Sometimes — okay, most of the time — I am too damn lazy to follow all those complicated Cook's Illustrated instructions. And I just don't buy those add 1/2 a teaspoon of water, massage for five hours and blow the chicken a kiss instructions they have sometimes.

So I made these with a lot of shortcuts. They were still excellent. Thanks, Cook's. And sorry.


My additions in italics, my omissions struck out.


1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional) Couldn't be bothered to look for it
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine broken into small pieces by hand
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 1 teaspoon kosher salt (upped - not salty enough)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2‑inch pieces Didn't have, didn't use


Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so that they are as wide as 13 by 9‑inch baking pan (one 13‑inch sheet and one 9‑inch sheet). Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to one another, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil and set aside. I hate greasing and I hate lining. I used a silicone pan instead. Place on top of a cookie sheet.


Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, if using, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in oil and melted butter. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Whisk together flour and salt in small bowl and then Sprinkle salt evenly over mixture and mix. Add flour into batter with rubber spatula until combined.


Transfer batter to prepared pan; spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove brownies from pan using foil by flipping the whole thing over a cutting board and peeling the silicone pan off the brownies carefully (seriously, it works). Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Leave the brownies bottom side up, cut brownies into 2‑inch squares and serve. (Brownies can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or individually wrapped and frozen — because who can eat a pan of brownies in 3 days? Only people who are very, very angry with themselves. Plus, frozen brownie.)

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