One of my favorite smells is something chocolate baking in the oven. It fills the house with such a sweet aroma and then of course there is the delicious treat that follows. As a major chocoholic I think brownies make the perfect way to feed my addiction because they are packed with intense fudgy flavor in each and every bite. What's not to love? While a plain unadorned brownie is quite fine on its own when you top it with a light, fluffy frosting it elevates this irresistible little treat into another stratosphere.
If you prefer no frosting try these brownies I frequently make for Addison or Maddie's favorite cheesecake brownies when you can't decide between chocolate or cheesecake. Although even those who usually prefer 'cake' to 'frosting' seem to adore these frosted brownies and will ask for them again and again. Luckily they are easy and quick to make so you won't mind being asked.
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 g) plus 2 tablespoons (14 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (8 ounces/225 g) salted or unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces (86 g) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325℉ (160℃). Line a 9 x 13-inch (22 x 32 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl using a handheld mixer beat the eggs and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Put the flour and cocoa powder in a fine-mesh sieve and sift into the egg and sugar mixture. Beat with the mixer to incorporate. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract mix thoroughly. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
1 1/2 cups (210 g) confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/75 g) salted or unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces (140 g) cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder together in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the butter and beat with the paddle attachment on low speed until the mixture comes together. Add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until light and fluffy about 5 minutes. Use to frost the cooled brownies.