I have just ended weeks of “test baking” to develop the perfect holiday cookie boxes.  Happily in the midst of all this test baking, I realized that brownies are the world’s simplest baked good.  So much so that I promise to skip all boxed brownie recipes in the future;  in the same amount of time, I can make a chocolatey goodness 10x better than the store-bought version.  An added bonus with brownies is that no mixer is required and the entire recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare.  The secret that makes these brownies so good are high quality chocolate (like Ghirardelli 60% Cacao bittersweet), the espresso added into the melted chocolate, and the Cocoa powder added into the flour.  These triple chocolate secrets will take the average brownie recipe into high gear!   I hope you’ll try this recipe and let me know what you think!

To make these brownies, you’ll need the following – 2/3 cup of flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 8 oz of high quality chocolate (chopped coarsely), 2 tablespoons of espresso coffee (brewed), and 4 oz of chocolate chips. Chopped pecans or walnuts are optional.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a square 8 x 8 x 2-inch or 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.  Whisk dry ingredients together and set aside in a small bowl.  Fill a sauce pot about 1/3 of the way and bring to  simmer.  Place a glass bowl over the pot of simmering water, add the chocolate, butter, and espresso and stir until melted.  Once melted, remove from heat and bring to room temperature.  Once chocolate is at room temperature, add the sugar, stir and then add the eggs, one at a time and stir until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla.   Finally, add the dry ingredient and stir until fully incorporated but don’t over stir then add the chips.  Fill pan with brownie mixture and cook for 25 minutes.  Let the brownies sit until they reach room temperature and then cut and store in an air-tight container.  Brownies will store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for three months.