Best Cocoa Brownies

White chocolate is like a fancy cocktail dress for brownies. So, if you have some around, just sprinkle it on these guys and they’ll feel like hotties.

I learned that I can muster brownie patience! After letting these guys cool a bit, I put them in the fridge for maximum chilling. After all that, they sliced like a dream.

I cut them in rectangles because that’s what Thomas Keller does with his brownies in Ad Hoc At Home. And Thomas Keller knows how to make brownies feel really good about themselves.

Let me tell you a big reason why I made these brownies. It goes like this:ย Once upon a time (the other day), I offered my BFF Katie a homemade marshmallow and she turned it down… because evidently she hates them unless they are melted in things. I had no idea! And lately I’ve been making lots of marshmallows and forcing them on her. So now you know.

Now, I’m trying to make things right. I know that Katie LOVES brownies. So, whew and stuff!

And you know what else? People at work love brownies too. And I love mini things, so I got these mini foil muffin papers out.

And I cut some of my Thomas Keller-esque rectangles into cute little squares. I placed them all truffle-like in these pretty papers, and I brought them in to work for a post-lunch chocolate fix.

Best Cocoa Brownies
Recipe adapted from Alice Mendrich’s Bittersweet via Smitten Kitchen


  • 10 T unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
  • heaping 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Position oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325ยบF. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set bowl over a skillet of barely simmering water (double-boiler style), or melt together using your microwave. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is warm, not hot. (It will look gritty, but don’t worry about it, it’ll smooth out.)
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack or in the fridge/freezer for pretty slicing.
  5. Lift up the edges of the parchment/foil and transfer brownies to a cutting board and cut into 14 rectangles or multiple brownie bites.

Chocolate feelin’ good feelin’ great looking fly and feeling fancy.

13 thoughts on “Best Cocoa Brownies”

  1. Dana- I know, man! This was my first time having any patience regarding brownie-cooling. And it made a huge difference in the slicing.

    And thanks!

  2. So how did you get such a nice slice? I made brownies on Friday night and they were all messy when I cut them. Too warm? Loving the idea of white chocolate goodness on top!!!

  3. Well, Sally, I mustered up some brownie patience. ๐Ÿ™‚ I refrigerated these guys over night. But for something quicker just pop them in the freezer for a bit after baking to speed up the process. Then slice they’ll slice like a dream.

  4. I made these last night and I am making them egain, right now, for real. They’re that amazing. These are the brownies I’ve been waiting for all my life.

  5. I just might have to make these this weekend! I’m not a big brownie fan, but Patrick LOVES them and his birthday is coming up. Good tip on slicing them into rectangles. They look great that way!

  6. These are a hit with brownie-lovers, so I totally recommend them.

    Are you guys doing fun things for Patrick’s birthday? I’m sure tasty food is involved no matter what. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. These brownies are amazing…I made them a while back to have with red wine – and they pair amazingly. Well…I think I could pair them with anything…especially my mouth!

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