Cocoa Brownies with Chocolate Chips
I like brownies, but only a certain type -- which seems to be the case for most people concerning this dessert. Some want their brownies fluffy and cake-like, while others prefer them fudgy and almost gooey. My preference lies somewhere in the middle, with a brownie that is dense, but not too wet. After trying many recipes over the years and not finding anything that perfectly fit this preference, I determined that I would simply have to make my own. (This is not to say I had never eaten any that I liked; I just was never able to get the recipe whenever I came across what I would call a "good" brownie!)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking dish or pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together by hand (with a wooden spoon or spatula) the butter, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Next, gently stir in the vanilla and egg until they are just combined with the sugar mixture.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Add this dry mixture to the large bowl, about one-third of it at a time, and stir it in thoroughly before adding more.
- Once all the dry mixture has been stirred into the dough*, add the chocolate chips to the bowl and fold them in until they are evenly distributed. (*The consistency at this point will be more like a dough, rather than a batter.)
- Press the dough into the greased baking dish or pan, making sure the thickness of the dough is even over the bottom of the dish. Bake on the center rack of the oven for twenty minutes if using a baking dish; fifteen to eighteen minutes for a pan. The brownies are done when the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. When done baking, remove the dish from the oven and cool on a wire rack before serving the brownies.
- For the best results, mix by hand as directed. Using a mixer or wire whisk adds air to the dough and makes it fluffier than it is supposed to be.
- If you prefer your brownies to be extra thick, use an 8"x8" or 9"x9" pan. Note that you will have to increase the cook time by at least five minutes, and maybe more depending on the size of the pan. Just keep an eye on the brownies once you hit the twenty minute mark; like most baked goods they can singe rather quickly around the edges. As soon as the middle is completely set, take them out of the oven.
- A sharp, serrated knife works best to cut these brownies neatly.
- One can alter the add-in on this recipe to give it a different taste. Instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, try peanut butter, mint, butterscotch, or white chocolate chips. Nuts such as walnuts or pecans can also be added if you prefer nuts in your brownies.
- Because of their density, these brownies work well in an ice cream sundae; they do not turn into a soggy mess under the ice cream.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of these brownies or frost them with your favorite chocolate frosting for a stand-alone treat.
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