Death by Chocolate Brownies


Death by Chocolate Brownies are the cure for just about anything.  Heartache?  No problem.  Breakup?  Take two and call me in the morning.  Bad day?  Feeling blue?  Check and double check.  These are the true chocolate lovers’ brownie, based on the original recipe my friend Jill H.K. shared with me at the beginning of our friendship.  Much like our friendship, these brownies have only improved with time, and get sweeter the more time I spend with them.  🙂

What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!

Death by Chocolate Brownies

Brownie Ingredients:

1 cup regular cocoa

1/2 cup black cocoa

1 cup butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup canola oil

5 eggs

3 cups sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Espresso powder

1 (12 oz.) bag Ghiradelli (or similar brand) dark chocolate chips


Begin by mixing melted butter, oil, cocoa, and sugar together.  Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine.  Stir in flour/salt/espresso powder.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour mixture into foil lined, greased 13×9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for roughly 45-50 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Just think. In about an hour you will have the best brownies you ever tasted. And you will never buy a boxed mix again.  🙂

You may be wondering why you’re looking at either (1) brownies gone terribly, terribly wrong, (2) the result of an extremely bad day.  Please send xanax, or (3) Um, I have no idea what that is, but it looks like fun.

Well my friends, sadly I have been a bit slow getting my recipes up lately, and this is the cause.  It all started with a teeeeeeeeeny little water spot that I noticed in my closet (which backs up to the guest bathroom).  I said, “hmmm. I guess that was always there and I didn’t notice it.”

Fast forward a few days.

The spot, never one to do anything small, has grown and happily shared itself wholeheartedly with my floor, carpet, and possessions which were unfortunate enough to rest against said wall.

Thereby, I found myself digging into the wall to find the source.  Apparently one little pipe said, “That’s it. This is NOT a democracy!  I QUIT!”  And said pipe had to be removed.  SOOOOOOOOO.

We have for this team (1) a gal who knows nothing about renovations, (2) a neighbor who knows a lot but sadly does not live here, and (3) a recipe blog which is feeling blue because it’s getting neglected because the mistress is always upstairs knocking down walls and finding it immensely satisfying.

Why, all this ripping was even more satisfying than Christmas morning!  Goodbye, disgusting ’70s beige!  Goodbye horrible tub with remnants of those little “don’t slip!” circles on the bottom.  Goodbye old Paint, I’m a leaving Cheyenne!

Goodbye sleep. Goodbye clean floors.  Goodbye tape measures (which seem to grow legs and walk away during any construction project, as if they are gleefully luxuriating in the secret knowledge that you cannot find them among the veritable hardware store strewn across every available surface).  Goodnight Moon.  Goodnight Mush.

Hello beautiful neutral gray (why yes, it’s now the color of my hair also, thanks to the stress of this project. Thanks for noticing).  Thank you neighbor, for telling me how to do everything.  Thank you Home Depot lady for recognizing me when I come in now and immediately knowing that I need help as I tug helplessly on a piece of drywall, wondering how the heck people get them off of these piles without rupturing a disc.


Death by Chocolate Brownies

Hello brownies.  I need you.  I love you.  Come and make my day a little bit better.

And for the rest of you, I am grateful for your patience as I finish this job (and walk the aisles of home depot carrying my drywall dusted self with pride, as if I belong).  I will update as often as I can. 🙂

These brownies are as easy to create as they are delicious to eat!  If you have a stand mixer, throwing them together is a snap.  Start out by mixing the melted butter, oil, cocoa, and sugar together.  A word about cocoa.  Sigh.  Don’t you wish that people would just break thought and discuss chocolate more often?  🙂

Death by Chocolate Brownies

Before I started baking seriously, I thought there was just one kind of cocoa– the Nestle kind that I got at the grocery store.  But there are actually multiple kinds of cocoa, ranging from reddish to very, very dark.  Black cocoa can be tricky to find, but it’s the super dark, almost bittersweet version of cocoa that is actually used in Oreos.  A recipe that uses nothing but black cocoa will be very dark and almost bitter.  So we are putting just 1/2 cup in this recipe, and balancing out the rest with regular (grocery store, non dutch process) cocoa.

Death by Chocolate Brownies

Start out by mixing the melted butter, oil, cocoa, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Yes, there is a lot of butter in this recipe.  But these little bastions of bedeviled delight are so chocolatey that a little bit goes a long way, and you can take a small one of these nuggets that feel like they were broken right from the bark of a cocoa tree and farm it out through an entire cup of dark, nutty coffee as the perfect accompaniment.  A little goes a long way so don’t worry too much about your waistline.  Plus, you’re beautiful anyway.  You deserve a brownie.  Think about all those calories you just burned up tearing down your bathroom.  BTW I totally left a note in the wall for the next people who tear out all my hard work cursing them for taking it down.  Just kidding. But I did leave a note in the wall.  Someday, someone will find it.  Will it be…. you?  *Twilight Music theme plays eerily in background . . .

Death by Chocolate Brownies

Add in the vanilla and egg and beat the mixture for a few seconds to combine.  Stir in the flour/salt/espresso powder (this just gives a divinely subtle edge to the chocolate, but if you don’t have it you can leave it out) and then fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.  A little baking tip: if you coat the chocolate chips in a few teaspoons of flour before you fold them into the batter, they won’t sink during the baking process.  This also works for blueberries, cranberries, nuts, for other baked goods (cakes, muffins, etc).   It does not, I’m sorry to say, work with drywall screws.

Death by Chocolate Brownies

There is a really fine line when making brownies between “I tried so hard to make them gooey that they are actually raw,” and “this is so overbaked that I could pound a nail in with it.”  I have ruined many brownies in my time, trying to straddle this line unsuccessfully.  And here is my advice to make the best brownies you can:

(1) Use an oven thermometer.  The key to perfect brownies is even, consistent heating (so the edges are not burned while the middle is raw.

(2)  Set your oven timer and use it.  After a few batches you will learn what time works best for your oven.  I have found that 49 minutes at exactly 350 degrees is perfect for me.  I rotate the pan after 30 minutes, just to ensure even baking.  Learn your oven. Learn your recipe.  Then make it perfectly every time.

Pour your divine, chocolate mixture into a foil lined, greased 13×9 pan.  Trust me– you will love that foil layer when you can lift the entire batch out when it’s cool and cut the brownies without trying to dig them out of the pan.  Bake the brownies at 350 for 45-50 minutes (49 minutes is perfect for me), and let the brownies cool completely before cutting.  In fact, refrigerating the brownies makes them cut even more beautifully.

Death by Chocolate Brownies

Of course, if you don’t care about perfect cuts, then take my advice and dig yourself out an ooey, gooey chocolate wedge the second these little beauties come out of the oven.  Pour yourself a glass of ice cold milk and just sit there and go back to childhood for a second.

After all. If you have to die, then I think death by chocolate is the way to go– don’t you?  🙂

You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.


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  1. Nancy

    I left a note for my husband just in case there really is a death by chocolate; mine! This is a distinct possibility considering the impossibly dark, luxurious batter that just when into my oven. And such a big batch! No supper tonight, Sweetheart, either way.

    1. Emilie (Post author)

      Haha! I knew you were a genius. 😉

  2. Pingback: Regular vs. Dutch Process Cocoa – Cookies for England

  3. Karly

    Definitely hits the spot! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Emilie (Post author)

      Thank you I hope you enjoy! 🙂 — Emilie

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