My very first blog post – seems like a big deal (well, to me and maybe about 5 people). A normal person would probably put a decent amount of thought into their first topic, right? That’s not exactly me. My topic took me a whole 20 seconds to choose. So here it goes.
A few weeks ago I was standing in the grocery store buying too many bags of chocolate chips and I came across a beautiful bag of Buncha Crunch Bits. And I thought, “Buncha Crunch Brownies. That’s all I need in life”. Who knew these existed?? My childhood was filled with Buncha Crunch. My dad got my brother and me hooked on them as kids, which more often than not meant us dropping pieces in the hot summer car and finding them the next day. Sorry mom and dad.
But back to the treats – who doesn’t love a good brownie? Growing up, we always had brownie mix in the cupboard: the 5 pack box of Hershey Chocolate Chunk Deluxe Brownies. This box would last us about a month. And by “us” I am referring to only a small family of four. But hey, our stomachs’ were happy. Being a “real” pastry chef I figured I should stray from the box and make some nice chocolatey from-scratch brownies (even though my heart will always lie with Hershey). So I scoured the internet for the perfect brownie, and boy did I find it.
In time you’ll come to realize that I have a love for Alton Brown. I grew up watching his show, Good Eats (and shalemessly Netflix binged it multiple times during culinary school). He always knows what he’s talking about and exactly why his recipes work the way they do. And most importantly, his recipes never disappoint. The recipe I used for these brownies is his 2.0 recipe. His initial brownie recipe is still delicious but a little lighter and cakier than this. I guarantee these brownies will be the densest and fudgiest brownies you will ever put in your mouth, even 4 days after you bake them.
Oh course, you’re welcome to make them without Bunch a Crunch, but I would suggest adding some chocolate chips or something to give them a little bite. Don’t be afraid to experiment: chop up some Andes Mints, use some peanut butter chips, or throw in some walnuts. I chose to frost some of mine with chocolate buttercream and threw some homemade mint sprinkles on top. Check out my Etsy store (coming soon!) for a variety of fun sprinkles to purchase. You can find the frosting recipe below as well.
PSA – for best results, and I know this will be one of the most difficult challenges in your life, do NOT eat the brownies directly after you bake them. Please, for the sake of your taste buds, PLEASE wait a day to eat them. Or try both and realize how much you will thank me. But carry on, and make some fabulous brownies.
And remember – Stay Hungry
- 4 large eggs
- 7 ounces granulated sugar
- 6 ounces light brown sugar
- 5 3/4 ounces natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
- 2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
2. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to line the bottom and a little overhang of the sides of an 8” or 9″pan. Then coat the parchment in cooking spray.
*I attempted making a double recipe of these in a 9×13. They took FOREVER and weren’t quite baked all the way through in the center. So if you want more than one recipe’s worth, bake them in separate small pans.*
3. Beat the eggs with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at medium/high speed until fluffy and light yellow, around 5 minutes.
*The eggs should be frothy and fluffy, and should hold a little shape before merging back into the rest of the eggs. Alton beats his with a paddle on medium, but I had better luck a little faster and longer with a whisk attachment.*
4. While the eggs are beating, melt the butter and mix in the vanilla.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt. Drop the mixer speed to low and slowly introduce the sugar mixture. Follow with the butter and vanilla. Continue mixing until you’ve got a nice, smooth goo.
*Alton isn’t wrong, the batter should be gooey and almost slide right off of your spatula.*
6. Stir in any of your desired mix-ins.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
8. Bake the brownies for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven for 15 minutes.
9. Put them back in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the brownie, reads 195 degrees F (about 30-40 minutes).
*I know that the doneness of brownies is typically tested with inserting a toothpick, but this trick doesn’t work here (and I’ve learned from failure). The batter is so “gooey” that it won’t stick to the tooth pick regardless. So using a thermometer will work best here.*
10. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then lift the brownie out using the parchment paper as a sling.
11. Cut the brownies into 9 pieces using a pizza wheel and move to a rack to cool completely.
*You’re more than welcome to let the brownies cool completely before cutting them, but removing them from the hot pan instead of letting them sit in overnight will help them get that perfect chewiness.*
1 stick of softened butter
½ cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons milk
- Beat the butter, shortening, and vanilla.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar, followed by the cocoa powder.
- Add the milk until desired consistency is reached.