Brownies are a contentious item in the kitchen. Corner or middle? Chewy or cakey? Nutty or plain? This staple recipe will satisfy the whole family and allows for the best of all worlds whether you serve it bare, dusted with sugar, drizzled with caramel, smothered with cream cheese or speckled with almonds.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Desired variations/toppings, optional
Turtle Brownies: Top brownie batter with 1/3 cup chopped pecans and ¼ cup chocolate chips before baking. Drizzle cooled brownies with 2 tablespoons melted dark chocolate and 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream sauce.
Sweet-and-Salty Brownies: With small spoonfuls, top brownie batter with 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter; swirl peanut butter into brownie batter. Bake as directed. In a microwave-safe bowl combine 6 ounces caramel candies and 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream; microwave on HIGH until melted. Spread caramel mixture on cooled brownies; press 1 cup pretzel twists into caramel topping.
Citrus Raspberry: In a medium mixing bowl beat with an electric mixer 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons unsalted butter until creamy; beat in 1½ cups powdered sugar. Spread mixture on cooled brownies; sprinkle with ½ cup fresh raspberries and 1 tablespoon orange zest.
Coconut-Almond Brownies: In a medium bowl stir together 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut and ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk until combined. Spread coconut mixture on cooled brownies; sprinkle with ½ cup toasted sliced almonds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted white chocolate.
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