A classic brownie recipe that is not too fudgy nor too dry.
Based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 24 brownies
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts optional, 4 ounces, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into six 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position; preheat oven to 325°F . Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width or width of baking pan. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  • Add approximately 1 inch water to saucepan; set on stove and heat until almost simmering. Add chocolate and butter to large bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over saucepan, stir until completely smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and gradually beat in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly combined. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, stirring just until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  • Transfer batter to prepared pan; using rubber spatula push batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. If using nuts, sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake 30 - 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out with few moist crumbs attached. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. Leftovers may be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.


Great served warm with a scoop of ice cream.