These brownies were a popular order for me at the Barefoot Contessa Store in East Hampton when I was growing up because they’re dense, super chocolately and were cut big. Ina Garten published the recipe in her first cookbook, so my family and I started baking them from scratch after the store closed. It calls for a pound of butter and over two pounds of chocolate; so yeah, they’re incredible. The brownies are meant to bake for 35 minutes, but I usually can’t/won’t wait much longer than 30. I slice the still-warm brownies on a cutting board, eating the edges as I go and leaving the gooey middle for boyfriend when he gets home.
— Erin Phraner, 25, Associate Food Editor at Good Housekeeping, New York, NY
4. Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
1 lb unsalted butter
1 lb plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules (I don’t really measure the coffee. I’m a batter-taster, so I stir in instant coffee until it taste coffee-y enough.)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Optional: 3 cups chopped walnuts, 2-3 Symphony bars
Cook’s Note: My godmother has me hooked on a toffee variation. To make it, spread half of the batter in the prepared pan, top with whole Symphony bars (2 or 3) and the remaining batter and bake as usual.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a 12 × 18 × 1-inch baking sheet with butter, then coat the butter with flour and tap out the excess flour.
2. Bring a little water to a simmer in a saucepan and find a heatproof bowl that sits on top of it without touching the simmering water. Gently melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in the bowl over simmering water. You could also do this in the microwave but it’s better for the chocolate flavor not to. Allow to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the cooled chocolate mixture. In a separate medium bowl, toss 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of flour — and the walnuts if you’re using them — then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the buttered and floured baking sheet.
5. Bake the batter for 20 minutes, then lightly bang the baking sheet down against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 - 12 minutes longer, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool and cut into 20 squares, or just eat them all immediately while they’re warm.