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Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

Summertime means lemonade and brownies!

Are they ultimate? Better than ultimate, even? I’m not sure, but in my house, they’re definitely better than ultimate. They’re dark, rich, and fudgy--with a hint of espresso and extra mini semi-sweet chips. Actually, they’re triple chocolate brownies, with unsweetened chocolate, dark cocoa, and mini chips. They also happen to be my new favorite. I’ve made them three times already, and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

These are the brownies that I used in my Mocha Toffee Brownie Chunk Ice Cream from a couple weeks ago. I mentioned in the post that I’ve never made brownies like these before, as far as the preparation method. They’re still very simple, but there’s some extra time in there, for mixing--and a little waiting, too. But this is ok, because it gives you time to do other things while you’re waiting! Like dream of the brownies coming out of the oven. Or you stuffing your pie hole with them. We’ll look away, don’t worry.

Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

So while looking for a brownie recipe to try a while ago, I looked through my bookmarks and found this one at I imagine I’ve had it bookmarked since it was posted--in 2009! The poster, Dan, got the recipe from, and he had to make some changes to suit what he had on hand. Turns out, I had to do the same thing. I didn’t have exactly the same ingredients that he had to work with, so I made up for that, and then some.

Lemonade and brownies are an old-timey summer classic!

Did you know that if you don’t have unsweetened chocolate, you can use three tablespoons of cocoa plus one tablespoon of oil? You can! Just mix them together and use the same way you’d use a melted one ounce square of unsweetened chocolate. I fall back on this trick all the time! Seems I’m always out of baking chocolate. In the case of these brownies, I had to do this because I only had a couple of squares on hand. And the cocoa, I feel, adds a deep richness to the batter, along with the espresso powder. Also, something happens when you add the mini chips to the warm batter before it sits for the twenty minutes. Some of them start to melt into the batter, which makes it even fudgier.

The second time I made them, I used regular sized chips and added them right before baking. They were still fantastic, but not as good as when I use the minis and add them while the batter is still warm. Plus! And this is a big plus--this recipe makes a 9 x 13 inch pan. Big deal? Yes! In a family of six people, an 8 inch square pan of anything doesn’t last very long. So I get double the amount for the same work. Bonus in my book!

Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

Makes a 9"x13" pan. Yay!

I use a 10 oz bag of Ghirardelli mini chocolate chips in these. You're going to divide it--3 oz melted with the other chocolate, cocoa and butter, and the remaining chips will be stirred into the batter.

3 (1-oz) squares of unsweetened chocolate
3 tbsp cocoa (I use Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
3 tbsp canola oil
3 oz of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 tbsp espresso powder or instant coffee
5 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
7 oz (remaining chips from the bag) mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9 x 13" pan with foil, and lightly grease the foil.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the unsweetened chocolate squares, cocoa and oil, the 3 oz of mini chips, the butter, and the espresso powder or instant coffee. Set aside.

While the chocolate things are doing their thing, get the next step going. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes. While not necessary, a stand mixer would do beautifully here--you can do other things while it mixes for you.

Add the melted chocolate mixture to the mixing bowl, along with the flour and salt. Mix until just blended, and them stir in the remaining 7 oz of chocolate chips. Let the batter sit on the counter for 20 minutes before pouring into the greased pan. YES. Twenty minutes. I don’t really know why, so don’t ask me--but trust me.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on your work surface a few times to release air bubbles.

Bake for 27-30 minutes, and maybe even start checking after 25. The top should be shiny and the sides should be pulling away from the sides of the pan. Let them cool, then lift them out of the pan using the edges of the foil. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

  • Most of the prep time in this recipe is downtime for you. The ten minute mixing and the twenty minute wait time. The rest of the recipe is ridiculously simple, so don’t be scared off.
  • These will be your ultimate summertime brownies, with their fantastic texture and classic shiny tops. Bring them to the beach, cookouts, picnics, parties--you name it. Memorial Day and Independence Day are approaching--do you always get asked to bring a dessert? Bookmark these!
  • Make them for yourself, too! And if it seems like too many, give some away. But once you taste them, you may not want to. Freeze some. You know, for those emergencies when you need something chocolaty and cold. Warm it slightly in the microwave and have it with ice cream for a special treat!

