6 oz (3/4 cup)

Unsalted butter, cut into six pieces; more for the pan

2 oz (2/3 cup)

Unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 2/3 cups

Granulated sugar

1/4 tsp

Table salt


Large eggs

1 tsp

Pure vanilla extract

4 1/2 oz (1 cup)

Unbleached all purpose flour

4 oz (3/4 cup)

Very coarsely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

2 oz (1/2 cup)

Coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)



1.  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Generously butter the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square Pyrex or metal baking pan. If you use a metal pan, the edges of the brownies will be flat and the texture will be even. If you use a Pyrex pan your brownies will have puffier, drier edges but it will be easier to get the brownies out of the pan.

3.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

4.  Off the heat, add the cocoa and whisk until smooth.

5.  Add the sugar and salt and whisk until blended.

6.  Add 1 egg and whisk until just blended.

7.  Whisk in the vanilla and the second egg until just blended.

8.  Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just blended.

9.  Add the chopped chocolate and stir until combined.

10.  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly.

11.  If you are using nuts, scatter them evenly across the batter.

12.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small gooey clumps of  brownie sticking to it - about 33 to 38 minutes. Do not over bake or the brownies will not be soft and fudgy.

13.  Transfer the baking dish to a rack and let cool completely.

14.  Run a knife around the edges of the brownie and then pry it from the pan in one piece. Using a sharp knife, cut the brownie into strips and pieces. Alternatively, use a bench scraper to cut the brownie in the baking pan and use a spatula to lift out the cut brownies. The cooler the brownie is, the cleaner the cutting will be, but these brownies will always leave some sticky crumbs on the knife.