Deep, Dark Chocolate Brownies

It may or may not be true that I’ve opened up a bag of the Easter chocolate I bought for Frances and Oliver last week and now, well, they’re history. So this past weekend I decided it was time to make something super chocolatey for Sam and I to share when the kids are (finally) in bed and we can settle into our night a bit.

Brownies are not new territory around here – I’ve shared a rye brownie recipe, a gluten-free brownie recipe, a very poorly photographed classic recipe. And I’ve said it before: while technically quite humble and common, I always judge a new bakery on how good their brownie is. It takes some work to make a very good brownie.

This particular brownie journey started when my friend Janet sent me an article on chewy brownies. I was intrigued with the discussion of temperature and shocking the brownies in the fridge after they’re baked (or in a cold water bath).

For these brownies, I tried the trick of putting them in the refrigerator for an hour after they cooled and it definitely made them super simple to cut and I quite like eating them cold. That said, I’m not sure in my case if it upped the chewiness factor. At the end of the day, these turned out to be a fabulous brownie for people who love chocolate: very dense and chocolatey without being oooey gooey. They’re a brownie you can take on the go. We all could use more of that in our lives, no?

As for things beyond brownies, I wanted to leave you a quick little list of what I’ve been reading and watching lately in case your weekend needs a little jumpstart. Hope you’re all well – it’s spring and the vaccine is coming (or, for many of you, has already come). The horizon is bright.

To Read:
Breath – James Nestor: So good. Doesn’t read like a science-heavy book and makes you think twice about our breath and how to deliberately use it to serve us better.

Writers and Lovers, by Lily King – My dad got me this book for Christmas, and I’m blazing through it. Easy read, set in Cambridge, MA and beautiful writing.

Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whittaker – I could write a whole post on this book, so I’m not sure how to recommend it in a few lines, but if you’re curious about cutting back on alcohol or curious about how the industry itself has become so insidious (or are a health nut and want to learn more about its effect on our bodies and brains), I can’t recommend this book enough.

To Watch:
Bridgerton – Finished it last night. NEVER would’ve guessed the identity of Lady Whistledown.

I Care a Lot – You can find this psychological thriller on Netflix. I don’t even know if that’s how you categorize this film, but I typically fall asleep at 9pm while watching anything and stayed up until midnight watching this last night. That’s saying something.

Deep, Dark Chocolate Brownies

Deep, Dark Chocolate Brownies

  • Yield: 12 squares
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 20 mins
  • Inactive time: 1 hr
  • Total time: 1 hr 35 mins

You don’t have to worry about the type of flour you use for these brownies too terribly much. I love oat flour and it has such a nice, soft texture but you can certainly use all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand. I didn’t use nuts in these, but you certainly could. I’d start with 3/4 cup and see how you feel about the ratio, adding a few more if you’d like.


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, 1 yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup (90g) Bob's Red Mill oat flour


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper (or spray the pan well with nonstick cooking spray).

In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when it’s smooth.

In a larger bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa, espresso powder and salt.  Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and stir well. Whisk in eggs one at a time, followed by the egg yolk and vanilla. You want to stir the batter pretty vigorously here to make sure everything’s incorporated.

Carefully fold in the flour and stir until no dry bits remain.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes, or until the center seems set (doesn’t jiggle; be careful not to overbake – they firm up as they cool).

Allow brownies to cool completely in pan, then refrigerate until bottom of pan is very cold, at least one hour. Slice and enjoy!


  1. Barbara Bennett-Calkins

    Hi Megan,
    I am making one of my goals this summer to get out to Maine. I have a close friend from high school who lives there, with her writer husband, and has spent her career teaching psychology (and making brownies!) at Boudoin College in Brunswick.
    If there’s one thing Covid has taught us it’s appreciate what you have and take advantage of living in the moment. I remember the photo you posted quite a long time ago of those great boots caused me to go out and buy them! I still have them and love them a lot.
    I’m so glad you’re happy on the east coast!
    I still need to do research to find a coastal destination in Maine as being by the water is my most happy thing. Right now I’m in a large empty farmhouse in the Catskill Mountains for a week to do some writing and just unwind alone. Spring is coming and I feel a lot of hope with a new president and having just had my first shot a week ago.
    The only trouble I have with brownies, apart from that I do love the chewy ones best, is the chocolate keeps me up if I eat them in the evening. So I’m fascinated that you were making a strong chocolate one and you and Sam are able to eat it and still sleep!
    Thank you for sharing your book and viewing suggestions… I agree with you about Breath, the James Nestor book… Very thought-provoking and challenging in just the way we are conducting ourselves. Did you see my octopus teacher?
    I’m excited to take on some of your other books as well.
    Happy Days to you in your first Maine spring❤️

    1. megang

      Barbara! I'm so, so sorry for my delayed response here. And to such a thoughtful comment, too! Where to begin?! I DID see The Octopus Teacher and really loved it. Started watching it with our 5 year old only to realize it was such a deeply moving, bigger film than I'd expected. Sounds like your plan for a Maine visit is perfect - and good time of year, too! I was just up towards Brunswick yesterday to visit the Botanic Gardens near Wiscassit - you must go if you visit. So beautiful! You may love Camden / Rockport area, too.

      A large empty farmhouse in the Catskills doesn't sound half bad. I hope it was a productive writing time, and that you're enjoying the (finally!) warmer weather. Thank you again for the lovely comment. I don't check comments as much as I should (darn kids!) but when I do, it's certainly a nice surprise to come across ones like yours.

  2. Barbara Bennett

    Omg, Megan, I Just started reading Quit Like a Woman, and you are So On about this book! The writing and honesty and raw emotion is So excellent!! Thank you for the recommendation.❤️

  3. Kathy Matice

    Meg, as you may have notice, I always try the dessert recipes. These brownies are no different. They are outstanding! Cooling them in the refrigerator is key. We loved the density. Perfect in this COVID world. Be well. Love,

    1. megang

      So glad you liked them!! <3

  4. Amelia

    These look amazing! What brand of cocoa powder did you use when you made the brownies?

    1. megang

      For these I actually used Trader Joe's brand. I hadn't tried it before and was a little hesitant, but turned out great! So sorry for the delay in responding here.

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