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Classic All-American Brownies

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan with foil. Grease with butter.
  3. Toast walnuts: spread walnuts out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. Prepare dry mix: whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  5. Place a medium-sized stainless steel bowl on to a saucepan with simmering water. Add chocolate and butter to bowl, stirring constantly until combined. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the vanilla followed by the eggs one at a time. Stir after the addition of each to make a smooth batter. Add the dry mix in three parts, stirring until smooth and fully incorporated. Stir in half the quantity of walnuts.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Toss the remaining walnuts and chocolate chips together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over batter.
  8. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it, about 35 to 40 minutes. 
  9. Let cool in pan on a rack for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve. Cover with cellophane or store in an airtight container.
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Classic All-American Brownies

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A rich, chewy cake studded with walnuts and bursting with chocolate flavour…

  • clock icon
    50 MIN
  • 24 SERVINGS
Classic All-American Brownies

What’s not to love about these CLASSIC ALL-AMERICAN BROWNIES?

We’re big fans of grab-and-go dessert recipes for two good reasons: they’re easy to make and simple to serve. Like our BUTTER TART SQUARES and FRESH BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE, they’re also just the thing to satisfy midday or late-night cravings. These CLASSIC ALL-AMERICAN BROWNIES are in good company!

Now, before we share all the fabulous details about this recipe, here are a few fun facts about brownies :

  • The first brownie recipe appeared in the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, written by Fannie Farmer in 1896.
  • Brownies are a combination of chocolate cake, cookies and fudge, and are revered for their rich, chocolatey flavour.
  • Legendary American actress Katherine Hepburn was known to be a brownie aficionado. Her advice: “They should be moist! So, not too much flour, don’t overbake them!”
  • National Brownie Day is December 8, but thankfully, we can enjoy brownies every day!

One final advance detail about this post; this recipe is part two of a three-part series on our favourite brownie recipes. In part one, we made these GLUTEN-FREE DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES. This second instalment is my personal favourite and yields walnut-studded brownies that are moist with a soft crumb. Our final instalment will come towards the end of summer and will feature Carol’s favourite dense, fudgy brownies with no nuts but lots and lots of chocolate flavours.

For now, let’s look at this version and make CLASSIC ALL-AMERICAN BROWNIES:

Ingredients needed to make Classic All-American Brownies
Hopefully, you already have everything in your pantry!

INGREDIENTS

This made-from-scratch brownie recipe uses the same ingredients we often gather to make homemade cakes, cookies and squares. You’ll need chocolate (more about this in a bit), butter, eggs, sugar, salt and flour. We tested this recipe a number of times to get it right and found that cake and pastry flour worked best. This flour has less protein than all-purpose and gives these brownies a moist, almost melting texture. Make sure to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients; cake flour, salt and baking powder.

Bowls containing unsweetened, milk and semisweet chocolate
This one is for all the chocolate lovers out there!

CHOCOLATE

Wait for it; not one, not two but three different varieties of chocolate? That’s just how we roll here at Weekend at the Cottage. We love chocolate. Instead of using unsweetened cocoa powder to build flavour, this recipe uses bittersweet chocolate as the base. Then, towards the end of the recipe, we use milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips to create a heavenly chocolate topping. For this particular recipe, three times is totally the charm.

The unsweetened chocolate and butter melted in the top of a double boiler
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or the microwave.

MELTED CHOCOLATE

Make sure to watch the VIDEO attached to this recipe where we share an easy old-school way of melting chocolate and butter. Although you can do this step using a microwave, we opted for placing a stainless steel bowl onto a saucepan of simmering water to create a double boiler. The steamy low heat from the evaporating water melts the chocolate and butter perfectly. 

A bowl of sugar, fresh eggs and creamery butter
The eggs and butter give these homemade brownies a rich, soft texture.

Although you may be tempted to add the sugar and eggs to the melted chocolate mixture straight away, don’t. Make sure to give it time to cool – about 10 minutes should do the trick. Then add the sugar first, stirring to dissolve, followed by the eggs, one at a time. Stir well after the addition of each.

