I've been wanting to work on a fudgy brownie recipe that uses dry, unsweetened cocoa for a while. I have a recipe for Fudgy Brownies that is really good, but it uses melted chocolate, and I know that lots of people like to use cocoa because it is cheaper to buy and that they usually have it as a staple in their kitchen (and because their kids won't eat it like they would baking chocolate). But, my experience with cocoa brownies has been that they aren't very fudgy--they're more like cake. Add to that my high altitude, which makes baking challenging, and it was a project I hadn't spent much (any) time on.
Then a few weeks ago a friend sent me a link to a recipe that was for a brownie mix you made up ahead of time. Having the mix on-hand would make baking brownies as easy as ripping open a box mix. She said, "OK, Tiffiny, would you try this?" I'm all about homemade mixes, such as my Pancake Mix and the Taco Seasoning I use, and I would love a brownie mix that made chocolately, fudgy, delicious brownies.
It was on.
After several pans of brownies I have a recipe that has everything: deep chocolate flavor, super-fudginess, works perfectly at my high altitude, makes a family-size 9x13 pan, and is easy to put together. It is a great basic brownie recipe that you can change up with all kinds of mix-ins and frostings. If you can think it up, this recipe can probably pull it off.
You can use this recipe as a make-as-you-need recipe, or if you want to use this recipe as a mix, simply put the dry ingredients in a quart size zip-top bag and you're ready to go for the next time a brownie craving hits. You can mix up several bags at a time to make it really easy. Use a permanent marker to list the wet ingredients on the bag, as well as cooking temperature and time. I also want to figure out a bulk mix, but I wanted to share this with you now because I'm so excited, so the bulk mix will come later...soon...sometime. Soon.
Note: Measuring flour and dry cocoa can be problematic because they settle as they sit in your cupboard. I've listed these two ingredients by weight so you can have the best results. If you don't have a kitchen scale, or want to measure with cups anyway, use a whisk to loosen the flour and, especially, the cocoa. Then scoop, tap with the flat edge of a knife to settle the ingredient, and level with the flat edge.
Fudgy Cocoa Brownies (and mix)
2 cups sugar
6 1/4 oz all-purpose flour (1 1/4 cups)
2 oz unsweetened cocoa, (2/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to warm (or 1/2 cup canola oil)
1/4 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Heat your oven to 350 deg. Lightly spray a 9x13 glass pan with non-stick spray.
2. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl, and whisk to mix well. Combine the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl, and whisk to mix well. Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to make a smooth batter.
3. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the brownies have puffed and then flattened out a bit, are set (not jiggly), and just barely give to the pressure of your finger. They will seem very undone, but will cool to perfect fudginess. Cool completely before cutting, and use a plastic knife, to get the best looking pieces.
Makes 20 brownies.