There are two types of people in this world. Those who like cake-like brownies, and those who like fudgy brownies. I am a part of both circles, but if I HAD to choose – I would have to pick a fudgy brownie hands down.
I have experimented with different brownie recipes for years and compared them to every boxed mix available. Scratch made brownies are so much better than the boxed mix – and REALLY simple to make!
The only boxed variety that would get my “stamp of approval” would be Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Outrageous Brownie Mix” – which is, sadly, no longer available.
I encourage people to make brownies from scratch – and not take it seriously! Stir in your favorite candy, or frost your brownies with chocolate syrup and chopped nuts! Have fun with it and explore all options!
Here is one of my “go to” recipes for brownies – this version having chopped peanut butter cups added. This version also has a little coffee added to the mix. I find that anytime you are using chocolate, adding a little coffee really enhances the flavor of the chocolate! You can not necessarily taste the coffee – but it is there…
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies
1 stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
About 10 chocolate peanut butter cup candies, chopped
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Butter an 8-inch baking pan or glass dish and line the bottom with parchment paper. Leave a little parchment paper “hanging” over the sides, so you can “lift” the brownies from the pan when they have finished baking.
Place butter and chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for about 30 seconds. Stir. Keep doing this until the chocolate and butter are melted and can be stirred easily together. It should take about 2 minutes total – maybe a little less (or more) depending on the strength of your microwave.
(I sometimes put the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and place it over simmering water to melt…I have found that microwaving does the same thing without the hassle…)
Once the chocolate is melted, bring it down to room temperature before continuing.
Once the chocolate is cooled a bit, stir in the sugar until combined.
Stir in the eggs one at a time until smooth. (I sometimes use a whisk for this process.)
Stir in vanilla and instant coffee granules.
After it is well mixed, GENTLY fold in flour and salt. DO NOT over mix this! I sometimes even leave little streaks of flour running throughout the brownie. It is important NOT to over mix!
Pour into the greased and parchment lined pan.
Smooth the top and sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups.
Place in the preheated oven for 42 minutes exactly. DO NOT OVER BAKE! You want them to be a little underdone and fudgy. They will continue to bake a little as they are cooling.
Once cool – pull up on the parchment paper that was “hanging” from the sides. Be gentle. If brownies stick a little, run a knife around the edges to help loosen.
Cut into pieces.