RECIPE: Signature Brownies

This recipe is the one that started my love affair with chocolate in general and brownies in particular. Handed down from my grandmother Rose to my mom, Hilda, and then on to me, it is the best brownie recipe ever. Why? Because it blends two chocolates: semisweet and cocoa powder. Most brownie recipes call for one or the other, rarely both, but the double dose of chocolate delivers a much more interesting flavor profile.

My Signature Brownies are dense, chocolatey, and rich enough to stand on their own. However, if your family simply has to have frosting, whip up your favorite from scratch or try my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe on page 30. Prefer a more cakelike brownie? Simply add an extra egg to the recipe for an 8 x 8-inch pan or two extra eggs to the 9 x 13-inch recipe.


2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

6 tablespoons salted butter

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon 100% baking cocoa


YIELD 9 brownies

PREP 10 minutes

BAKE 30 minutes




3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) salted butter

3 large eggs

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt, heaping

1 ½ tablespoons 100% baking cocoa


YIELD 24 brownies

PREP 10 minutes

BAKE 30 minutes


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside.

Microwave the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 30 seconds; remove and stir. Return to the microwave if not completely melted and microwave in 15-second intervals until smooth and creamy. (Do not overheat or the chocolate will scorch.)

Mix together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a separate bowl using an electric mixer set on the lowest speed or a spatula. Blend the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa to the chocolate mixture and mix well by hand or using the lowest setting on the mixer.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until edges are crisp and the center is completely flat with a crackly surface.

Cool completely, and then cut into 9 squares or 24 pieces, depending on the pan size. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Recipe from Sheila G’s Butter and Chocolate by Sheila G. Mains. Published by Kyle Books.