1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (may reduce to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13" pan. You can use just one saucepan to mix all ingredients.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate. When melted, stir in sugar and set aside to cool.
Combine the vanilla with the slightly beaten eggs and stir into the chocolate mixture when it is cool enough so the eggs won't cook.
Stir in dry ingredients and add nuts. While the recipe says these are optional, they aren't optional at our house -- I always add chopped pecans.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for no more than 30 minutes. Start checking these at 20 minutes. They are done when top is shiny and sides start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Check the middle with a tooth pick to be sure it is not runny -- but remember these will continue to cook once out of the oven.
For the ultimate chocolate experience, make a frosting while the brownies are baking -- use the same pan you used to mix the batter.
Melt 2 squares unsweetened chocolate with 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in 5 tablespoons milk, dash of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Blend in 2 cups powdered sugar (measure and then sift). Pour over brownies while they are still warm.Enjoy!