I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is absolutely the BEST brownie recipe of my life. I spend a lot of time baking (and eating!) and I’ve never had another brownie like this one. It is the ultimate in rich, fudgy, chocolatey flavor, all thanks to the magic of browned butter. Regular brownies just can’t compete with this depth of flavor. 

brownie recipe

This post was originally published on January 30, 2013.

The other day Truman asked me from the back of the car if he would have time to play legos before dinner when we got home. I cheerfully said, “Absolutely!” And then there was this pause, and he said, very confused, “So…will there be time to play legos?”

I laughed so hard. He was confused because for some reason, I say the phrase “Absolutely not!” when my kids are in trouble or need reprimanding. I think they’ve picked up some unjustified negative connotations on the word “absolutely,” so he had no idea that I was trying to say “yes” in a happy and emphatic way.

brownies

Absolutely means, “with no qualification, restriction, or limitation; totally.” And I can say with fervency, guys, that these brownies are ABSOLUTELY the best ones to ever come out of my kitchen, or, dare I say, to cross my lips.

Everyone’s got a homemade brownie recipe, right? They are just an American classic. Even the boxed brownie mixes are okay. I mean they are nothing to write home about, but in a pinch, a brownie is still a brownie, right?

homemade brownies

I mean it’s chocolate and sugar, it’s going to taste delicious even if you mess them up or use a subpar recipe. It’s like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s still good. (Have you ever bought a Little Caesar’s Hot and Ready intended for kids only but then you end up eating half the box? Guilty.)

But I say if you’re going to make brownies, you should go all in. Don’t waste your time or calories on brownies that don’t make you want to shout hallelujah.

how to make brownies

Why this is the best brownie recipe

I will tell you the secret: BROWNED BUTTER.

It is the best way to take brownies from, “wow, these brownies are so good” to, “OH MY GOSH WHAT IS THIS MAGIC.” And the awesome news is that it’s not even hard to do this. We’re not using any special ingredients. We’re not dirtying half a sink full of pots and bowls.

best brownie recipe

It’s a one-pot brownie recipe that is so gooey and fudgy and deep in flavor, you will be nervous that it is so dangerously simple to make. You can have these in the oven in 15 minutes flat.

How to make the best brownies

easy brownie recipe

Buttaaaaaaaaa. All ready to get toasty brown.

brownies

The butter will foam up and start to darken…

brownie recipe

And pretty soon it will look like this gorgeous swirly goodness.

how to make brownies

Here’s the batter all finished, once you’ve added the eggs and flour.

best brownie recipe

I like to add my chocolate chips after the warm batter is in the pan, so that they don’t melt.

Browned butter typically lends a nutty, almost toffee-like flavor to whatever you add it to. But this recipe is a little different. Chocolate is such a strong flavor (and there is so much of it!), that these brownies do not have that toffee-ish flavor. Instead, the browned butter serves to deepen the chocolate flavor.

easy brownie recipe

I don’t use espresso in my baked goods, but I know that it adds depth to chocolate flavor without tasting like coffee. Browned butter does the same thing. It makes the brownies rich and deep. And it’s SO easy. The best brownie recipes always call for melted butter anyway, so just…carry on a bit until it turns brown. You will not regret it!

best brownie recipe

I’ve been making this recipe for several years now, and get so many requests for the recipe. I just gave leftovers from this batch to a friend of mine, and she texted me a few hours later that her husband was going on about the brownies and needed the recipe. I promise, it will not let you down. Everyone needs a go-to brownie recipe, and this one should be yours!

I only have one other brownie recipe that I make on the regular: Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies. They do not have browned butter, but there is fudge frosting involved, meaning they are ultra decadent. I love them, but the frosting is necessary in my opinion, and I don’t always want frosted brownies. I need that crackly topping in my life. Only these browned butter brownies will do when the need for a classic brownie strikes.

easy brownie recipe

I’m a brownies-and-milk kind of girl, but even I have to admit that ice cream definitely takes these already fabulous brownies over the top. Prepare yourself. You will need something, because these brownies will make all of those got-milk commercials come true, and you may actually die from chocolate overload if you don’t have at least a glass of milk. Enjoy!

