For any "bring a dish" type of gathering, brownies are always a good choice. Chocolate fudgy goodness in a portable package...you can't go wrong!
I will admit, I usually go the mix route when making brownies. Ghiradelli makes a good mix, so that has been my standard brownie...until now. The King Arthur Flour baking blog featured these Fudge Brownies the other day, and brownies will never be the same. My neighbors will be eternally grateful.
adapted from King Arthur Flour website
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup KAF Double Dutch Dark Cocoa (I didn't have this, so I used Hershey Special Dark cocoa)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon KAF espresso powder (I didn't have this either, so I used Starbucks Via Italian Roast instant coffee)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" pan.
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
Return to heat and cook until hot but not boiling (110 to 120 degrees).
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla and mix. The KAF recipe says to beat until smooth, but mine was very thick at this point; almost a paste, so I just mixed as well as I could until it was combined. Add the hot melted butter/sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Note in the photo above that those are bubbles, not lumps. Trust me, it was smoooooth!
Stir in the flour and chocolate chips and mix until smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs stuck to it. Don't overbake; the edges should be set but the center may look a little moist (but not gooey).
Cool in pan on wire rack. Cool completely before cutting.
Serve with some vanilla ice cream, if you happen to have some around. I highly recommend it. Try not to eat the whole pan yourself.