I f**king love brownies. I mean seriously, I’ve made so many brownie recipes and I still want to make more. And that doesn’t even include the countless Costco-sized boxes of Ghirardelli’s double chocolate brownies I’ve made at home. And the occasional Pillsbury. Jeeeeze, I’m getting hungry just thinking about them…
And here’s the best part of it all: these butterscotch cocoa brownies are my new favorite. Better than plumb good brownies. Better than Nutella brownies. Better then every brownie recipe prior to this. They’re so gooey and fudgey and I just love the addition of the butterscotch chips. So basically: go make these. Now. No, not in an hour. Not tomorrow. Now.
Tips for making butterscotch cocoa brownies
Use unsalted butter — I know it doesn’t seem like using unsalted vs salted butter makes a huge difference in your baking, but unsalted butter is the way to go here. Using unsalted butter gives you more control over how much salt is going into the batter to offset the rich cocoa brownies.
Use unsweetened cocoa powder — You want to use unsweetened cocoa powder here so these butterscotch brownies are as rich and fudgy as they can possibly be. Don’t try and substitute hot chocolate mix or anything crazy like that. It won’t work. (Ask me how I know).
Slightly under bake the brownies — The trick to making the fudgiest brownies possible is to bake them slightly less than you think they need. Remember that these cocoa brownies will continue cooking in the hot pan as they rest on your counter, so they can be taken out a little early.
Let the brownies cool before cutting — I know it sucks having to wait for brownies to cool, but that cooling period is crucial in achieving the perfect butterscotch brownie. The brownies won’t set right if you cut into them right away, not to mention you’l burn the roof of your mouth if you eat one straight out of the oven.
How to store brownies
These cocoa brownies should keep in an airtight container on your counter for about a week (not that they’ll last that long!). You can also freeze these brownies once they’ve cooled completely. Just store them in a freezer-safe baggie and then reheat them in a warm oven when you’re ready to dig in.
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butterscotch chips
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave for 90 seconds. Remove and stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smoothes out once the eggs and flour are added.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula.
Stir in the butterscotch chips, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack before cutting and serving.