the original and the adulterated upgrade

by jenlovallo

Brownies: I once was one (short-lived, of the Girl Scout variety. I got kicked out). These days, I prefer to make them, find the willpower not to lick the bowl clean (fail), and stick to the center pieces sans crust.


The Original-ish Version

8 ounces chocolate (milk or dark)

4 ounces butter

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1.5 cups white sugar

.5 teaspoon salt

.75 cup AP flour

The Adulterated Version

10 ounces dark chocolate chips (at least 61%)

another handful of chips, for nibbling and later mixing

4 ounces butter

4 eggs

.5c vanilla bean-infused white sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cooled espresso (or strong coffee)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

.75 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon salt

a generous sprinkling of cinnamon

a handful of roasted, salted sunflower seeds (or roasted, salted pecans)

a handful of dried Montmorency cherries (better macerated in bourbon)

a handful of coconut, lightly toasted

gold dust (because it makes everything better)


  • Melt the 10 ounces of chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally until fully melted.
  • Whisk eggs in, one at a time.
  • Whisk in the sugars, salt, espresso, and maple syrup until evenly incorporated.
  • Gently fold in the flour and cinnamon w/a spatula, mix in the handfuls of chocolate chips, cherries, coconut, and sunflower seeds (or whatever else your heart desires).
  • Spread into a buttered 8×8 pan, sprinkle w/gold dust, and bake at 325F until the center’s just set and has a dull luster finish (never let them go until the toothpick comes out clean–that’s just an overbaked travesty).
  • Slightly cool, cut, love, and share.
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