MAKE IT CUTE
The best brownies you (and your boy) will ever eat
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
2/3 cups walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and then line it with parchment paper so the parchment hangs over the sides. For good measure, spray the parchment paper, too. No sticking here!
Set up a double boiler: Place a medium-sized pot of simmering water over low heat, and then fit a heatproof bowl into the top of it. The simmering water should not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Now put the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt into the heatproof bowl. Stir occasionally as it melts, and when it’s all melty and gooey and combined, remove the bowl from the pot. Let it cool to just about room temperature.
Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one so that the yolk and white are completely combined. Add the flour and stir just until it disappears, then beat the batter for 40 strokes. Stir in the nuts (if you’re adding nuts), then pour into your prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly into the corners of the pan.
Bake about 20 to 25 minutes—until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Take it out and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Then cut this bad boy up into squares. This recipe will make 25 small squares, 16 larger ones or 9 big brownies. Yum!