A bowl of the smooth chocolatey batter
Make sure to stir the batter until everything is combined thoroughly.

MIX

Our recipe for CLASSIC ALL-AMERICAN BROWNIES was crafted to follow in the footsteps of the original, so no stand mixers or electric beaters are involved. Instead, get ready for some serious stirring. The thing to keep in mind, whether you’re adding the eggs, vanilla or dry mix, is to stir until smooth. This will ensure you end up with soft, chewy brownies that have that hallmark tender texture.

A baking sheet with the toasted, chopped walnuts
Toast the walnuts before adding them for added flavour.

WALNUTS

Please don’t get too freaked out by the addition of walnuts to this brownie recipe. Carol’s recipe, coming in a few months, has none. In my mind though, the buttery texture of walnuts adds a certain richness to these brownies. That said, there is one important qualifier; the walnuts need to be toasted. This brownie-flavour game-changer is easy to do. Simply place the walnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in a preheated oven for five minutes before making the batter. Works like a charm.

A bowl of the topping made from walnuts and the two types of chocolate chips
A sprinkle topping for brownies? That’s just how we roll! XO

TOPPING

In a final effort to make these brownies extra chocolatey and visually appealing, we decided to add a mixture of milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips, along with more walnuts. The trio stays suspended on the top of the batter and the two chocolates melt in slightly.

A rectangular pan of the brownies ready for the oven
This recipe yields 24 brownies.

PAN

Although we’ve made brownies in a square cake pan, the volume of batter necessitates the use of a 9 x 13-inch foil-lined, greased rectangular pan – don’t use wax paper or parchment. This pan makes more brownies than a square baking pan, hurray! Make sure to spread the batter out evenly using a wooden spoon or spatula; you want the batter clinging to the sides of the pan. The recipe yields 24 squares that can be eaten straight from the pan or stored in an airtight container. These brownies also freeze really well, so feel free to make them in advance. 

The all-american brownies fresh out of the oven
Make sure to read the note below about our toothpick test.

DONE

Worth mentioning here is a little guide to brownie doneness. Because the goal is a chewy brownie recipe, don’t overbake. The best way to check is to insert a wooden toothpick into the centre of the cake. For cake recipes, we bake until the tester comes out clean. Not so with brownies. For perfect brownies, you want a few crumbs clinging to that toothpick. This ensures the brownies are done to perfection. They will cool and be all gorgeous and moist and tender when cut and served.

A brownie square on an antique transferware plate
Tender, moist and chewy.

CLASSIC ALL-AMERICAN BROWNIES

The nicest thing about these brownies is how easy they are to enjoy. I love making a batch, cutting them in the pan, and then just leaving them out on the counter for everyone to help themselves. This kind of chill, enjoy-as-you-wish treat is a big hit with everyone.

The All-American brownies served stacked on a dessert plate
Make a batch for the car or train ride up to the cottage.

CLASSIC ALL-AMERICAN BROWNIES are everyone’s favourite treat!

WATCTV

Products used in this recipe

Just click on the below links to purchase items through Amazon.com and add them to your collection. Happy shopping!

Classic All-American Brownies

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • cups cake and pastry flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan with foil. Grease with butter.
  3. Toast walnuts: spread walnuts out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. Prepare dry mix: whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  5. Place a medium-sized stainless steel bowl on to a saucepan with simmering water. Add chocolate and butter to bowl, stirring constantly until combined. Remove bowl from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the vanilla followed by the eggs one at a time. Stir after the addition of each to make a smooth batter. Add the dry mix in three parts, stirring until smooth and fully incorporated. Stir in half the quantity of walnuts.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Toss the remaining walnuts and chocolate chips together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over batter.
  8. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it, about 35 to 40 minutes. 
  9. Let cool in pan on a rack for at least 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve. Cover with cellophane or store in an airtight container.

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