As I've previously mentioned, I am reluctant to use the words "best" or "ultimate" in connection with any recipe because we all have our own definition of what makes something the best or the ultimate. Brownies are no exception. Do you like fudgey or cakey, made with melted chocolate squares or powdered chocolate, or maybe you like them blonde? Thick or thin? Frosted or unfrosted? With nuts or without? See what I mean? Lots of variables before one can apply the moniker "ultimate" but as this recipe was entitled "Ultimate Chocolate Brownies," I decided to leave the name alone and let you decide if they deserve the designation.
Personally, I like a thick cakey brownie with walnuts. I'm not crazy about fudgey brownies, because if I wanted fudge, I'd make fudge, but sometimes with a cakey brownie, they can be, well, too cake-like. Enter the "uultimate" brownie. This brownie seems to have the best of both worlds. The chocolate flavor shines through brilliantly, with just enough flour to hold it together and give it a moist, cake-like texture without being too fudgey. I love the sugary crust that formed on the top as it baked, a mark of an appealing brownie to my eyes.
The directions are easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, but you will need a stand mixer or be able to stand and mix for what seems like forever in order for the brownies to develop the volume required.
Ultimate Chocolate Brownies
8 one-ounce squares of unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted
Grease a 9" x 13" baking pan. Preheat oven to 350*F (or 325*F for glass or dark metal pan).
Unwrap the chocolate squares. In a small to medium sized saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring constantly to prevent burning the chocolate. Remove from heat and set aside.
While the chocolate is cooling, in a mixer beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for ten minutes.
Blend in the chocolate mixture, flour and salt until just mixed. Stir in the nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake brownies for 35 to 40 minutes, taking care not to overbake. Cool before cutting.