With the boss out of the office yesterday, my co-workers decided to have a small party to celebrate the upcoming three-day weekend. With everyone bringing one food item to share, I decided to make some good, old-fashioned brownies.

I woke up a little earlier than usual in the morning to whip up a batch of these basic brownies, using my go-to recipe. I put together this formula a few months ago by scrounging up some brownie recipes that use unsweetened cocoa powder. With the help of Microsoft Excel (yes, I'm a nerd), I compared the amount of ingredients that each recipe called for and came up with my own ratios.

Basic Chocolate Brownie

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slowly melt together the butter and chocolate. A double boiler or a microwave can be used. If a microwave is used, be sure to heat the mixture for only 10-15 seconds at a time. Stir and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla extract until a consistent color and texture is achieved. Beat in the eggs.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients--flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder--into the wet mixture. Do not overwork the batter; fold until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Stir in the melted butter and chocolate.

Pour the batter into a 9-inch square baking pan sprayed with baking spray (I like Baker's Joy). Bake the brownies for 22-25 minutes, until a tester comes out with clean or with a few crumbs (if you like your brownies slightly gooey, go with the latter option). Let the brownies cool to about room temperature before serving.

These brownies were a winner the first time I tried the recipe, and the winning streak continued yesterday. My co-workers really enjoyed the brownies and loved how "chocolate-y" they were. I stole away from the party few a minutes for a impromptu photo shoot at my desk, resulting in the picture above.
I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!


  1. Lore said...

    Hi Cecilia!

    It's my first time here and I leave with a smile on my face already because of the Excel story :)
    I'm sure these brownies were deliciously yummy.
    Have fun this extended weekend!  

  2. Jacque said...

    LOL, there's nothing wrong with being a nerd! Especially if they turn out brownies that look as good as yours.

    Nice job!