Devilishly Good Brownies

What You Need:

1 cup butter (I use salted)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
nuts (optional)
A brownie pan
An oven

What You Do:

Preheat the oven to 350°, and line brownie pan with parchment paper. 

Melt the butter either in a pan or in the microwave. Stir in the sugar until the sugar melts, then add vanilla. Allow to cool (if needed) until just warm, then add the eggs one at a time (mixing between). Carefully add and stir in the cocoa. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined (here's where you'll add the nuts, if you're using them). Pour into brownie pan and bake for 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).

The Wordy Bit

These brownies are the result of a very happy accident. You see in the ingredients list where I specify Hershey's Special Dark? Well, it wasn't always there. I used to use regular cocoa powder. But one time, I went to bake brownies for my boyfriend (now husband) and I didn't have any regular cocoa powder on hand. I also wasn't able to go to the store, but I did have some Hershey's Special Dark...that I had bought by accident. He had mentioned that he loves all things dark chocolate (especially Devil's food cake), so I decided to wing it. He loved it! Now, it's the only cocoa powder I buy and use.

I have tinkered with a sugar-free version of these...but that ended horribly. Now, to be honest, it was mainly because I messed up my measurement conversion. I tried to substitute the sugar with Splenda. In baking, that's tricky because of how much liquid the filler in Splenda absorbs. I did a 1:1 exchange, and somehow also halved my butter. I don't know what I was thinking...the batter was so dry that I fought it into the pan. It did make a giant cookie-like thing, and it wasn't a total loss. I crumbled it up and mixed it with some cream cheese and made "truffles". I haven't tried the sugar-free version since, but I need to give it another go. I'll let you know how that one goes, too. Here's a look at the truffles. They were pretty good, so you might want to intentionally mess them up, but I'm going to try to avoid doing that again.


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