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Julia’s Best-Ever Brownies

by on May 4, 2009 · 29 comments

The Julie/Julia movie is coming out in August. Have you seen the trailer? I made myself watch it this morning, and wow — does it look good. In fact, I’m so excited about the movie I decided to make some brownies as a tribute.

This recipe is adapted from Baking with Julia and what’s interesting about it is the technique. Half of the egg/sugar mixture goes directly into the chocolate mixture, while the other half is beaten to double its volume and then folded in. The recipe also calls for an ungreased pan. I believe that has something to do with the fact the brownies need to stick to the sides of the pan to bake properly and that if you grease the pan, they’ll pull away from the sides. But I’m not sure about that and since I don’t like scraping brownies from pans, I just lined the pan with ungreased foil. That way, the brownies could stick to side of the pan and bake properly and I could lift them up and peel off the foil once set. It worked out fine.

Here’s the thing. These are super fudgy. I cooked them for 25 minutes and while the edges were excellent, the center was slightly too underdone for my liking (but I don’t like gooey anyway). So next time, I’d bake these for 28-30 minutes.


Julia’s Best-Ever Brownies

1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour (5 oz/145 grams) — measure after sifting
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (228 grams) unsalted butter
4 ounces (114 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces (56 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups (380 grams) sugar (divided use)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Have ready an ungreased 9 inch pan (I use metal). I lined mine with regular foil.

Stir the sifted flour and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. When melted, reduce heat to low and add chopped chocolate, stirring often until it melts. Add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture and stir for about half a minute. Remove pan from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the vanilla.

Whisk the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs in a second bowl – Whisk only until combined – don’t over-beat. Gradually pour half of the sugar/egg mixture into the bowl with the chocolate mixture, stirring gently so that eggs don’t set from the heat of the chocolate mixture.

Using a hand-held mixer, beat the remaining sugar/egg mixture on high speed until it becomes pale and thick (it should double in volume).

Carefully fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture. When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, gently fold in the dry ingredients.

Scrape the batter into the ungreased 9 inch square pan and bake on center rack for 25 to 28 minutes (as noted, I took mine out at 25 and wished I’d kept them in for 28).

A note in the original recipe says to cut into the center after 23 minutes to see how the brownies are progressing. They should be barely set and gooey at this point. I checked at 23 minutes and they were barely set and gooey, but I gave them another 2 minutes.

Let the brownies cool completely, then cut.

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Published on May 4, 2009

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin May 4, 2009 at 11:58 am

I’m definitely trying these! I also watched the trailer (thanks for the link) and loved it!

Claire May 4, 2009 at 11:56 am

The movie looks SOO good! I’ll definitely have to see it. The brownies look excellent as well. I’ll have to try them the next time I’m looking for a brownie recipe!

Anna May 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Favorite scene: “Why don’t I go to cooking school? Bonjour!”
(In trailer. I’m sure movie has even better scenes).

I just like how the edited that.

Katrina May 4, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Next there will be a Cookie Madness movie! Who would you have starring YOU!? ;) Yummy brownies. Love Julia!

Anna May 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Katrina, I’d like for you to play me.

There would be lots of conversations about baking powder. And there would definitely be a cake mix fight!

VeggieGirl May 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm

That film DEFINITELY looks good – Meryl Streep’s portrayal of dear Julia seems pretty uncanny.

Looooove fudgy brownies.

Anna May 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I’ll bet sales of Mastering the Art of French Cooking will go way up in August.

C L May 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Ooooh brownies….drool! Just in time, too, because the big boss is coming to DH’s workplace this afternoon. The boss loves brownies so maybe I’ll drop by with a plate of these…it’s not unusual for me to bring in goodies. Don’t think of it as bribery, think of it as “persuasion”! LOL ;) Thank you, Anna…your timing is terrific. :)

Rina May 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I made this recipe once and had the same issue with the center being very fudgy, which I suppose is great for people who like that type of brownie. I thought it might have been my mistake because I did grease the pan for easier clean-up.

Louise May 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I remember watching Julia Child flip stuff on the floor just like Meryl Streep did in the trailer. LOL And, she was great for adding more butter.

Pearl May 4, 2009 at 1:11 pm

ooh that brownie is so thick!

Katrina May 4, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Your post today inspired me and I’ve got brownies (not Julia’s) in the oven–Mexican brownies with cinnamon AND cayenne. Ooh, I’m daring. We’ll see if the kids notice! I won’t even be eating them. Maybe I won’t even tell Kevin, he likes really hot things.

