All-Purpose Brownies

all-purpose chocolate brownies
Ah brownies!  I know, I’ve gone and espoused the glories of Chewy Brownies which are my favorite type but my sweetheart Mike is an equal opportunity brownie lover, hence today, All-Purpose Brownies.

I know, it's Cookie Season, and I meant to deliver you a cookie recipe.  Sorry.  But here, check out these cookies!

Back when I shared that Chewy Brownies recipe, I revealed that my previous go-to was the Ghirardelli version for years.

Nope, they are not chewy but they’re a fascinating combination of fudgy, cakey, and chewy all in one bar which I know hardly seems plausible.

Maybe that’s why Mike loved them so.  They covered every brownie base.  All-purpose!

And while I eventually realized chewy is the schniz for me, one can never really have enough brownie recipes, amiright?!  Chocolate.  Yum.

Something went awry though years ago and it’s still a mystery to me, but it was like the recipe stopped working.  I was and am confounded.

So I gave it up and we, ugh poor Mike, went brownie-less for far too long. 

Mike suffered in silence, blue, sans brownies, brokenhearted, downtrodden.

No not really, I bake all the freaking time.  Please. 

Filing about, I stumbled across that ol’ reliable standby brownie recipe and thought huh, I ought to give this a re-whirl.

The main reason I wanted to re-test was because I, these years later, have a metal baking pan.*  I had speculated the glass* one I used was one issue.

metal baking pan
TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Homegoods has some fantastic deals on pans, fyi, where this came from.  Be judicious though, not every pan there is worth purchasing.
No idea why glass wasn’t an issue and then became one but even bummer brownies are salvageable -- just toss them in or smother them with ice cream.  Voila!

But turns out it was indeed the glass pan.

So big baking lesson here my friends, the pan you bake on, with, or in can have a very real affect on your results.  Did I pick the right affect/effect?

Why?  A glass pan is slower to heat and disperses heat differently, unevenly and unreliably.  A metal pan heats quickly and disperses heat evenly and consistently.

Think of it this way:  glass insulates, metal conducts.

My advice to you, henceforth, is that if you normally bake in glass and have spotty or inconsistent results or your recipes just refuse to turn out well or properly and you always wonder why, spring for a metal version of that pan. 

I realize having oodles of pans seems less than ideal but having the right pan is priceless.  It saves you time (accurate baking times), saves you money (less wasted ingredients), saves frustrations (less effort), and promises pride (more reliable, better, tastier, pro baking results).

Besides, if you're gonna hang out with me here, we're gonna be baking lots.  There's your excuse, you're welcome.

So while you can make this brownie recipe in glass as I had for years until it just refused to work anymore, you’re going to get far superior results in metal.

That much more superior, I was shocked.  It was like an entirely new recipe, a revelation, and now back in our rotation of dessert bar goodies.

Even with years of baking experience under my belt, like life, there is always something to be learned and learning is good.

Plus Mike is a happy camper and I like that.

brownie ingredient prep
Let's get started!
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a big bowl, yum, then let it cool back down to room temp.  Hot tip:  melt until things are nearly melted and stir vigorously to get them to melt, that way things aren't super hot and will cool faster.

Once that’s cooled, toss in the brown sugar and vanilla, stir all around.

adding brown sugar to melted chocolate and butter
Next those eggs, toss in and blend.

adding eggs to chocolate mixture
Place a fine mesh sieve* over the bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt then sift that atop.

set sieve over bowl to sift in dry ingredients
Just set the sieve on the bowl and dump your dry ingredients right into it.

sifted ingredients atop chocolate mixture
Lift the sieve and tap it until the dry ingredients have ended up in the bowl.
With a silicone or non-stick spatula,* fold the sifted stuff into the chocolaty stuff until just barely mixed.

mixed batter in bowl
Tada!  All-Purpose Brownies batter!
Here you can add chocolate chips or nuts, or whatever you like to your brownies, gently stir 'em in.  I sprinkle a heaping handful of walnuts over top the spread-out batter once it's in the pan.

So then yeah, spread the batter in your metal pan (again, you can use glass but adjust your baking time longer or try lowering the oven twenty five degrees)...

brownie batter in metal baking pan with walnuts atop
Batter in the pan with my walnuts sprinkled.

baked brownies in pan
Baked!, pour cold milk, cut brownies, and enjoy!

plated brownies

brownies on a plate
Monstrously delicious All-Purpose Brownies!  Bake 'em today!

All-Purpose Brownies

All-Purpose Brownies

Yield 12
Prep time
15 Min
Cook time
30 Min
Total time
45 Min
All-Purpose Brownies cover all the bases -- fudgy, cakey, and chewy, definitely chocolatey, and absolutely hits that brownie itch!


  • 4 ounces (113 g) semi-sweet chocolate baking bar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter (1 stick, 8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup (213 g) light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (105 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon (2.25 g) fine sea salt
  • 4 ounces (113 g) chocolate chips, 1/2 cup (57 g) walnuts or other nuts, cinnamon or other spices, or other mix-ins, optional


  1. Begin preheating the oven to 350° F (176° C) and either butter and flour or lightly spray an 8x8 metal baking pan with cooking or baking spray.
  2. Chop the chocolate bar and add it to a large bowl with the stick of butter. Melt until just barely melted in the microwave and stir well to finish the melting process. Let this cool to room temperature.
  3. Once cooled, add the brown sugar and vanilla to the bowl, whisking to thoroughly combine.
  4. Add the eggs and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  5. Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the sieve. Lift the sieve and sift the dry ingrediens into the bowl by tapping it lightly.
  6. With a spatula, gently fold the ingredients together until only a few streaks of flour remain.
  7. Add the optional ingredients as desired and stir gently or save them to sprinkle atop the batter in the pan or omit the optional ingredients altogether.
  8. Spread the batter in the pan evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or tester comes out clean save a few moist crumbs.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and set on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Either cut and serve, cut and store, or let the brownies cool completely in the pan where they can be stored as well.
  10. Note: if using a glass baking pan which is not recommended for this recipe, try reducing the oven temperature 25° F (4° C) or extending the baking time.


Adapted from Ghiradelli.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

brownie, dessert bar, chocolate

*The metal baking pans, glass baking pans, fine mesh sieves, and spatulas are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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