Normally, I eschew the homemade gift, partially because sometimes they're really nasty (rock hard cookies, inedible candied nuts, or possibly botulism infected preserves), or sometimes they're just not good enough. Well, these brownies are the exception to that rule. I make them all the time: for dinner parties, as a hostess gift, even for my kid's school birthday party, which is hilarious because I refuse to go the homemade cupcake route, since I'm a lousy baker. But what's the difference between cupcakes and brownies, you might ask, since baking is baking. Well, this recipe is practically foolproof, takes 45 minutes to prepare (35 of which are spent in the oven. The brownies, not you), and tastes insanely amazing.
The secret to these brownies crazy lusciousness is the high sugar to low flour ratio, plus some really good fleur de sel sprinkled on top. Whatever you do, don’t use Morton’s! The quality of the salt is what really sends these brownies into dessert heaven. This is one of those desserts that kids love and adults really appreciate. In fact, ha ha, you can never get enough of them. Bring these babies to a party and watch the sugar coma descend. Like magic.
Preheat oven to 325.
Grease and line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper, or just grease and flour it.
1 stick unsalted butter
1 box brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt, plus more kosher or Maldon sea salt for topping brownies
1 cup flour
Melt the butter on medium heat in a straight sided saucepan. When melted, add entire box of brown sugar and mix until combined and starting to melt. Turn off heat. Mix in vanilla and salt. Beat in eggs quickly. Add flour and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle lightly with kosher or coarse sea salt.
Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes. Cool on rack for an hour or so, and then try to remove brownies all in one piece onto plate before cutting (otherwise, they can really stick to the pan badly).
Want to really make an impression with these brownies? Transport them on a lovely big plate or platter., like this Marimekko one at right, found at Finnstyle.