My latest mission has been to try making more things from scratch. I have to admit, I’ve never attempted brownies without cracking open a box of brownie mix. It’s so easy to just rip open a box of mix, add in a few eggs and…voila!
Although it takes a bit more time to make brownies from scratch, believe me, it’s worth it. What’s even better, is that if you line the pan with aluminum foil, you’ll even save time in the end.
This recipe is an adaptation of “Brownies” from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. The original version uses 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate – not something I would keep on hand – so I use the more economical substitute of 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 2 Tbsp oil.
After baking, simply lift the foil from the pan, allow to cool, then pop the sheet of brownies out onto a cutting board, slice, and serve. My older son and I had fun decorating these ones with toothpicks of fresh berries for our neighborhood picnic today.
Plain Ol’ Brownies
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp cooking oil or shortening
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large bowl. Mix in cocoa powder and oil. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Gently stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla. Line an 8 x 8 pan with aluminum foil. Use the butter wrapper to grease the foil. Pour batter into pan, and bake for 25 minutes or until just barely set in the middle.