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The only thing more pleasant than the smell of brownies baking in the oven, is tasting the warm delicious perfectly created and baked brownie right from the oven.

Brownies are not a complicated food to make. In fact, they are quite easy! However, in order to get the perfect soft scrumptious brownie that is evenly baked and tastes as good as it looks, there are a few tips that work for me.

First, here’s a look at the basic Ingredients for a Chocolate brownie:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Optional toppings: nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc.

Best tips for preparing, baking and serving

Always preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Use an 8×8 inch baking dish buttered and/or lined with parchment paper.

There are 2 methods for mixing the ingredients:

First, Beat together softened butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in cocoa powder and salt and beat until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, add in flour and beat until just combined. This method tends to be better for lighter and fluffier brownies.

or Second, In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and flour. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. This method tends to be better for more fudgy brownies.

The batter should be thick and spread evenly into prepared baking dish.

If you would like to add additional ingredients into the brownie, here’s a few ideas and tips (more tips for adding toppings after baking below)

Nuts: Nuts can be added by mixing into the batter before pouring into pan. Almost any type of nut works well with brownies!

Coconut: Coconut is typically used more as a topping, however, if you want to add it to your brownie batter, add a few drops of coconut flavoring and finely shredded coconut to the batter.

Chocolate Chips: chocolate or other flavored chips can be stirred into the batter prior to pouring into the pan.

Caramel: caramel is best added as thick syrup that is added after the brownie batter is poured into the pan. Either spoon or squirt the caramel into the batter and lightly swirl it in.

Cheesecake: cream cheese mixture for a cheesecake treat is best added after the brownie batter is poured into the pan. Scoop by spoonful and then swirl gently into the batter.

Peanut Butter: add drops of peanut butter to the batter after pouring into pan and gently swirl into batter.

Oreos: crumble oreos and add to batter prior to pouring into pan.

Mint and other flavorings should be added to the batter prior to pouring into the pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.

Add toppings after removing from the oven

Toppings can make brownies even more exciting to enjoy! Icing should be added after the brownie batch cools. Add your choice of icing, nuts, sprinkles, chocolate chips, crumbled oreos or pretzels.

If you’d like to enjoy warm brownies direct from the oven, ice cream or other frozen treats make an excellent topping.

Tips for cutting the brownies without making a mess!

Brownies are easier to cut once they have cooled. However, there is nothing like a warm brownie fresh from the oven. To keep the cut clean, warm a sharp chefs knife under hot water to heat it up. Dry it off and then slice. Be sure to wipe it off between slices to keep the cut cleaner.

Share your perfect brownie tips and recipes with #brownieday