So, here you go. The most perfect brownie ever:
The Best Brownies Ever
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I like Ghirardelli, Green and Black, or Droste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I prefer VB paste)
1 c mini chocolate chips
1 c chopped dark chocolate (you can use Ghirardelli chips)
1/4 to 1/3 c whole milk or heavy whipping cream
1 tsp extract of your choice or 1/4 to 1/3 c jam/preserves (I often use raspberry habanero jelly from Rose City Pepperheads; they ship!)
Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl in the order in which they're written, minus the mini chocolate chips. Stir, then beat the mixture till smooth. Add in the mini chips and stir just until blended.
Spoon the batter a 9 x 13-inch pan that you've greased with a little butter. Bake the brownies in a preheated 375*F oven for 27 to 33 minutes, or until they're just barely beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let them cool completely.
Once the brownies are completely cooled, make the ganache. You can either heat the chocolate and milk/cream in a double boiler or microwave them together in a glass bowl at 50% in one-minute increments. Stir until melted chocolate and heated milk/cream are smooth. Add in the extract (or 1-2 tsp espresso powder, cinnamon, preserves, jam, etc.) and stir until smooth.
Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies and spread evenly. Let the ganache set at room temperature, and then cover loosely and put in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours). The fridge is important! It's what gives the brownies their perfect, fudgy, not-too-moist but not-cakey-either texture. Remove the brownies from the fridge, cut, and serve. NOM!
You can also make these beauties with a homemade butterscotch sauce. The difference is you poke holes in the brownies when they come out of the oven. I use the round end of a wooden spoon and make a grid of holes, usually about 5 across the 9" side. And then you make the butterscotch and pour it over the brownies, making sure that plenty of the sticky, sugary goodness oozes into all the holes you've made. Let the brownies reach room temperature, and then pop 'em in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Slice, serve, nom, and die of happiness!
Salted Butterscotch Sauce
6 tablespoons butter (I usually use salted, but you don't have to)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, for sprinkling
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and then add the brown sugar and heavy whipping cream. Stir until the sugary goodness boils. Once everything's reached a boil, let it sit without stirring, and cook for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Remove the butterscotch from the heat and stir in the vanilla. You can then either pour it in a jar and let it cool completely before putting the lid on, or you could be awesome and POUR IT ALL OVER THE BROWNIES OMG. And then die of happiness once the brownies are cooled, cut into delicious little squares, and nommed.