Americans love Italian food…and Italians love American desserts! And few desserts equal the brownie in being quintessentially American. A good basic brownie can be a comfort food…or the foundation of several of my favorite desserts such as Mocha Brownie Torte and Marshmallow Brownies, but that’s another post. Today we’re going to make basic, One-Bowl Brownies. Only dirties one bowl…and one pan. We start with a few basic ingredients:

I combine the eggs, oil and sugar…

…and beat everything together with a whisk or beater until well mixed. At this point you can add 1 tsp. of vanilla, though sometimes I leave it out since the chocolate flavor is so strong I’m not sure it needs vanilla.

Then I add the remaining dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder and a little salt. I like to sift these together so they’re well combined but also because my unsweetened cocoa powder almost always has little lumps…which result in a bitter bite in my brownie if they aren’t sifted out.

I think this  sifter looks like it came over on the ark! If you didn’t inherit an ancient one like this from your gramma, as I did, you can use a sieve or just smash those cocoa lumps in a bowl with the back of a spoon.

Once I’ve got the dry ingredients in the bowl, I stir everything together. and here’s Important Lesson Number One for making great brownies: Don’t over-mix the batter. Over-mixing causes the formation of gluten strands and cross-links, creating brownies that are tough instead of tender. Enough science…back to our brownies…

I count my strokes as I stir…and try to keep it to about 50 strokes. Your batter should look like this after 50 strokes…

If it doesn’t, stir it a little longer, but no longer than necessary!

This luscious chocolate batter is spread in a greased 9X13-inch (23X33 cm) pan and baked at 350° F (180° C) for 25-30 minutes. And here’s Important Lesson Number Two about making great brownies…Don’t over bake them. Err on the side of under baking rather than over baking. Better a bit fudgey than a bit dry. A toothpick stuck in the center should be almost dry, but may have a little batter on it.

And here’s a super-duper trick I learned from Alton Brown, one of my all-time favorite TV cooks of Good Eats fame…instead of just greasing you pan or lining the bottom with parchment paper, allow it to come up on two sides. When the brownies come out of the oven, just use a knife to loosen the two ends, and voila! You’ll be able to lift the whole pan of brownies right out!

I used a large knife to cut them into squares…four rows one direction…

…and three rows the other direction…

Of course you could cut them into 15 squares if you’d prefer. But who wants a wimpy brownie?

There you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen…the simple, quintessential American brownie. They’re awful good…


…of you might like them with ice cream…peppermint would be my first choice but they don’t sell it here…


…and if you like, you could even dress it up with a drizzle of chocolate sauce…


…a squirt of whipped cream puts it over the top! All we need now is a cherry!


Click on the link below to learn how to make my Quick and Easy Dark Chocolate Sauce. Enjoy!



Quick & Easy Dark Chocolate Sauce Recipe

One-Bowl Brownies

Yield: 12-15 brownies

One-Bowl Brownies


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 C. (250 ml) oil
  • 2 C. (500 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 C. (185 g) flour
  • 3/4 C. (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Combine eggs, oil and sugar. Mix well. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Combine and add the dry ingredients; stir with a wooden spoon no more than 50 strokes--don't over mix or they will be tough.
  3. Spread batter in a greased 9X13-inch (23X33 cm) pan.
  4. Bake at 350°F (180° C) for 25-30 minutes.


  1. 11-16-2011

    Yummy, should I bake those tonight…for a midnight snack?
    My husband would love that..thanks for sharing, Debbie.

  2. 8-16-2015

    They are in the oven right now!Thanks, Debbie!

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