brownies, as they should be

This may not come as a surprise to any of you, but I am very particular about my baked goods. Muffins, scones, croissants, cookies—they all have to have that certain je ne sais quoi or else I will throw them out the window. Of a moving car. During rush hour. At some old lady piloting a Cadillac El Dorado. So really, exceptional baked goods are a concern of safety in my world.

Perfect brownies are illusive creatures by nature—it’s difficult to find a recipe that isn’t too cakey or too batter-y. It’s even harder to find a good brownie at a bakery. I find that they either taste like brownie-shaped paste or are just chocolate cake residing under an alias.

Part of my brownie issues stem from the fact that since I was a wee little baker in my mother’s kitchen, my dear Ma has been concocting the world’s best brownies. Or so my own picky palate tells me. I simply can’t eat another brownie because they never measure up to these fudgy (but not pasty), rich (but not batter-y) double-chocolate numbers with rich chocolate chips strewn throughout. They’re my one brownie true love.

To make them, you’ll need the basics: chocolate chips (bittersweet for a richer brownie and semi-sweet for a normal batch), sugar, flour, eggs, butter, vanilla, a titch of water, baking soda and salt.

Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda and stir to combine.

Next, grab a big ol’ saucepan and melt the butter with the sugar and water.

It never ceases to amaze me how the fluorescent lighting over my stove mars every single photo I snap there.

Stir in the chocolate chips until smooth…

…and then add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Soon it’ll be shmooove and purdy.

Whisk in the flour mixture.

I won’t judge you if you take a little taste.

Do you think there’a a job somewhere in the world where my title could be “Professional Batter Taster?” I’d be really good at it.

Finally, stir in the other half of the chocolate chips. You could also add some nuts if you’re that type o person. I usually add chopped walnuts, but this particular batch was for a party in which I didn’t know if the attendees were nut lovers or not.

Hee hee. I just said “nut lovers.”

At least I amuse myself.

Spread into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes at 325F.

And when they’re done?

Photogenic, and darn tasty, double-chocolate brownies.

The texture of these bad boys is close to perfection: a lightly crisp top layer…

…with rich, dense middles. I try not to cut the squares too big since they are fairly potent (and will inevitably land on your hips). This tactic usually backfires since I therefore eat 6 squares instead of 2. I’m not very good at math.

I adore biting into a chocolate chip now and then—it keeps life interesting.

Do you guys have a brownie recipe that you love? I’d love to hear it! Someone has to de-throne the brownies I’ve been eating since childhood.

Or not. They are my brownie mate. It’s getting serious. And I would never, ever throw them from a moving vehicle.

Happy friday!


Double Chocolate Brownies

This recipe is adapted from one printed on a scrap of an old chocolate chip bag in Mom’s kitchen. Possibly 1980’s Nestle? At any rate, neither Mom or I can take the credit for these delicious brownies. Makes one large batch (24 or more brownies) in a 9×13″ pan–see notes below on making a half batch. The temptation is always to cut them too soon, but if you do, they’ll completely fall apart and you’ll be left with a big brownie mess. Give it patience. The chocolate chips need a chance to solidify again.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 12 oz packages semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli 60% Cacao)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325F. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar and water. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in one package of the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly blend in the flour mixture, and then add the remaining package of chocolate chips and the chopped nuts. Pour into a greased 9×13″ pan* and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake, and make sure that your toothpick is coated with uncooked batter and not melted chocolate chips if you’re going to continue baking longer. Let cool at least 2 hours before serving.

*To make a half-batch, halve all amounts and use a greased 9×9″ square pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.


  1. If you didn’t want to do the double-chocolate part (i.e. you just wanted brownies, not chocolate-chip-studded ones) could you just do 1 package of chips? Or do you think they would be too dry then?

    • rainyd01 says:

      For sure! I would just adjust the baking time—maybe 20-30 minutes—to make sure that they don’t dry out.

      Thanks for the question, Chris!

  2. Oh, yum! I’m the same way, except with chocolate chip cookies. I can’t ever find ones as good as my mom’s and my recipe. [I’m a little biased!]

    These look delicious– can’t wait to try out this recipe!

  3. Libby in WI says:

    I need to find an oven STAT! Those are amazing looking and sounding. I will be home for 4 days next weekend and thanks to you RDG, I will be doing nothing but cooking.

  4. “A titch of water”…….is that the technical term?? πŸ˜›

    I love chocolate, and I love brownies, and I can’t wait to make these!!

  5. These brownies look perfect as brownies should be. Double chocolate is double good.

  6. I donno…I am pretty in love with the cocoa brownie recipe I put on my blog a couple weeks ago….so in the name of..uhh…science?….I think it might be my duty to try this recipe out ASAP so I can do a compare-and-contrast for all 1 of my readers.

    Duty calls! πŸ˜‰

  7. U have a great space and very delicious recipe’s.
    Do visit mine if u have time:-)

  8. some of the best brownies I have ever tried… YUM!

