The other day, I wanted a snack, but our cupboards were bare. This is a very dangerous situation. When we're out of snackables, I usually just eat way too much of everything else (random cold potatoes leftover from dinner, old candies from Christmas stockings, toast with butter and jam at 5pm), but occasionally I'll get up off my butt and bake. But it has to be something easy and quick, because when I get snacky it usually means I'm either hard at work (scoff) or bored and lazy. Enter: the lazy version of the 'Baked' brownie.
This recipe, in its original form, isn't even that involved. But I was looking for super low-maintenance baking. I toyed with using a one-bowl recipe from Allrecipes, but the reviews were either fantastic or abysmal, and I wasn't really up for taking the chance. So I went back to this post from Brown Eyed Baker, for the brownies from the book 'Baked', which has been getting a ton of buzz around the food world – especially for the brownies.
I didn't have dark chocolate, and I wasn't about to go buy some (this is the lazy way, remember?), so I just used semi-sweet chocolate chips and added a touch more espresso powder to deepen the flavor. I also didn't want a 9x13 tray of the things, especially since I was planning on baking a Lemon Cream Pie the very next day, so I halved the recipe for use in an 8x8. Other than that, I didn't change much, besides making the instructions easier (lazier) and using fewer dishes (hey, laziness applies to cleanup too).
And I'm glad I didn't mess with it too much, because these brownies were the bomb. Not just fudgy, but chewy, with a crackly top and a rich, deep, chocolatey flavor. Seriously, I think these might be my new favorite brownies. With the lazy shortcuts I took, these were ready in 45 minutes; they didn't take any longer than a box mix, and they were just as chewy as a box mix, but with a much better flavor. Honestly, these were so good that the bf ate 2/3 of the pan before I could even ask what he wanted to do for dinner (brownies, apparently). With the addition of dark chocolate, I think they'd be even better – and if I can remember to buy dark chocolate in my next shop, it won't require any wavering on the laziness front!
PS I'm so not loving this photo background... it's much cuter and springier in real life, but alas there are no brownies left to re-shoot, because they're just that good!
'Baked' Brownies, The Lazy Way
adapted for laziness from Brown Eyed Baker
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease an 8x8 pan and line with parchment (I used foil and they were very difficult to release).
In a medium bowl, whisk together:
5/8 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cocoa
In a large microwaveable bowl, melt:
1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter
5.5 oz (56g) semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
While the melted mix is still hot, whisk in:
1/2 tsp (heaped) instant espresso powder
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c light brown sugar
Add, still whisking, but gently (if you overbeat your brownies will be cakey):
1 tsp vanilla
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top of the wet ingredients and, with a rubber spatula, fold in gently until incorporated. You may still see a little bit of flour.
Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake another 10-15, until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool in the pan, then lift them out using the edges of the parchment edges and slice with a sharp knife.