see you sometime in ’09! Pidge

  2. farfalle1 said:

    Thanks again for sharing the recipe, and the, um, augmentation…

  3. farfalle1 said:

    Oh my, those brownie crusts with whipped cream – that will get someone thrown into prison. I didn’t think the brownies could be any better, and suddenly they are!

    Glad the neighbor’s construction site is tidy. I have to say that seeing a banana peel anywhere on the ground makes me collapse with laughter – sick, yes; juvenile, I know – but I can’t help it.

  4. Sherri Harris said:

    NB: “The crusty edges ……. ARE not too shabby.

  5. Sherri Harris said:

    Despite your kind words, cara, I’m not a baker. Yes ,these brownies are delicious but I can only take a smidgen, (un soupcon?) of the credit. However, I will tell you that the constructions workers building The World’s Largest House next-door to us are highly appreciative of my limited talents. They are so kind, so clean & tidy and so thoughtful that I wanted to say “Thank You” in the language I know best. Have you ever heard of a workman being fired for dropping a banana peel on the ground? That’s the kind of jobsite they run and we are grateful beyond measure. Wonderful brownies are the very least I can do.
    (OK, so we needed to remove the crusty edges because we didn’t want to offend their tender sensibilities and it’s only common courtesy to taste them to see if they pass muster …….
    The crusty edges piled high in a glass and smothered with freshly whipped cream is not too shabby. I am grateful to my mother for instilling good manners.)

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