Happy Birthday Julia Child

Today is Julia Child’s birthday, so I’m taking the day off to celebrate the life of a lady who helped me realize the importance of doing what you are passionate about and not letting other people’s attitude get in the way. As for today’s cookie, here’s a brownie recipe adapted from one by Julia Child. It’s  interesting in that half of the sugar is melted in with the chocolate, while another portion is whipped thoroughly with the eggs. The brownies appear very average, but one bite will prove they are anything but.


I think I’ll buy some expensive chocolate and bake a batch in Julia’s honor. Look for a new photo, soon!

Happy Birthday Julia Child
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A brownie recipe for Julia Child's birthday
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line a 9 inch square pan with foil.
  2. Stir the sifted flour and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. 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 only 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.
  4. Whisk the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs in a second bowl. Whisk only until combined – don’t over-beat. Gradually pour ONLY half of the sugar/egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, stirring gently so that eggs don’t set from the heat of the chocolate mixture.
  5. 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).
  6. Carefully fold the whipped egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients.
  7. Scrape the batter into the 9 inch square pan and bake on center rack for 25 to 28 minutes. Mine are usually done in 28 minutes.
  8. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift from the pan and cut.
I like to chill my brownies thoroughly before slicing.

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  1. Alton says

    Anna, you’re bad – I was going to start Weight Watchers today. Well, tomorrow is another day!

  2. says

    Yummm…have an extra bite for me! I met her once; well, I shook her hand in a line with other people, lol. She received an honorary degree from Rutgers at my masters degree ceremony MANY years ago. Very nice lady. She gave a quick but thoughtful speech to us. Can’t remember much about it now, but do know I was very impressed with her.

  3. says

    I almost decided on the brownies. But went for the gusto and made her chocolate mousse. Quite the little project, but OH so worth it. That is some good stuff! I actually like it frozen better and a couple spoonfuls at a time is plenty, but I will love having this! Yes, Happy Birthday, Julia Child! 😉

  4. Laura says

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for posting this recipe (and the hundreds of others too)! Quick question–did you find these brownies to be greasy at all? With past recipes I’ve found that 4oz. of butter for an 8-9 inch pan is great, but 8oz. yields a greasy result. I know there are plenty of recipes out there that use more that 4oz. (I think there is one from Thomas Keller that might use 3 sticks of butter), so I’m curious how these came out and whether you found them to be at all greasy. Thanks!

  5. says

    Hi Laura,
    I know what you mean about greasy, and I don’t like it when brownies have that kind of texture. However, these don’t taste greasy to me. I think part of it is because they have enough flour (and sugar) to offset the butter and fat from the chocolate. If you make them, let me know what you think. If I have time I’ll try to identify some of the brownies I feel are “greasy” and we can compare notes.

  6. Laura says

    Thanks as always Anna! The greasy brownies that come to mind for me are the Baked brownies. I only made them once, and very well might have made an error (given that everyone seems to rave about them), but I remember them being very greasy, which was unappealing visually and from a taste perspective. I haven’t made the aforemention Ad Hoc brownies, as I simply couldn’t justify the amount of butter. Anyway, I’m glad to hear these brownies aren’t greasy and will look forward to making them in the very near future. Have a great one!

  7. says

    Very interesting. Here are the two ingredients lists. At first glance it looks like Baked’s has a lot more chocolate. It does, but it also has a little more sugar since some of the chocolate is sweetened. And Baked’s has an extra egg. I do recommend Julia’s, but given your taste you might want to try the Art Park Brownies recipe. It calls for less butter and unsweetened chocolate. It’s also one of my favorites, though not quite as rich as some others.


    1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
    11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
    1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1½ cups granulated sugar
    ½ cup packed light brown sugar
    5 eggs, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    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

  8. says

    Anna and Laura, I have to chime in on the Baked vs. Julia brownie comparison. The Baked recipe (as written above) is instructed to be baked in a 9 x 13 dish, not 9 x 9 like Julia’s. So that should make a big difference. I love the Baked brownie–I think it’s my ultimate favorite. Even in a 9 x 13, it is very thick and rich, but not greasy. Is the Julia brownie super-thick in a 9 x 9? I’m wondering if it would do well in a 9 x 13, bc I’d like to try it.

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