No chocolate? No problem! I discovered these super-simple yet undeniably delicious brownies when I was pregnant, and they continue to be a trusty go-to for desserts, parties, and the like not only because they’re CHEAP (no baking chocolate—or even chocolate chips—required) and based entirely on pantry ingredients, but because they’re objectively some of my favorite brownies. Chewy and fudgy, not cakey and dry, with so much chocolate flavor you’ll swear you taste an expensive chocolate bar in there somewhere. (It’s just cocoa powder!)
These are so easy to make you don’t even need a mixer. Just a microwave, a microwave-safe bowl, a spatula, and an 8×8 pan.
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease an 8×8 pan. (I use the wrapper and a little pinch of grease from the stick of butter mentioned below.)
Step 1: Microwave 1 stick of butter until melted.
Step 2: Stir in 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract until combined.
Step 3: Stir in 2 beaten eggs, again until combined.
Step 4: Very gently stir in 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, just until no streaks of flour remain.
Step 5: Scrape the mixture into the center of the greased pan. It will be slightly stiff, so do your best to spread it out as evenly as possible.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Slice and try not to immediately scarf down half the pan. (I haven’t tried freezing them, but I imagine wrapping them individually and putting them in the very back of the freezer may help with the willpower.)