close-up photo of H. Weal, co-author of The Weal MealFor me, brownies bring the best of both worlds – the thick, richness of cake melded with the chewy, snackable quality of cookies. This recipe is for the classic, no-frills, fudgy version, which I bake in a muffin pan for easy individual servings. Double the recipe (but not the pan size) and bake about 10 minutes longer for deep dish brownies. — H. Weal

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

12-cup muffin pan
12 muffin cup liners, or cooking spray
small (1-quart) pot
large (5-quart) mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups and spoons

1. Set oven to 325 degrees. Fill pan with muffin cups, or grease pan with cooking spray. Melt butter in pot over medium-low heat.
2. Beat together remaining ingredients. Beat in melted butter.
3. Pour batter into pan and bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs – about 20 minutes.

• I use kosher salt in all my cooking, and baking is no exception. Some larger granules never fully dissolve by the end, which gives my baked treats a sometimes surprising, but always subtle, salty-sweet flavor. I enjoy this little twist, but if you do not, simply replace kosher salt with table salt in the recipe above.
• Pour about 3 tablespoons batter into each cup.
• When using a square (8-inch) baking pan, line pan with foil or parchment paper. Cut it long, to leave overhanging ends. Prepare as above and bake about 30 minutes. When brownies have cooled, use foil or parchment ends to lift them out of pan and cut into bars.
BONUS RECIPE: Blondies: Replace sugar with brown sugar. Replace cocoa powder with flour (for a total of 3/4 cups flour).

40 minutes

12 servings (6 servings, for deep dish style)