If there is one combination that I love, it is sweet and salty. On their own, sweets hold little power over me. Sweet treats with a kick of salt? Well, be still my beating heart! This recipe for Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies is destined to be my recipe legacy that I pass on to my children. When I pass away, my tombstone should read, “Beloved wife and mother. More beloved for her amazing brownies. Forever. And Ever. Amen.” Yes, these are legacy-making brownies, friends!
If you are looking for a fun treat to share with the special moms in your life this Mother’s Day, than I highly recommend making a batch of these packaged up with pretty ribbon or nestled in a bed of wax paper in an elegantly packaged tin. These are really simple to make and an easy recipe to make a double batch of for gift-giving!
To begin, you will need a bar of really good unsweetened chocolate. Give the chocolate a coarse chop with your knife and then scoop it into a pot along with your butter. The quantities that you will see pictured here are for a double batch of brownies. Melt your chocoalte and butter on low heat until it is smooth and combined, stirring occasionally. Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow it to cool while you prepare your dry ingredients.
In a mixing bowl (or in your stand mixer), you can begin whisking together the dry ingredients. In this bowl you will mix your dark cocoa, flour, and sugar. Both this dark cocoa and the unsweetened chocolate are located in the baking aisle of your store.
Once your dry ingredients are mixed together, we can begin incorporating the wet ingredients. Add your eggs and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix them in with a spatula or use your stand mixer to mix these. Once these are incorporated, you can slowly add in your cooled chocolate and then incorporate that into your batter.
Prepare a 9″ square pan by lining it with aluminum foil and then spraying it generously with cooking spray. Pour your batter into the pan and then smooth with the back of your spatula. The batter should be very thick and fudge-like.
Now it is time to add our salty topping to our brownie. If you have beautifully flaky sea salt in your spice cupboard, this is the time to use it. If you are a commoner like me, you will just find a coarse sea salt over in the spice aisle next to the other commoner salts. Sprinkle 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt all over the brownies. Then use a butter knife to cut the salt through the batter so you get a hint of salt both on the top and within the brownie itself. Lick the knife without shame after you are done with this step. Slide the brownies into a 350 degree oven for 35-38 minutes.
When you pull them out, the edges should be set (see above in this picture), but the center will still be a little bit soft and the toothpick will have a little batter on it. That is exactly what you want. Allow them to cool for one hour on the counter and then cover the top with a little plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or even up to three days. You can then pull the foil and plastic wrap off and cut with a sharp knife into squares.
Package these sweet little treats in clear treat bags with a little ribbon from your craft supplies. I guarantee that any mother that receives these will feel all your love in them. These are fabulous treats to give to your girlfriends, your teachers, your sister, your babysitter, or any other mother that you feel deserves a little TLC for all of her hard work as a mom. Imagine what a sweet surprise these would be for someone who might not get all the adoration they are so deserving of.
Be sure to make a batch for yourself too, after all, you deserve a little bit of chocolate adoration too!
Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges. Lightly butter the foil or spray with cooking spray. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl begin whisking together the dry ingredients. In this bowl you will mix your dark cocoa, flour, and sugar. Once your dry ingredients are mixed together, we can begin incorporating the wet ingredients. Add your eggs and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix them in with a spatula or use your stand mixer to mix these. Once these are incorporated, you can slowly add in your cooled chocolate and then incorporate that into your batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter. Bake the brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter. Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour, then refrigerate just until they are firm, about 1 hour. Lift the brownies from the pan and peel off the foil. Cut the brownies into 16 squares. Serve at room temperature.
Side note: The salted fudge brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and frozen for up to 1 month.
Recipe Source: This recipe was adapted from Food & Wine Magazine