  9. I found your recipe on Tasty Kitchen and had to try it. Yummy! I made them in mini muffin tins so that I could have one-bite brownies. They only had to bake for 12 to 15 minutes and cool for 1/2 hour so I got to eat them that much sooner.

  10. These made the best 420 brownies ever! HUGE hit!!

  11. Icelander says:

    Hmm.. I just made this recipe, cooked it for almost 40 minutes, I have the same size pan as you do…But 30% of the cake came out almost too well done and 70% cake out completely uncooked…
    I seem to be able to cook everything else in my oven except these.. (The 30% I managed to salvage taste divine!)

    I’ll try them again tomorrow and put it in two smaller pans, maybe that’ll do the trick :I

    • Hmm…if they were still gooey once completely cooled, I don’t know what to tell ya! The edges do tend to get a bit crispy. Maybe they just needed a little more time?

  12. Gosh this is really making me want to make brownies, rather than wait another day to bake them for Easter. My favorite brownies are the Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter…the flavor of browned butter in it is AMAZING. I posted the recipe. My second favorite is the Classic Brownies recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. I saw it first on SmittenKitchen, and I fell in love. The Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter are my boyfriend’s favorite though. I could eat either of those 2.

  13. I finally made these last night, and I tried them after letting them cool for only 30 mins (I got impatient!). They were ok, but not what I had hoped for. Then I had another one this morning after they had cooled like they were supposed to- INCREDIBLE. Definitely let them cool the full 2 hrs, it’s worth it! These brownies were just what I’ve been searching for.

  14. These were sooo good! I wanted brownies to take to a trip with all my friends, and the recipe I had required ingredients I didn’t have. People where raving about these all week long! A friend actually asked me if I could do him a batch for himself only. This is my new favorite recipe πŸ™‚

  15. I have to say that I can almost taste the fudgy goodness just looking at that picture. Looks like a winner, for sure!

  16. Danielle says:

    Just made these yesterday and they were excellent! I drizzled some caramel topping on mine and it was amazing. Great recipe and I will definitely be making it again πŸ™‚

  17. rachael m says:

    i made these for the fourth of july weekend….and absolutely everybody went NUTS! every single person said it was the absolute best brownie they have ever had in their entire life, including me (and i eat A LOT of brownies). so flaky on top and then moist and ohhh so chocolatey in the inside (the ghriadelli chips are to die for). MMMMMMM so good. there wasnt a single one left after the first night. thank you so much for sharing this recipe, its pure gold!

  18. Laura T. says:

    I made these tonight, and I just had to tell you how awesome they were! I added walnuts and they were so perfect: chocolately, rich, amazing texture…these have it all! Thank you so much for my new favorite brownie recipe!

  19. I love brownies! this is great recipe, gorgeous photos as well, thanks for sharing! πŸ˜‰

  20. this is yummy RainyDayGal! great photos too, the brownies looks mouth watering! thanks for sharing πŸ˜‰

  21. Wow, that photo is absolutely beautiful. These look like some freakin good brownies!

  22. making these right now….hope they are as yummy as they look!!!

  23. These look absolutely perfect. Nice and moist…the way I like my brownies! And, in my opinion, the lighting over the stove doesn’t hurt that photo at all.

  24. Lovely little number this one and perfect for a ‘rainy day’. Brownies are a classic, almost the king of all baked goods and this is a really good eaxmple of how they can be done well. I also put a small bit of peanut butter in mine which was yum.



  25. There is nothing like fresh from the over homemade brownies!!

  26. I made these brownies and wrote about them here. They were a big hit. I was a little short on chocolate chips so I swapped out some peanut butter chips and they worked out fantastic. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I’ll be making these brownies again!

  27. Would you mind giving the measures in grams? In Italy it’s pretty hard to find measuring cups and even if I tried finding out conversions online, I’m not really sure, especially when it comes to oz.
    I’d love to make these wonderful brownies and share them with all my Italian friends.

  28. First and foremost, these brownies are amazing. 4 Syllables amazing. Oh the chocolate batter goodness. =)

    However, I have a minor issue– wanted to make them for someone who does not eat eggs.
    How do I substitute that? I tried subbing tapioca starch, I also tried applesauce, then I tried a combo of the two. Needless to say I had an nuclear brownie mess floating in separated butter in the oven. The saddest part: the batter was super delicious.

    Can you help me, lol?!?! I don’t know enough about substitutions (except applesauce or pumpkin for oil in my breads) to make this work.


  29. My favorite brownie recipe is a version of yours. I use your recipe but add a little bit of cocoa powder and slightly more water, and substitute white chocolate for the second bag of chips. We call them opposites attract brownies because the brownie uses bittersweet but the chips are sweet white chocolate.


  1. […] dubbed them the current leaders in the brownie quest. The second recipe I tried that day were Brownies, as They Should Be from Rainy Day Gal. Well, unfortunately, this is not how brownies should be. They simply paled in […]

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