This recipe is essentially from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, though I experimented with the additions. It makes between 12 and 24 brownies, depending on how you cut them. Enjoy!
- 2 oz of baking chocolate, the darker the better. For the chili brownies, I used this Guajillo Mexican Chili Chocolate, and I added a couple of whole dried chipotle chilis to the chocolate/butter mixture as it melted, then removed them. For the others, I used a base of Ghirardelli 70%.
- 350 degree preheated oven and a greased 8×8″ baking dish.
- 1 stick of unsalted, softened butter.
- 1 cup of sugar. For the lavender brownies, I ground up a good tbsp of flowers, with a little of the sugar, until you get what looks like purple sugar.
- 2 eggs, room temp, to be added one at a time.
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour.
- A good tsp of kosher salt. The recipe calls for a pinch, but you have to use about double if you use kosher.
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. But I bet the brownies would be even better with fresh vanilla bean!
Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring intermittently, and take it off the heat just before everything is smooth–stir it around to finish melting off the heat, so that it cools just a bit. Put the chocolate and butter mixture into a fairly large bowl, and stir in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time (though when I messed up once and put them both in at the same time, I couldn’t tell the difference). Then, stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla until just combined. The mixture will be pretty gooey, but not runny. At this point, you can add most any additional flavorings you want–I used 1/4 cup of Maker’s Mark and a generous pile of toasted, chopped hazelnuts in one recipe, and in the chili brownies, a de-seeded and minced dried chipotle pepper. Scrape the batter into the greased baking dish, and bake it for about 23 minutes, give or take. Just before the brownies are finished baking, sprinkle any additional flavorings on the top–toasted hazelnuts, lavender flowers & kosher salt, more minced chipotles. Don’t overbake, though! Cool the brownie pan on a rack before cutting them up.