February Almanac Recipe: Simply Perfect Brownies

A page from our February Almanac:

So what food best captures the romantic, red, winter-y love of February? I believe the answer is simple: it’s a big plate of wonderful, deeply delicious, chocolate brownies. Obviously.

And going beyond just February, it’s amazing how many meals I’ve made that are begging to be finished with brownies. Not pie or cake or fancy creme’ brûlée, just brownies.

Like most things, it’s often in true simplicity that we find great levels of complexity and compliment. I present to you here, for this cold winter month, warm decadence without bells and whistles or pretension: the best brownie recipe ever. Make them to finish about any meal and taste the rich love for yourself.


Simply Perfect Brownies

Makes 1 8×8 pan of brownies

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment, extending it up two sides, or foil. Butter the parchment or foil or spray it with a nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and butter together until only a couple unmelted bits remain. Off the heat, stir until smooth and fully melted. You can also do this in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula and scrape batter into prepared pan, spread until even. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out batter-free.

Let cool and cut into desired size.

– Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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