comments: 116









Chocolate craving. Resulted in brownies. Which I've never, ever been good at. Until now!!! These were awesome. They're fudgy (not cakey — I don't really like cakey brownies) and salty (the original recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon salt, but I added 1/2) and not too sweet. You can add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, but Larry doesn't, and neither did I. I ate them for dinner with a giant glass of cold milk while sitting under a giant duvet with all the windows open and the October evening blowing in. Oh yeah.

Crowd-Pleasing (Fudgy) Family Brownies
from Sara Bir in The Oregonian, modified by my friend Larry Payne

Makes 16 brownies

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cold eggs, straight from the refrigerator
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt the butter in a high-sided saucepan over medium heat, keeping an eye on the pan so the butter does not burn. When the butter is quite hot (you may hear it sizzling or popping a bit), remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir once and set aside to finish melting while you prepare the pan.

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil or parchment paper, letting several inches hang over two opposite sides to create handles. Grease the pan and foil and set aside.

Now, stir the chocolate and butter mixture until it is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted. With a wooden spoon or with an electric mixer, beat in the sugar and salt, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. (Add the vanilla, if using.) Beat in the flour until the batter is smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out with moist crumbs, not raw batter, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack or place in the freezer until browies are cool and set. Using the parchment or foil handles, lift the brownies out of the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares and serve!


If you want to try another recipe that has some complex flavors and is a really good balance between fudgy and cake like, then try "Baked" recipe It has espresso powder in it. Really intense if you like that.

These look amazing. I'm going to second what MaryEllen said above, though, and highly recommend Ina's brownies. They are certainly labor intensive, but they make the most amazing brownies ever. Well worth a shot!

I love, love, love brownies!

Putting away groceries...
Four ounces unsweetened chocolate?
That wasn't on my list.
Alicia... you started something...

My comment is not about is about your white range. I love it. Never one to care for the stainless steel appliances except in commercial kitchens, I smiled when I saw your white range top. Reminds me of kitchens of my childhood. Now , if only I can get my old stainless and black stove out of my kitchen and start the remodel that I keep promising myself.

oooh, i was so hoping that you were going to say that you took the whole pan and climbed into bed. that's what i would've done ;)

LOL at "Oh Yeah!" That's called livin it up, sister! :)

Thank you for this : the recipe and the pictures. I will try it... Reading your blog is such a pleasure for me, a piece of America and through your wonderful pictures, some moments of peace and harmony. Best wishes from France (Limoges)!

those look fantastic, but i have to tell you something. i LOVE brownies! i work in a bakery and we make awesome brownies. but you know what are the best freaking brownies ever? the ghirardelli mix- the double chocolate ones. i'm ashamed to admit it, but it's the BEST! and it's only $2.59. think about it! :)

Perfect October dinner! I think it would also make a great breakfast - nothing like sweets in the morning to start your day right.

Oh man, I am making those sometime. I know you mentioned menu planning is not your forte, but who'd care with results like these? Hmmm. Now I am remembering you posted a curry sometime I never got to. Perhaps that will be just the thing on a gloomy evening. (It'll make twice today I've made soup, since I already made broccoli soup; it's definitely the weather...)

Yum, brownies for dinner. I love your "spot" on the couch. Looks so cozy.

Kathy, FRANCE says: October 11, 2012 at 05:06 PM

Your basket next to the bed is almost exactly like my market basket - market day being thursday here in Chateau Gontier France I thought I'd share what was in it today..
a bunch of organic flat leaf parsely, a pound of organic baby aubergines (around 2" - 3" in size), a bunch of various organic peppers (purple, orange, pale green, yellow, red) a big head of broccoli with it's stalk and leaves, two branches of bay leaves, a bunch of tarragon from someones garden, a handful of french green beans and baby beetroot from the same garden, a great big head of curley green cabbage, a dozen eggs (procured from the car as it's not up to standard to sell direct to public lol) and 10lbs of fresh little green and red apples so fresh they make your teeth tingle (they didn't fit in the basket)and 5lbs of fresh potatoes dug from someones garden this morning!! oh yeh and also a huge great mushroom (about 10" accross) and a cep mushroom - which were fried with garlic this evening and cream added and served over fresh tagliatelle (made with aforementioned eggs!!) it doesn't get any better!! sometimes I just sigh and think I'm so lucky!!

I love the cozy picture you paint with your words Alicia! I had promised my family shortbread cookies tomorrow but you have me dreaming about brownies now so I'm not sure I can keep my promise.

Well, at least you didn't have brownies AND dinner on top of that. Sometimes I'm in denial and think that the dinner will cancel out the bad food I've eaten, but that never really works. :)
I have used a Martha brownie recipe out of her Comfort Foods cookbook. Homemade brownies make you never want to eat the boxed ones again!

Laura in Naperville, IL

I would like you to know I´m a fan of your pictures!
I always came here to relax with your excelent pictures!
Thanks for sharing!
Carol, from Argentina

Kathleen Bourne says: October 11, 2012 at 07:29 PM

Alicia--one of your readers mentioned that she puts the brownies in the freezer before eating. I did that once and thought I had died and gone to heaven with the results. That evening, my DH and I had them for dinner AND dessert.
On another note: have you seen the English series that has recently started here in Canada called "Call the Midwife"? I think it is on PBS, so you should be able to see it in the US. I know what I will be watching every Sunday night for the next who knows how many weeks (many I hope)!

Okay, I just made that Curried Potato-Shrimp Chowder, but with chicken from a seemingly endless rotisserie chicken and it was loved. Thank you so much for sharing -- perfect for a chilly, rainy Bay Area night.

those look soooo yummy! now i have a chocolate craving! :-)

A friend was just telling me yesterday how much better from scratch brownies are and I'd made a mental note to look up a recipe. Thanks for your perfectly timed post!

Throw in some girly movies and it looks like a knitting party waiting to happen.

Oh Alicia, just as I was trying to be firm with my never- ending hunger, you make me 'desire' chocolate... too wicked! I think I will succumb...

Oh yum! I can almost smell the chocolatey goodness through those photos!

Here I am in a small village in Kent, England, thinking about making winter goodies and up pops your blog about Brownies. Being a bit partial to a cake or two I will definitely give them a go without telling anyone so that I can eat them all myself.
It's interesting that we both blogged about spiders at approximately the same time and your stunning photography showed a cross spider. We have the same here, doing the same thing at the same time....and yet many, many miles apart.
I do love your blog, your photography, your gorgeous Cloverhound and the sense of warmth and cosiness you get into every post.
Best wishes from my little village in England (called Denny Bottom...I kid you not).

Oh the irony! I was searching and searching for a brownie recipe last night, finally had to settle for one I wasn't too sure about, and brownie failed to rise and looks very pale. Next time I'll be sure to try yours, this looks delicious!!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at