Welcome to The Storied Recipe! Guests of the podcast share a recipe they cherish for its significance to their culture and heritage. I invite you to listen to Liz Zunon's episode, Grandpa Cacao's Granddaughter, while you make this classic Baker's brownie recipe.
To me, the Original Baker’s Chocolate Brownie recipe will always be the best brownies. Not too cakey, not too fudgy, with a thin crispy crust and extra chewy edges.
I made hundreds of batches of these brownies in my childhood. We ate them every 4th of July and at every birthday celebration, and plenty of occasions in between!
Note: This is the recipe that used to be on the inside of the orange box of Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate. This was their featured recipe BEFORE the One Bowl Brownie Recipe.
- Are the Original Baker's Brownies cakey or fudgy?
- Unsweetened vs. Semisweet Chocolate
- History of the ORIGINAL Baker's Chocolate Recipe
- Original Baker's Brownies vs. One Bowl Brownies
- Equipment You May Need
- Related Recipe
- Chocolate Christmas Celebration Cake
- Listen to Liz Zunon's Episode on The Storied Recipe Podcast:
- The Original Baker's Chocolate Brownie Recipe
Are the Original Baker's Brownies cakey or fudgy?
- They're both. This is the brownie that walks that line right down the middle of the "fudgy" and "cakey" divide.
- In addition, a pan of these brownies has the loveliest thin crust on top and the chewiest of corners.
Unsweetened vs. Semisweet Chocolate
- Truthfully, I had forgotten all about this recipe until my oldest son mentioned it in the first Bonus Episode of The Storied Recipe podcast ever.
- Jack remembered how tempting that bowl of melted butter and chocolate looked to him as a little child - so smooth and shiny! Of course, the chocolate is unsweetened, and for any kid, the taste is deeply disappointing.
- In fact, I made this recipe myself when I was very young, and had the same experience. Now, as an adult, I love dark chocolate. In fact, the more bitter, the better.
History of the ORIGINAL Baker's Chocolate Recipe
- Back in the '80s, this was the recipe on the inside of the orange box holding unsweetened Baker's chocolate.
- On that packaging, the Bakers company titled the recipe "Baker's Fudgy Brownies".
- This recipe was eventually replaced with the One Bowl Brownie recipe on the back of that orange box. (It's just so exhausting to wash 3 bowls! 😉 )
- When you read "classic" in relation to these brownies, please don't read "stodgy", "outdated", or "typically ho-hum."
- Instead, think "memorable," "best in class," the standard to which other brownies should be judged.
Original Baker's Brownies vs. One Bowl Brownies
Is this the "One Bowl Brownies" recipe that was on the back of the Baker’s Box for a long time?
- No! This is an earlier recipe. In my opinion, these are better.
- These contain salt and baking powder, which give a little more flavor and crumble.
- These brownies are slightly cakier than the One Bowl recipe. However, like the one-bowl brownies, the fat-to-flour ratio in this recipe is still high. That gives these recipes a nice fudgy texture as well.
Should I use a stand mixer to make brownies?
- I don't. In fact, I don't even use a handheld mixer.
- This way, the brownies stay tender by avoiding the pitfall of overmixing the flour.
- I just use a fork to mix the dry ingredients, a spoon to stir the melting butter and chocolate, and then a whisk to combine everything (in the order given).
- Bakers Chocolate Brownies with Frosting - melt 4oz Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate. Let cool. Add 1 lb. powdered sugar, ½ cup softened butter or margarine, 2tsp vanilla. Slowly add ⅓ cup milk while whisking until smooth.
- Bakers Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies - Gently warm ¼ of natural peanut butter until in a liquid state. (Natural peanut butter will swirl more easily.) Add dollops of the peanut butter to the top of the batter and use a knife to swirl the top. Alternatively, melt ½ cup peanut butter chips in the microwave by heating, then stirring, in 15 second intervals. Pour ribbons of peanut butter over the batter and use a knife to swirl
- Bakers Chocolate Cream Cheese Cheesecake Brownies - Let 8oz. of cream cheese soften at room temperature. Mix cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, 1 egg, and ¼ cup flour. Add dollops of the cream cheese to the top of the batter and use a knife to swirl into the batter mix.
- Bakers Chocolate German Chocolate Brownies
- Rocky Road Brownies - Before baking, stir ⅔ cup of chocolate chips into the batter. While brownies bake, mix ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 ⅓ cups marshmallows, and ⅓ cup chopped peanuts together. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, sprinkle the mixture evenly across the top. If you want the marshmallows to melt, cover the baking pan with foil.
- Super Chunk Brownies - Coarsely chop 8 oz Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate or Bittersweet Chocolate and ½ cup pecans. Stir into the brownie batter before baking.
Equipment You May Need
- 9x13 Pyrex Pan
- Nested microwave-proof mixing bowls with pour spout
- Brownie server (to get all those fudgy crumbs!)
More About Liz Zunon and Grandpa Cacao
As Liz explains in Episode 11 of The Storied Recipe, this cake connects her to her grandfather who was a cacao farmer in the Ivory Coast. However, the recipe also connects her to her mother....