Without question, the worst part of baking is the mess. I love to bake, but I can’t stand the mound of dirty mixing bowls, measuring cups, spatulas, pans, and measuring spoons that it results in. For me, simple recipes which utilize minimal ingredients and one-bowl preparation are always attractive. Don’t get me wrong. Quality and taste will always be my top priorities, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to achieve those ideals in the simplest way possible.
One way to do this is to bake a pan of brownies. When it comes to brownies, I like them dense, chewy and super fudgey. After reviewing the ingredients in several fudgey brownie recipes, it occurred to me that I could probably make the world’s simplest fudgey brownie recipe; so simple that you’ll probably never need to read this recipe again; so simple that using a boxed brownie mix will start to seem like hard work. So, last week, I tested my idea. And, it worked. It worked perfectly. Gooey, fudgey brownies that were easier than a piece of cake to make.
Here’s the deal… 1 stick butter + 1 cup chocolate chips + 1 cup sugar + 1 cup flour + 2 eggs, mixed in 1 saucepan and baked in 1 baking dish = 1 delicious batch of brownies. Five ingredients total; one of each, except the eggs. You’ve got to use two eggs. It’s simple. It’s memorizable. It’s totally chocolicious.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ve got a few options. You can add a little salt (up to 1 teaspoon), if you’re like me and like that touch of salty flavor to your baked goods. A tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder will deepen the chocolate flavor; another plus in my book. Then, throw in whatever little add-ins you like; chocolate chips, nuts, shredded coconut, candied citrus peel, etc. Go wild.
For Valentine's Day use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to slice the brownie, and top with a quick raspberry coulis (see recipe below). If you're feeling extra fancy, you can even sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
Simplest Homemade Fudgey brownies
1 stick of butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional, for a darker chocolate flavor)
Up to 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
Optional add-ins (nuts, coconuts, candy, candied citrus peel)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and butter until smooth, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. Add in the salt and cocoa powder, if desired. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Stir in the flour. Add the eggs and stir until well blended. If desired, stir in extra add-ins. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool before cutting.
For the Raspberry Coulis
3/4 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
For the raspberry coulis, puree the raspberries with the sugar. If desired, pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.