Have you heard of the "Baked" Brownie? The chocolatey treat that's taking America by storm? Baked is a bakery in Brooklyn, New York. The owners of the bakery authored of one of my favorite cookbooks, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, and in this book, share their infamously superior brownie recipe with the world.
I'd made and loved other recipes from the book (Lemon Lemon Lemon Loaf, Root Beer Bundt Cake, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies), but this is the one that they're truly famous for, so I had to see for myself. These brownies are so good that they've been endorsed by America's Test Kitchen, the Today Show, and are one of Oprah's Favorite Things.
Brownies typically aren't my baked good of choice unless there's something interesting about them, like cream cheese, oreos, or peanut butter (or all of the above? mmmm....) swirled in. When I first tasted one, I knew they were excellent, but the best brownies in America? I'd had better. After they rested overnight, though, my opinion changed. Best brownies EVER. Most definitely.
The best thing about these brownies is that they'll please a crowd. They're just the right balance of cakey and gooey to appeal to everyone on the brownie-texture spectrum. I dusted mine with a bit of powdered sugar, since that's what my mom always does (hi mom!), but feel free to leave them naked.
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Makes 24 brownies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter or spray with nonstick baking spray the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. Cool mixture to room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Cool completely, then cut into squares, dust with powdered sugar if desired, and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.