The Life-Changing Brownie Recipe from My Book

Brownie pic in last page of YODO

Brownies make our 4,000-ish Mondays on the planet better. There, I said it.

I mention these brownies 12 times in my book, You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets, so that’s like every 29 pages. (Now that I think about it, that’s just not frequent enough. It should have been every third page. Regrets: oh, the irony.) But the brownies DID close out the last page … check out the image of the LAST DYING WORDS OF THE BOOK!

Okay so I did a silly little 90-second video of me making these brownies for Instagram, and you can watch it here. I make a real jackass out of myself, per usual.

The recipe already

I used to write a baking blog for years and years, and this World’s Greatest Fudge Brownie was my most fabulous, almost-famous recipe. I even had this little graphic designed and I had the recipe printed onto an apron! (That’s when you know you’re in deep: when you get custom aprons made … like how I just got one with my little red Skully on it, which you’ll see in the video.)

My Brownie Recipe4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla (use the real stuff)
3 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Optional: 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
Optional: 1 cup lightly toasted nuts &/or chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9 x 9 foil-lined pan.
  2. Melt chocolate & butter in microwave for 2:15 minutes and stir.
  3. Stir in sugar, then vanilla, then eggs, then salt, espresso powder (optional) & flour.
  4. Stir in nuts &/or chocolate chips if you so desire.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 33 minutes (until center is just set).
  6. Cool & cut into squares.
  7. Indulge.

Tips & Brownie Blather:

Me being me.

Me being me (*shudder*).

Can I make it in a 9 x 13 pan instead?  Good idea … bigger pan = more brownies (albeit skinnier ones).  Just decrease the bake time to 28 minutes and you will be good to go.  Be careful not to over bake these brownies; you’re looking for moist crumbs in the middle of the pan on a cake tester.

What kind of chocolate should I use?  The best you’re willing to fork over cash for. I like the fancy-pants brands when I’m feeling frisky, but if you don’t want to have to dip into your retirement savings, the grocery store brand of unsweetened chocolate in this recipe is also guaranteed to please a crowd.

What’s the deal with using “good” vanilla?  The natural stuff vs. the imitation extract … don’t compromise on your best brownie life.

What are the best nuts to use?  Totally up to you, really.  Walnuts or pecans are the staples of the brownie world, but go nuts (!) and try slivered almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts.

Tip #1:  I always double this recipe when I make it.  Why make one batch of 25 when 50 is twice as good?  Leftovers freeze beautifully, if you happen to have any left.

Tip #2:  Toast your nuts first for WAY more flavor … just spread them on a baking sheet while your oven is preheating and leave in for 8 – 10 minutes or so (just until you can start to smell them).

Tip #3:  After your pans cool on a rack, put them in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting. You’ll get nice clean-cut looking rows if they are chilled first (which is the opposite of what you’ll get when you cheat and cut into the pan when the brownies are still warm from the oven … you’ll see.  A crumby but still-heavenly mess.).

TIP #4:  Want to get creative?  This is a very welcoming batter, so add a cup of so of whatever you’d like: your favorite chopped-up chocolate bar, coconut, dried cherries, pretzels, chocolate covered almonds, whatever makes you happy, friend.

Now go live like you mean it, in a chocolate-covered way!

Jodi Wellman

P.S.: Thank you for ordering (oh, and reading) my book, You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets!

P.P.S.: Let’s do Instagram together.

P.P.P.S.: Oh and just in case you missed it… I’d love you forever if you took 16 minutes out of your life to watch my TEDx talk!


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