Ha, I’m not an actor and would do “you” a big disservice! Hmm, how about Reese Witherspoon or someone like that. The movie would have to have your Pillsbury win in it and your ditty on Oprah–all the good, juicy stuff, too! I’m sure you’ve got some!

Jill - GlossyVeneer May 4, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I saw the trailer on TV recently, my husband almost fast-forwarded through it on the DVR but I made him stop. He even admitted, “Hmm… that looks pretty good.”

Brownie recipe sounds yummy… do you think it would half well?

Anna May 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Brownie Update.

After a few hours (3) in the refrigerator they firmed up considerably. I guess all the butter stiffened up.

They’re good, but very rich.

CL, let me know if you make the brownies. I think they might benefit being made a day ahead, though. That way you can chill them if they’re gooey.

Rina, based on all the reviews, it seems to be a matter of getting the cook-time just right.

Louise, the trailer made me want to go rent a Julia Child video. That’s Meryl Streep, for you. Also, who doesn’t love Amy Adams? She wouldn’t have been my first pick for playing JP, but based on the preview it seems to have been a good choice. Being a casting agent must be the best job in the world.

Pearl, they were thick but not ridiculously so.

Katrina, I’m always up for a Mexican brownie.

Jill, I had to resist the temptation not to halve this recipe. I decided to make the full batch because I didn’t want to throw off the cook-time, but I think if you halved it and baked it in an 8 inch square pan you’d get a good brownie — much thinner, but still good. I’ve probably halved it and don’t even remember.

I know I’ve made this one before…

clumbsycookie May 4, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the link to the trailer, I haven’t seen it yet and now I can’t wait to watch the movie!

Kerstin May 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Very interesting recipe – thanks for sharing! I like gooey brownies, so I bet I’d be a huge fan of these! I’m looking forward to the movie too :)

Laurie May 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Looks terrific! I have had one for 20 in my recipe box entitled “Sue’s Best Ever Brownies” that is almost exactly like this. Sue is my Mom. Clearly, she was ahead of the curve!

Elyse May 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm

WOW! These brownies look amazing. I really need to invest in some Julia books. I love my brownies fudgy, fudgy-bordering-on-gooey :) I’m going to have to make some brownies after seeing your fabulous pics.

Anj May 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I can’t wait for this movie. I read the book and loved it. I love Meryl playing Julia — very good choice. The brownies look awesome.

bakingblonde May 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm

What an interesting mixing method, I would like to try that with other brownie recipes and compare textures.

Karen May 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm

I like Katrina’s idea of a Cookie Madness movie. I would cast Julia Roberts to play Anna, she’s a Texan!

D'Ann May 4, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Love, love, love Julia.

If you haven’t already, read My Life in France.

Must try those brownies….mmmmmmm

Have a good week

Susan May 5, 2009 at 6:13 am

Thank you SO MUCH for linking the trailer of the movie !!!!! It looks SO great…can’t wait to see it!!! Love Julia!!! Remembering watching her as a kid and loving her!!

johngl May 5, 2009 at 6:25 am

I keep getting this vision of Meryl Streep doing Dan Ackroyd doing Julia Child.

It’s a little scary.

C L May 5, 2009 at 8:51 am

Brownie Update: The brownies turned out nicely, a fudgy bottom layer with a little crust on top, a bit crumbly but very tasty. I think I goofed the mixing method, so it’s the baker’s fault not the brownies’. ;) Might try it again, but I’ll keep trying other recipes from here, too, because I might just find a new favorite and one can never have too many “favorite” brownie recipes. ;) On the plus side, Julia’s Brownies have a deliciously yummy flavor and Boss really enjoyed them! :) Thanks, Anna!

Meredith May 5, 2009 at 9:24 am

So, Anna. What is your all-time FAVORITE brownie recipe? Of the gazillions that you’ve baked?

deanna May 5, 2009 at 10:02 am

Those are some of the moistest brownies I have seen Yum!

Nikki May 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Hi,. yea this one does have a gooey centre.. the first time I tried them, I stopped at 23 minutes. It was very fudgy gooey but I added walnuts so that helped.

I bake these as cupcakes by the way. And the top part crusts and collapses after cooling. Do you know how I can solve this? It leaves a huge hole in the cupcake brownies.. :(

CookEatLove December 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm

These look fantastic. I am more of a cooker than a baker but I will definitely try these. I hope they turn out like yours!!

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