browniesI have a sweet tooth that is equally unpredictable and unrelenting. I can go days without wanting something sweet,  but when my sweet tooth does kick in I need a dessert and I NEED IT NOW! The worst is when it hits me late in the evening, after the stores are closed. This happened the other day but luckily I had a few ingredients in the pantry and was able to whip up a batch of brownies.

What I like most about this recipe (besides from being delicious) is its simplicity and the ease with which it comes together.  I bake fairly often, so all the ingredients are normal items I have in the house.  So there was no running out for special ingredients or doing weird substitutions. Making the batter is straightforward, too. The whole process only took about 35 minutes, including baking. Ah… instant gratification.

Mark Bittman’s Brownies:


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: add nuts or dark chocolate chips, to kick it up.

*Update: I just made these brownies again and in a moment of inspiration I added at 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. It was AWESOME. If you like a spicy-sweet combo, give this twist a try.

Step one: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 inch square baking pan.

Step two: In a sauce pan combine the chocolate and butter over low heat. Stir constantly and remove the mixture from the heat as soon as it’s melted.

Step three: Stir in the sugar and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla.
For this step you can transfer the batter to a bigger mixing bowl, but if you’re like me and want less dishes to wash, just combine all the ingredients in the pan you melted the butter and chocolate in.

Step four: Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake until set in the middle. Around 20-25 minutes.
brownies a la modeSweet, sweet success. Add a scoop of ice cream and a few slices of strawberry and you’ve got yourself one divine dish. These brownies would be perfect last minute dessert to bring to a pot-luck or if you’re like me and you get those awkwardly timed chocolate cravings. Midnight snacks never tasted so good. Enjoy!