Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies

Robert's Absolute Best Brownies
I have searched high and low for a homemade brownie recipe that I like as much as the boxed Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix.  I have tried all sorts of homemade recipes for years and they have never lived up to those boxed brownies.  That is until today!  I found the BEST from scratch recipe thanks to David Lebovitz!  These brownies are dark, oh so dark, rich, moist, and chocolaty.  They are literally a chocolate lovers dream. Be forewarned, they are not your standard cake-like brownie, these are more fudge-like in consistency, but fudge-like in a good way, like a mouthwatering lick your fingers and plate sort of way.

Robert’s absolute best brownies:

Recipe from David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert

Printer friendly recipe at bottom of post

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped – I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet cacao   
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large (or extra large eggs), at room temperature – FYI, I always use extra large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose-flour
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips – I used my favorite 60% bittersweet chocolate chips from Ghirardelli 
  • You can also add in chopped walnuts or any nut of your choice – we tend not to add nuts to our sweets as my kiddos are not fans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the inside of an 8-inch (I used my 8-inch glass baking dish) or 9-inch square baking pan with 2 lengths of foil or parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan.  Then lightly butter the foil or parchment paper.  I always butter the bottom piece so that the top piece sticks to it.  
DSC_0006
Chop up and measure out your dark chocolate.  I love using these Ghirardelli bars because they are each 4oz (8oz total) so I do not have to measure anything.
These bars are also thin enough to break apart with my hand so I don’t have to actually chop them up with a knife. I break them apart in little pieces (I’m strong like bull) right over the heatproof bowl that I’m going to melt the butter and chocolate in (I do this before I set the bowl over the simmering water). It saves me a cutting board and knife to clean up. If you don’t have thin chocolate bars like these, then chop up your chocolate using a serrated knife. 
Tip: I always place some parchment paper on top of my cutting board when chopping up chocolate as it helps make clean up easier and you can always just lift and pour those small pieces of chocolate into your pan.  It’s easiest to chop chocolate with a serrated knife.
 Placed the chopped chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl.  Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, (make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until melted and smooth.
DSC_0009
DSC_0010Immediately remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl (unless the bowl you’re using to melt the chocolate in is large).  Make sure you use a spatula here so you can get all the chocolate goodness into the bowl.
Add the 3/4 cup sugar and the 1 teaspoon vanilla to the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
 Using a whisk, add in the eggs 1 at a time until combined.
Add the flour and stir the batter energetically for 1 minute until the batter loses it graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the bowl. The batter will also lighten up a bit in color.
Note: This is a very important step!!  Make sure that your stir vigorously for 1 full minute or a bit more.  I suggest timing yourself as I did (see photo below).  By doing this step you will end up with a batter that’s rich, thick, satiny smooth, and glossy as can be and brownies that are rich and fudge-like.  
See, I really timed myself.  I’m going to warn you that you are going to have one tired arm after stirring vigorously for a minute, believe me!
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Using a spatula, gently fold in your chocolate chips.
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Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a spatula to make it even.
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Bake until the center feels almost set and the edges are a bit firm, about 30-35 minutes.  Do not over bake.  In my oven, my brownies are done around 32-33 minutes. Note:  Ovens vary in temperature and baking times, so get to know your oven and know how long it takes to bake things.  If your oven tends to cook things faster, then check it before 30 minutes etc. 
 The first time I baked these, I honestly thought they were underdone, but that is the way they are supposed to be. They’re truly more of a fudge-like brownie than cake-like one.  They will also firm up as they sit and cool.

Let the brownies cool completely in the pan (about an hour or so) before lifting the foil or parchment paper and the block of brownies out of the pan. Peel the parchment paper and cut the brownies into squares and store them in a sealed container.See how rich and gooey they are?  Serve these up with a tall glass of milk and make sure you have a napkin handy.These brownies are finger and plate licking good!

I’ve made these brownies better by adding carmel and sea salt.  You have to try these salted caramel brownies.

salted caramel brownies

Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies

Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped - I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet cacao
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large (or extra large eggs), at room temperature - FYI, I always use extra large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose-flour
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips - I used my favorite 60% bittersweet chocolate chips from Ghirardelli
  • You can also add in chopped walnuts or any nut of your choice - we tend not to add nuts to our sweets as my kiddos are not fans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the inside of an 8-inch (I used my 8-inch glass baking dish) or 9-inch square baking pan with 2 lengths of foil or parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to each other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Then lightly butter the foil or parchment paper. I always butter the bottom piece so that the top piece sticks to it.

Chop up and measure out your dark chocolate. I love using these Ghirardelli bars because they are each 4oz (8oz total) so I do not have to measure anything.

These bars are also thin enough to break apart with my hand so I don’t have to actually chop them up with a knife. I break them apart in little pieces right over the heatproof bowl that I’m going to melt the butter and chocolate in (I do this before I set the bowl over the simmering water). It saves me a cutting board and knife to clean up. If you don’t have thin chocolate bars like these, then chop up your chocolate using a serrated knife.

Tip: I always place some parchment paper on top of my cutting board when chopping up chocolate as it helps make clean up easier and you can always just lift and pour those small pieces of chocolate into your pan. It's easiest to chop chocolate with a serrated knife.

Placed the chopped chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, (make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until melted and smooth.

Immediately remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl (unless the bowl you're using to melt the chocolate in is large enough). Make sure you use a spatula here so you can get all the chocolate goodness into the bowl.

Add the 3/4 cup sugar and the 1 teaspoon vanilla to the melted chocolate and mix until combined.

Using a whisk, add in the eggs 1 at a time until combined.

Add the flour and stir the batter energetically for 1 minute until the batter loses it graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the bowl. The batter will also lighten up a bit in color.

