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Chocolate is categorized by how much chocolate liquor it contains. Unsweetened, or bitter, chocolate is 100% chocolate liquor with no sugar added. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates have cocoa butter and sugar added to the liquor but still contain at least 35% and 15% liquor, respectively. In most cases, these 2 chocolates are interchangeable in recipes. Milk chocolate, which contains at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk solids, behaves differently in recipes and should not be used in place of other types of chocolate unless specified.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, semisweet
      chocolate chips, peanut butter chips or
      white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish, preferably glass.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Heat, stirring often, until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until just blended. Stir in the chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out almost completely clean, about 30 minutes (longer if using a metal pan). Do not overbake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.
Makes 9 large brownies.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Dessert, by Abigail Johnson Dodge (Simon & Schuster, 2002).