The past six months have felt like one of those days, haven’t they?
It seems like the world has gone utterly mad, leaving many of us standing around, clutching at our chests in shock and wondering what exactly the hell just happened.
Every day, things seem to get more intense. It’s a looming sense of dread, an unidentifiable malaise so that even if things are going okay in most ways, you still feel anxious and crazy and on edge.
If you are a follower of astrology, you might blame Mercury, which seems to always be in retrograde these days.
If you are a follower of psychotherapy, you might blame your parents.
Or maybe it’s the jerk in front of who Doesn’t. Know how. To drive.
Maybe you have turned the fucker off and then back on and it still doesn’t work.
Maybe your kids are assholes, or your spouse.
Or maybe it’s just you.
Some days, for the love of all things (un)holy, you just want something to work, every day, all the time, without thinking about it.
For you, JUST FOR YOU, I present you with the world’s best brownies.
Don’t get me wrong: there are other plenty delicious brownies out there. But these brownies are utterly impossible to ruin. You can’t cook them too long. You can’t undercook them. You can add pretty much anything you want, and they will still be delicious. And they are done in 30 minutes, start to finish.
Two summers ago we had family in town, and I would make a pan of these every night. We are lucky enough to have a soft-serve ice cream man in the neighborhood; we would buy ice cream and eat it with these brownies every. Single. Night. Some nights the ice cream man was late and the brownies cooked longer; others he came a bit earlier and we were forced to eat them still warm and slightly oozy. All agreed that there was no one good way to make that magic happen – all ways were equally delightful.
Chances are good that you have everything you need in your pantry to make them RIGHT NOW.
If your day sucked, if you just need ONE THING TO GO RIGHT, here you go.
You’re welcome, and I love you.
World’s Best Brownies
Note: See recipe notes for adaptations.
½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350⁰. Grease an 8”x8” glass baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients, whisking until the egg and oil are both completely incorporated.
SIDE NOTE: There are those who would argue that the eggs should be beaten separately until they become pale yellow and drizzle off the whisk in a smooth yellow ribbon before adding the dry ingredients. If you have the patience for this, this beating results in a lighter brownie. If not, simply whisk until egg and oil are smoothly incorporated and proceed.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix completely until there are no lumps. Stir in any additions you choose, then pour into prepared baking dish. Bake at 350⁰ for 22-25 minutes. The center will still be fairly wet, but the edges may begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before serving.
- You can also use regular AP flour. If you are GF and use other GF flour, I cannot guarantee the same results. For best results, please click the link for all-purpose gluten-free flour and check out my very easy recipe. Alternately, if you are in Baltimore city, you can order food from me and add on five pounds of my gluten-free flour, which I will then come deliver to you. I’m just saying.
- Vegan? Sub 1/2 cup pumpkin or one mashed banana or 1/2 cup applesauce for the egg. Or get rid of the oil altogether and sub a similar amount of pumpkin, banana, or applesauce. Seriously. It’s really that easy.
- Optional add-ins: ½ cup chopped nuts or ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or ½ cup peanut butter or butterscotch or mint chips (or any combination). Dried fruit is also delicious, like ½ cup dried cherries or blueberries.
- Cutting back on sugar? Use 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 3/4 cup. Seriously.
- I haven’t tried this yet because it seems a bit like gilding the lily, but the next time I make these I am going to throw in some toasted coconut and then frost the cooled brownies with vegan coconut frosting. That frosting, too, is easier than it ought to be: Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight, then remove the solids (save the water for smoothies, or freeze it in cubes and use it to chill juice). Add a wee bit of powdered sugar and whip the hell out of the it with a hand mixer. Frost. #Boom