Note: This is a very important step!! Make sure that your stir vigorously for 1 full minute or a bit more. I suggest timing yourself. By doing this step you will end up with a batter that's rich, thick, satiny smooth, and glossy as can be and brownies that are rich and fudge-like. I'm going to warn you that you are going to have one tired arm after stirring vigorously for a minute, believe me!

Using a spatula, gently fold in your chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan using a spatula to make it even.Bake until the center feels almost set and the edges are a bit firm, about 30-35 minutes. In my oven, my brownies are done around 32-33 minutes. Do not over bake.

Note: Ovens vary in temperature and baking times, so get to know your oven and know how long it takes to bake things. If your oven tends to cook things faster, then check it before 30 minutes etc.

The first time I baked these, I honestly thought they were underdone, but that is the way they are supposed to be. They're truly more of a fudge-like brownie than cake-like one. They will also firm up as they sit and cool.

Let the brownies cool completely in the pan (about an hour or so) before lifting the foil or parchment paper and the block of brownies out of the pan.

Peel down the parchment paper and cut the brownies into squares and store them in a sealed container.

http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2011/12/roberts-absolute-best-brownies/

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{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Pam December 12, 2011, 7:03 pm

    They look so rich, decadent and perfect – yum!

    Reply
  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 14, 2011, 6:33 pm

    ohhhh myyyyy goodness.

    these look to-die-for

    I love an uber dense, rich, fudgy gooey brownie.

    you have beyond succeeded. They look INCREDIBLE! There are so many brownie recipes out there but this one & this is so true “Scharffen Berger and Ghirardelli are my top two baking chocolates”

    and also that it was adapted from David L.

    Pretty much guaranteed amazing!

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn December 14, 2011, 7:08 pm

    Thanks Averie and Pam! Averie, it’s a compliment coming from you as you are the baker extraordinaire!

    Reply
  • Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen April 26, 2012, 3:45 am

    So fudgy, my boyfriend would melt at the sight of these!

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn Grandy April 26, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Jesica. These are super fudgy but in a good way. I hope your boyfriend enjoys these.

    Reply
  • Yvonne May 4, 2012, 9:23 pm

    That’s so funny – for *years* I have been searching for a brownie recipe comparable to the Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. Clearly, I must make these immediately. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Anonymous July 17, 2012, 9:39 pm

    these look amazing! i’ve been researching these david/roberts absolute best brownies and yours are by far the best looking i’ve seen so far (& also the only that has added chocolate chips i think, which i think is brilliant by the way). did you use an 8 inch or 9 inch pan?

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn Grandy July 17, 2012, 10:06 pm

    Thanks so much for the sweet compliment! I’m psyched the photo enticed you to visit the blog. It’s funny because my kids are having as sleepover tonight and it was a toss up between these brownies and our favorite chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chip cookies won because I only had one 4oz bar of chocolate in the house!

    I used and 8×8 square glass baking dish. I will note that in the above post. I think David used a 9″ dish for his brownies, so it really doesn’t matter, just use what you have. I only have an 8″ so I used that.

    Let me know if you make them and how they turn out for you. Remember to stir the batter vigorously for 1 minute, as that is a very important step!

    Reply
  • snødektsunshine August 11, 2012, 1:39 am

    I just made these and they were incredible! thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Absolutely amazing! :)

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn Grandy August 11, 2012, 12:59 pm

    Yaay! I’m so glad you loved them. They truly are the best homemade brownie recipe I have found. Thanks for letting me know how they turned out for you!
    xo,
    Jackie

    Reply
  • Anonymous September 7, 2012, 4:59 am

    I made these and they were DELICIOUS! Thank you so much for this recipe. Bookmarked!

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn Grandy September 7, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Thanks for commenting and letting me know that you made and loved them. I just made the boxed Ghirardelli the other day because I was short on time, and they don’t compare at all to these brownies. Ghirardelli brownies are to cakey for me now! My kids and hubby feel the same! Anyway, I’m glad you loved the brownies.

    Reply
  • Jennifer Geisinger July 30, 2013, 2:47 am

    I’ve wanted to make these for a long time and they were amazing…my husband said they are the best brownies he’s ever eaten, and I agree…I love your site :)

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy July 31, 2013, 4:30 am

    Hi Jennifer! I’m so happy that you made and loved these brownies. They are my family’s favorite as well. Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know! :) xoxo, Jackie

    Reply
  • JenG August 1, 2013, 4:26 am

    Minneapolis knows ice cream!! Make sure you give St Paul some love and try Izzies next time you are in town! Every Sunday afternoon in the summer we go out for ice cream…we will have to go to Sebastian Joes this week!! I think you should try this ice cream and add your brownies to it…that would be amazing…With or without the Oreos!

    Reply
  • Sarah December 23, 2013, 11:55 pm

    I never comment, but I made these and they are now my go-to brownie recipe. They are easily as delicious as Ghiradelli brownies.

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy December 24, 2013, 3:19 pm

    Hi Sarah! I’m so happy that you love these brownies. They’re our favorite as well :)

    Reply
  • Donna February 22, 2014, 4:23 pm

    I have also been searching for a recipe that tastes like Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip brownie mix. While your recipe sounds very delicious, there has to be a way to make them that doesn’t involve melting chocolate and is more like the mix. If ANBODY knows, I’d be forever grateful!

    Reply
  • jackiegrandy February 23, 2014, 4:29 pm

    Hi Donna! This recipe is super easy to whip up even though you have to melt some chocolate. Honestly, I just break the chocalate bars up over the bowl that I’m cooking them in to speed up the process, as well as to create less of a mess. I’m sure there are some recipe out there that just use unsweetened chocolate powder. I will let you know if I find one :) xoxo, Jackie

    Reply

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