When it comes to brownies, I'm a bit picky. I like them dense, fudgy and rich - no cakey brownies and don't even get me started on ones made from a box mix. The only way to go is homemade.
Like with many classics, finding just the right recipe takes some trial and error. These brownies are close to perfect. I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, which are included in the recipe below - baking the brownies in two smaller pans for a denser texture, adding more cocoa powder to the icing, etc.
I recommend trying these brownies this holiday season. They make a great gift but you may have a hard time not keeping them for yourself! ;)
Recipe from Food Network
Makes 32 brownies
For the Brownies
4oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 sticks butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Icing
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Penzey's Dutch Process High Fat Cocoa)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 -1/3 cups brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two 8x8 pans with parchment paper (leave a slight overhang of paper so the brownies are easy to remove) and lightly butter.
Add the 4oz chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave in 25-second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, followed by the chocolate, vanilla and flour. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and bake 35-40 minutes, or until the center is no longer soft. Allow the brownies to cool completely before icing.
To prepare the frosting, combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined, then add the 1/4 cup of coffee. Whip until the frosting is light and fluffy. If your frosting is too thick, add a bit more coffee until the desired consistency is reached.
Divide the frosting between the two cooled pans of brownies and spread it evenly over the top of each pan. Refrigerate until the frosting is firm, then remove the brownies from the pan and cut into small squares.
Tell me: What's your all-time favorite brownie recipe?