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Who can resist? When the smell of chocolate crawls out of your oven and begins to permeate the airspace around your house. Brown and firm on the top, yet moist and oh so gooey on the inside…. The thought makes me want to start rattling pots and pans. Add some chocolate syrup on top and bring a scoop of ice cream to the party and you’ve got a slice of heaven on your hands.
The plain fact is…everyone loves chocolate, and I think brownies are probably the ultimate delivery device to calm even the most hardened chocoholics cravings. A pan of brownies never lasts long around here, and even when I take a pan to the office, they’re gone in a few minutes followed by numerous requests for the recipe.
This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to cooking. When I started teaching my grandson how to cook, the first recipe we did together was a pan of brownies. Why not? They’re simple and delicious and don’t require very many ingredients. We all know that kids are more motivated to learn when there is a treat at the end.
Where did the brownie come from? We first find the brownie as a cake recipe in a sears roebuck catalogue from 1897, there were several recipes before this that called themselves brownies, but were actually more of a molasses candy. The brownie itself is actually classified as a bar cookie instead of a cake and the name brownie derives, of course, from the deep rich brown color. Rumor has it that the brownie was first derived from a careless baker that forgot the baking powder in his chocolate cake. Others say housewives in Bangor, Maine, bringing us the Bangor Brownie, invented the brownie. All we really know for sure is that it is of American origin. I’m sure though, that the brownie probably evolved over time from various recipes instead of being invented by one person as is the case with so many other recipes we enjoy today.
So, here is my favorite brownie recipe. I first found this in a cookbook several years ago; I’ve since tweaked and refined this, adding my own touches here and there until the final perfection.
- 4 squares semisweet bakers chocolate
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- ¼ cup peanut butter (this is optional, but I love the taste of chocolate and peanut butter) smooth or chunky
- 4 large eggs slightly beaten
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt (Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt your chocolate and butter together with the coffee and peanut butter.
- Once everything is melted, remove from the heat.
- Add sugar to the chocolate mixture and blend well with a hand mixer
- Add the eggs and blend well.
- Sift the dry ingredients together and add the chocolate mix, then add the vanilla.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy.
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