Doesn't everyone think their brownies are the best?
Brownies are one of those recipes - like chili - that have a million variations. Sometimes it seems like there are as many brownie recipes as there are brownie bakers. And naturally everyone thinks that their recipe is the best.
There are several considerations. Do you like your brownies cake-like or fudge-like? Do you prefer your brownies hard and toothsome from the edge, or soft and gooey from the center? How do you feel about the inclusion of walnuts, coconut, and/or chocolate chips? Swirls of substances like peanut butter, cream cheese, or caramel? And where do you fall on the "frosting" issue?
There is also the notable convenience of the box package. When it comes to brownies, frankly I think the box mixes are pretty tasty. Particularly if you spend the extra dollar or two and get a package from a name brand chocolate company like Hershey's or Ghirardelli.
I'll tell you, though, that my favorite recipe is also one of the easiest. It requires very few ingredients, and can be made in just one bowl. It also has the cleanest taste, and can be customizable to suit your specific brownie needs.
The recipe can be found on the back of most packages of Baker's brand unsweetened chocolate squares. It is officially called "Baker's One-Bowl Brownies," and it has only six ingredients (seven if you add nuts). You microwave unsweetened baking chocolate with butter until both are melted, then stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour. Scrape it into a pan - not all of it; you want to lick the bowl - bake, and eat.
Assuming you have bought baking chocolate (which keeps almost indefinitely in the pantry if stored properly) there is a pretty good chance you have all the ingredients on hand already. It's practically as easy as a box mix, and it lacks the weird chemicals and stabilizers that can give box mix brownies that "processed food" taste.
This recipe makes a dense, fudge-like brownie by default. But it includes directions for a cake-like variation (add milk and increase the flour). Or if you want it even more fudge-like, add more eggs. It's simple and delicious, and forms the basis for a wide range of variations. Yum!
And obviously, if you are one of those people who like the edges of brownies, then you will definitely want to buy this clever "all edges" brownie pan!