This recipe for small-batch brownies makes just ten average-sized brownies, making them perfect for those times you’d like to indulge in moderation. These brownies are fudgy and feature the classic shiny, crackly tops – all with being made in one bowl.
With the rate May has been going, I’m pretty sure I’m on track to eat everything this month. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Or blow up my taste buds in the process. Work deadlines at the beginning of the month meant we ordered in, and wouldn’t you know the lunch-chooser this month decided on the hottest of hot chicken (learn about it here if you’re unfamiliar). Turns out “light-mild” actually means SO SO HOT, btw.
Then it was Cinco de Mayo, in which the crowd at our usual spot was so out of control by 5:15 pm that we ditched the idea of Mexican and went with Asian fusion instead. Once we got the idea of chips and guac and margs in our heads though it was tough to move on, so on Seis de Mayo we indulged in chips/guac/margs…with a chocolate raspberry layer cake for dessert for Brian’s birthday.
Someone hand me a green juice, stat, because next up we’ve got brownies! One bowl small-batch brownies. This recipe makes about ten (not huge) brownies, making them just the thing for those times you want something sweet but can’t handle having a ton of leftovers. They’re perfectly fudgy, have picture perfect crackly tops, and oh yeah – did I mention they’re made using just one bowl? I did but it bears repeating, because one bowl = less to clean = my kind of recipe.
These small-batch brownies are baked in a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan that has been lined with parchment paper to simplify the process of lifting the cooked brownies out of the pan for slicing. I love using a loaf pan for smaller-batch desserts because its size always seems to produce juuust the right yield. Plus with these brownies, each one gets at least one “crust” side, which is one of my favorite parts of brownies. I go for the ends.
Now some recipe notes! These brownies are on the fudgy side thanks to the first step of melting together the butter and chocolate. Cakier brownies tend to begin with creaming together the butter and sugar, but I’m a big fan of fudgy brownies so starting with butter and chocolate it is. For the 3/4 cup of chocolate chips used in this recipe, I used a mixture of dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips. You can certainly use whatever mix of chips you prefer – all semisweet, different proportions of dark/semisweet, etc.
With a lot of chocolate desserts I like to add a bit of espresso powder as I think it amplifies the chocolate flavor (and that’s always a good thing as far as I’m concerned). I found instant espresso powder in the coffee + tea aisle at my local grocery store, but this is the one I use if you’re curious! A little goes a long way, but you can omit if you’d prefer not to use.
See these one bowl small-batch brownies whipped up in this short video!
One Bowl Small-Batch Brownies
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- Pinch of salt
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and two sides of a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium-large microwave-safe bowl, add butter and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and melt in 20-second intervals on medium power until mixture is melted and smooth, whisking after each interval.
- Once melted, whisk in sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until combined. Add flour, espresso powder, and salt and whisk until well-combined. You want the batter to have a slight "shine" to it. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
- Pour brownie batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges have set and a tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center of the brownies comes out just about clean, with only a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Let brownies cool completely before slicing. Lift the brownies by the overhanging sides of the parchment paper and cut into slices, once cool.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet/Sur La Table, which continues to be one of my favorite go-to baking cookbooks!
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