Even Better Than Ultimate Brownies

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Reader Comments (22)

An 8-inch square pan of anything is just ridiculous. That's what I say! lol These sound great, Elle! I kind of love that there's no leavening other than the beaten eggs. I wonder if the wait is to let some of those air bubbles deflate so they're fudgy. Maybe if you bake them immediately, they end up too cakey. Just a guess.

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

I knew someone would know why--thank you, Jenni! :)

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Makin today :)))))))) They look awesome!

Those look devastating. It's enough to make me want to try them next time I make brownies instead of the recipe I've been using for years. Mmmm, 5 eggs...

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob

I can't wait to try these. So many homemade brownies don't have the shiny top (which I consider essential for a perfect brownie). I think I have mentioned that I have searched for years to find the perfect homemade recipe. I hope you have found it for me.

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter*Just Fran*

I can practically taste these!

Dear GOD. You have got to stop this insanity. I could never make a 13x9 pan of these with only the two of us AND my husband trying to lose 10 pounds before he goes off to school so his dress blues uniform pants will fit. Worst. Timing. EVER. haha Maybe as a welcome home now-we-can-eat-again dessert...

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril was in CT now CA

Oh boy! Look at all the chocolate in there! Yuuummm!

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy (Savory Moments)

yeah baby!
loving the chocolate overdose.
you go.
i had a Dell's lemonade today. Man that was good. Have you ever had one of those?

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervanillasugarblog

These look perfect!! And my son constantly badgers me to make him perfect brownies yet I find that perfect brownie recipe so elusive. But yours look fabulous and like they would do it! I love Joy at Gourmeted and I love coming to your blog to find great snacks. These are now officially bookmarked!

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Can't wait to try them, enjoyed reading the post - I can just picture you in the kitchen (your laboratory), coming up with substitutions and tweaking to create perfection. The pictures are yummy too, wanting some lemonade right now - seeing as we are having a bit of a heat wave in the middle of a New England spring! Will let you know how much I am loving these brownies as soon as I make them, thanks for sharing.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaula B.

Not sure about drinking lemonade along with a brownie, but these brownies definitely look super moist, dense and right up my alley.

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin

Brownies are one of my FAVOURITE desserts ever and I always have them with espresso powder too. Such tempting photos! (MUST NOT READ FOOD BLOGS BEFORE BREAKFAST!!!)

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEm (Wine and Butter)

My plan is to make these brownies....AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!! YUM.

April 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteravril

Ok, these look amazing. I need!!

April 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Uh... yes.. those do look magnificent. I want to nibble on one of those right now.

Oh my...these look and sound perfect. I see a lot of ideas of ultimate but for me it's gotta be a bit ooey, gooey and with espresso...what a difference that makes! If I were downstairs and not already snuggled in bed I might have these in the oven pronto!

The brownies look perfect!

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

I am totally making these for my work picnic on Thursday. I am going to make them in my 9 x 13 springform. I'll cut them in bite sized squares & I'll squirt a rosette of that chocolate mini chip cookie dough frosting on each one in a small paper ruffle. PERFECT! Thanks, Elle...You're the best!

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Enjoy, Rebecca! I love the idea of a little truffle like bite with icing.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterelle

OMG! I just took these out of the oven and they are fantastic! Instead of the instant coffee, I used a tube of Starbucks Via Italian Roast. I can't wait to tear in to these bad boys. They are picture perfect beautiful and were super easy to make. I think I'm going to make a second pan for home...I hate that I have to take these to work...grrrrr! Thanks for the new 'go to' brownie recipe...there's no going back now!

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Rebecca, I'm so happy that you made these! They're my favorite, too. In fact, I'm going to run to the kitchen and grab one now. Maybe two! Thanks for letting me know you made them!

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterelle

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