Brownie Smack-down (or is it Snack-down) (recipe)

Our newest family baker comes home from school today determined to make brownies. I tried to tell encourage him to make my favorite brownie recipe, a one-bowl version that my Grandmother used to make, originally off the back of the Baker’s Choice unsweetened chocolate (and is now repeated many other places, including Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and the recipe insert for the Edges Brownie Pan) but he was determined to follow the recipe on the back of the jumbo package of Nestle chocolate chips (CostCo-style, don’t you know).

So, I did what any good fan of Bobby Flay does. I issued a smack-down. We would both make “our” version of brownies and then have a third-party judge the results. We were fortunate to have two judges and you will never believe what happened. That’s right. A tie. Imagine that.

But wait, it gets better. Two friends commented on Facebook that they had the best recipe – Erika sent me hers and Marsha dropped the ingredients off for her favorite. The next day, we made both of those recipes. And voted. And had another tie. Sort of. In the end we decided each brownie had its place in our recipe box:

  • Best cakey brownie – Erika’s grandmother’s recipe made in the Edges Brownie Pan – best for crispy top crust and cakey interior
  • Best chewy chocolatey brownie – Marsha’s recipe from the back of the Sweetened Ghirardelli Chocolate canister – great chewy texture and nice chocolate taste
  • Best with extra chips – Hershey’s back-of-package recipe – the kid chef likes this recipe, although he would rank the two above higher on his scale
  • Easiest – One bowl brownies from my Grandmother with nuts – quick and easy, chocolate taste improved when Scharffenberger 99% Cacao bar was used

One thing I learned from the process is that the other chef, the kid chef, has no idea how to do dishes. It was funny, I think he just ran them under the water and put them in the drying rack. No soap. No sponge. Lots of food stuck to the outside of the bowl. Kinda gross. I will have to remedy that before he leaves for college.


Easy One-Bowl Brownies


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. When melted, remove from heat and add in sugar. Mix well. Add in eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour, then add nuts and chocolate chips, if using.
  4. Pour brownie mix into 8×8″ square pan. Bake 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Cool and cut into squares.
  5. Recipe may also be doubled – use 9×13″ pan and bake 25-30 minutes.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Meal type: dessert

Copyright © 2011 Good Fud Media.
Recipe by Gudrun Enger.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Ghirardelli Award Winning Brownies


  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup 60% Caco Bittersweet Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a spoon, stir eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter. Sift Sweet Ground Chocolate with flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into egg mixture; add nuts. Stir in chips.
Spread into greased 8″ or 9″ pan. Bake 20-30 minutes.


Nestle Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies


  • 2 cups Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 13×9″ baking pan

Melt 1 cup morsels and butter in large, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla and baking soda. Stir in remaining chips. Spread in prepared baking pan.

Bake 18-22 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Erika’s Grandmother’s Brownie Recipe


  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9×13″ pan with cooking spray.

Melt Chocolate and butter together in a double boiler.

Add sugar, mix well. Add eggs, beat well after each addition. Add vanilla. Stir in flour. Add nuts, if using.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tester comes out still a little moist. Cool and dust with powdered sugar before serving.



  1. Wow! I feel like I hit the Brownie recipe lotto with your post. Now was this a blind taste testing with random non-partisan judges by chance? I had an inkling in the read they might have some DNA in common thus perhaps challenging their objectivity past reasonable bounds. Lucky for us; we get more great recipes out of the effort!
    Boulder Locavore recently posted…Vintage Recipe Redo and Swap- Smokin Volcano Chocolate Cake with GF option and a Sneaky TikiMy Profile

  2. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    Actually, at least one of the judges was completely unrelated to either of the brownie chefs. We also tried for blind tasting with different colored plates. We did the best we could, many brownies were consumed to find the winners!

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