How To Be A Basic: The Fudge Brownie // Wit & VinegarToday we’re taking a page/chapter from the bible that is ‘Don’t hate the player, and also don’t hate the game because it’s so easy, an Ina Garten playbook of Love’. I know the title’s a little long but we’re working on it, and we really want to make sure the world knows what’s inside.

The page/chapter we’re talking about today is ‘the brownie and how we can use it to steal your man because you can’t bake’. The great thing is that this chapter helps out the person on both sides of the fence. Do you want to keep your man? Is there a man you want to steal? The answer is learn how to bake a good brownie. Ina tells us time and time again that her secret to catching the man of her dreams is by sending him boxes of brownies. Catch, but don’t release.

How To Be A Basic: The Fudge Brownie // Wit & VinegarNow, Ina has a recipe for brownies. They’re outrageous brownies, literally that’s the title, and while they’ve got great reviews, they use over 2 pounds of chocolate and make 20 large brownies. Your man eats all that and he’s not pooping for at least a week.

When I went out on my brownie journey I knew in the end the brownie had to easily fit into an 8×8 that can be doubled to a 9×13 and that it needed to be not cakey, a little chewy, make me want a glass of milk, and have that signature glossy crust on top. You know you want your brownies to look like they’re wearing silk pajamas.

How To Be A Basic: The Fudge Brownie // Wit & VinegarIt took way too many batches of brownies to realize the one true secret is melting the butter down with the sugar a little before you add the rest of the ingredients. There’s no need to beat the eggs forever, no need to add lots of chocolate chips to the batter. These beauty queens have that silk pajama lewk, that chewy bite, and perfect richness that makes you want to just pour a glass of milk all over your body.

These are my favorite, super basic, ready to go fudge brownies.

The Fudge Brownie

Makes 1 8×8″ pan or easily double to make 1 9×13″ pan, adding 5-10 minutes more on the baking time

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips DIVIDED (I like the 62% Guittard chocolate chips melted and then semisweet folded in)
2/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour

Turn the oven on to 350* and prep a metal 8×8″ pan by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray and lining it with a long piece of parchment so it hangs out over two sides to help with lifting.

Optional add -ins: 2/3 cup walnuts if you want my heart, 1/3 cup white chocolate or peanut butter chips, or about 1/2 cup roughly crushed freeze dried raspberries are all aces.

Cut the butter up into 5 or 6 pieces, just so it helps it melt a little faster and more evenly, and add it to a medium size saucepan set over medium low heat. Cook just until the butter is melted then whisk in the sugar. Turn up the heat to medium and watch for bubbles to start happening around the edge of the pan. Once this happens, turn the heat to low and continue to cook the butter sugar mixture for 3 minutes, whisking a few times to make sure everyone’s moving. This doesn’t melt all the butter, just enough to give you the silky lewk. If you’re having a brownie emergency and your ass can’t wait an extra 4 minutes then skip this and just move on after you whisk in the sugar.

After the butter and sugar have hung out for the 3 minutes remove from the heat and add the salt, vanilla, and ONLY 1/3 CUP OF THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Let it sit for about 30 seconds then whisk it all together until the chocolate’s melted.

Sift in the cocoa powder so you don’t have the lumps and whisk until smooth. Add both the eggs and whisk that together until combined. Now switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the flour just until it disappears, then quickly fold in the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips and any other add-ins that strike your fancy.

After everything’s folded in scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake it for 20-25 minutes until the top is nice and glossy and a toothpick inserted comes out with crumbs and no raw batter. For me I don’t want to ruin the brownies so I don’t do the toothpick test. 20 minutes is my perfect time, and it’s always better to be a little underbaked than over and dried out.

Let the brownies cool for 30 minutes then use the parchment to lift them out and cool completely before cutting them into squares and gifting them to the man (or woman) you want to keep.

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  • Liz @ FloatingKitchen

    Yes, I like my brownies just how I like my men: rich, chewy and wearing silk pajamas. Ina would be totes proud!

  • The crackle top is KEY to a perfect fudgy brownie! You killed it!

  • Ina sure knows how to keep a man….in heart failure. I can’t believe Jeffrey is still standing after all these years of butter and French food. I’m just jealous–as soon as he drops, I’m swooping in.

  • That’s how I captured my man. I totally Ina’d him. And now I’m going to keep Ina’ing him this weekend by being totally basic and making him brownies, in the shape of hearts, because if there is a holiday that deserves your inner basic to be released, it’s totally Valentine’s Day. Delish!

  • maybe I should take a page from his survival guide and switch up my diet…

  • SAME

  • My husband is a terrible person who doesn’t care about baked goods (thankgod he makes a good cup of coffee tho), so I’ll be Ina and Jeffrey this weekend with these brownies!

  • I’m so hungry I’m literally just sitting at work not wanting to be here and wanting to eat a brownie and also wanting to watch the Barefoot Contessa and maybe have you join me maybe we could eat brownies while watching the Barefoot Contessa together in silk pajamas and maybe we can even invite the boys but also maybe not maybe it’s girl time.

  • I ONLY eat brownies that look like they’re wearing silk pajamas. Also, I’m a firm believer that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. How else do you think I’ve kept Thom around for eight whole years? I GOT DA (BAKED) GOOOOOODS.

  • i think maybe it’s just girl time this time around

  • sometimes i have to be Ina and Jeffrey too! the struggle is real

  • oh yeah it’s the only way!

  • amen!

  • thanks Katrina!

  • Lucy

    Billy I made these the other day and they are heaven. If I wanted to add some peanut butter… any suggestions on that? Thank YA xo.

  • Yas! So for peanut butter I go 2 routes: Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips because they’re heaven orrr if you wanted actual peanut butter I’d go with either jif or skippy (there’s sugar and added oil so it shouldn’t dry out as much as all natural peanut butter with nothing added but go with all natural nothing added if that’s what you have) and dollop on like 4 or 5 tablespoons and gently swirl it into the batter then bake like you regularly would!

  • Lucy

    I didn’t even think about peanut butter chips, you genius. I also feel like the pb swirl could be ~beautiful~. Thanks for the advice Billy!