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Four years ago: Split Pea Soup Soup with Smoked Gouda
Five years ago: Browned Butter Blondies with Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels
Seven years ago: Jello Pretzel Salad

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Absolutely The Best Brownie Recipe I Have Ever Made

Serves 12-16 (9x13 inch pan)     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cup salted butter (2 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate*, broken up
  • 2 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water**
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. You can also line it with aluminum foil (be sure to spray the foil with nonstick spray). Or you can just spray the pan.
  2. In a medium pot (I use a 3 quart saucepan), melt 2 and 1/2 sticks of butter over medium heat. Yes, 2 and 1/2 sticks. I called these the best brownies of all time, not healthy brownies!
  3. Stir the butter occasionally. See photos for how to brown butter. It will turn white on top, then it will foam up. Once it is foamy, it will start forming brown colored milk solids or "bits". They will swirl up when you stir. The scent of the butter will change to a "nutty" or toffee like aroma. Once you see brown bits, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Immediately add 4 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate. Break it up into pieces so that they melt faster. Stir until it is melted all the way.
  5. Add 2 and 1/2 cups sugar and stir it together. If there are still bits of chocolate that have not melted, put it back on the burner on low until it is smooth.
  6. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon water, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir it together.
  7. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled. That means take a large spoon and add flour to your measuring cup, then level off the top. Stir in the flour until just barely incorporated.***
  8. Stir in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
  9. Do not over mix. Over-mixed batter makes for a tough brownie, which is not what we're going for. You want soft, tender brownies! Once that last egg has been mixed in thoroughly, stop messing with it.
  10. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread to the edges.
  11. Sprinkle 1 and 1/4 cups chocolate chips evenly over the batter. Use your spatula to gently fold it in. If you add the chocolate chips to the batter before pouring it into the pan, they tend to melt and swirl on you. Which might be okay with you. I prefer my chocolate to stay in chip form so that when you bite into a brownie you get tiny little pools of chocolate. Mmm.
  12. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. The edges should be set. The center of the pan should not wobble when you shake it. I always do the toothpick test: poke a toothpick in the center of the brownies and if there is no wet batter sticking to it, it's done. (If there is, leave it in for a couple more minutes) Be sure to poke a couple times so that you know you're not poking into a melted chocolate chip. Every oven is different, so you are going to have to use your bet judgment here on the bake time! Do NOT over bake, or the brownies will be too dry. In my opinion, slightly under baked is better than over baked. Keep in mind that the brownies will firm up as they cool.
  13. When the brownies are done, remove from the oven and let cool as long as you can before giving in and trying a piece.
  14. To cut these into nice looking squares, once the brownies have cooled, lift the parchment paper or foil out of the pan. Cut with a sharp knife, wiping the knife on a clean wet towel in between slices.
  15. These are almost impossible to eat without a glass of milk.

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If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it!

More brownie recipes you need in your life!

Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies << my other favorite brownie recipe that is in a different category because it has frosting. ;)

 

Nutella Stuffed Browned Butter Blondies << okay so technically these are blondies but DANG they are good.

Nutella-Stuffed Browned Butter Blondies

 

Reese’s Stuffed Browned Butter Brownies << this is today’s recipe…with Reese’s. Just in case you thought they couldn’t get any better.

Reese's Stuffed Brown Butter Brownies from The Food Charlatan

 

Thin Mint Marshmallow Brownies << also made with today’s browned butter brownies recipe. It’s my brownie base for any twist I want to make on brownies!

Thin Mint Marshmallow Brownies from The Food Charlatan

 

More brownie recipes from blog friends!

Easy Brownies Made with Cocoa Powder from Love from the Oven
Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting from The Recipe Critic
Turtle Brownies from Carlsbad Cravings