Alice Medrich’s New Classic Brownies (we recommend parchment paper instead of aluminum foil)
Adapted from Katharine Hepburn
1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
2 ounces (55 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup minus 2 Tbsp. (175 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. table salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish, or grease it with cooking spray. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to line the bottom and two sides of the dish, leaving a little overhang. Press the parchment paper into the dish. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
In a medium (2 1/2- to 3-quart) saucepan, warm the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the sugar, and stir well. The batter will look gritty. Add the eggs and the vanilla, and stir to blend completely. Stir in the flour and salt. The batter should now be very smooth. Pour it into the prepared pan, tilting the pan as necessary to ease the batter out into the corners, and then bang the pan straight down on the countertop a couple of times, to release any air bubbles.
Begin checking the brownies after 25 minutes, inserting a toothpick into the center to test for doneness. They’re ready when the toothpick comes out clean. The original version of this recipe says to bake them for 40 minutes, but mine are generally ready between 30 and 35 minutes. In any case, when yours are ready, remove the pan from the oven, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack–and I mean completely, or else they’ll be too fragile to cut. When they’re cool, loosen along the edges with a thin knife, pull up the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan, and cut them into squares.
Yield: 16 squares