Over the years I have conducted many recipe searches. These searches have always had a "Best Of" theme. You know - the best spaghetti sauce or chocolate cake, the best biscuits or the best cornbread. The recipe had to be from scratch and had to meet my high standards. Which would be . . . um, that they tasted really good.
Brownies were my first official search. I love, love, LOVE brownies and I have a ton of recipes. Some use sour cream, some use chocolate squares, some use cocoa powder. Some are caky, some fudgey. Personally, I like dense, rich fudgey brownies with strong chocolate flavor.
These brownies usually meet those criteria and they're awesome. They're also a little pricey, especially if you get the single serving box in the grocery store. Please note the "makes 6 batches" on the front of the box. The only way to buy this brand of brownie mix is in the huge Costco size. They are incredible.
But I also love to make homemade brownies. When I graduated from nursing school and moved out on my own, I went on a search for the Best Brownies Ever. And I found them. My roommate, Connie, gave me a brownie cookbook (wish I could remember the name) for my birthday and this recipe was in the book.
Oh my are they good.
Seriously. In the history of brownies in the universe, these are the best. Fudgey and chocolatey and buttery. And it's your lucky day because I'm sharing them with you! Let's get busy.
3/4 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/3 c. butter - no substitutions, people. Trust me.
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. milk
2 c. good quality milk chocolate chips, divided (a 12 0z. bag)
1 t. vanilla
optional - 1 c. toasted, chopped nuts - I like walnuts the best
Combine the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
Melt the butter, milk and sugar together over med-low heat, stirring frequently. When it's just to a boil, remove from heat and immediately stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
The chips will melt quickly and the mixture will be smooth and glossy. And so pretty you'll take a picture of it. Then, while you're trying to hold the pan with one hand and focus the camera with the other hand, you'll accidently flip the chocolate-covered spatula out onto the floor . . .
. . . and this will happen. And you'll try not to cuss and feel bad that you've wasted some lovely, melted chocolate and then you'll tell yourself your floor is perfectly clean and try to justify, in some psycho way, licking your floor. I never would but you definitely will. Lick your floor, I mean.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and stir in the eggs, one at a time, then the flour mixture and the vanilla.
Fold in the remaining cup of chocolate chips and the nuts too, if you don't have picky kids who won't eat nuts in brownies.
Pour the batter into a greased 9x9 pan. Bake 30 - 35 minutes at 325 degrees.
Serve warm to your fan club. Accept marriage proposals and be prepared for complete strangers to hurl engagement rings at you.
You're a rock star now.