The secret to gooey, fudgy brownies? Cocoa. Brownies made with cocoa use butter for their fat—so they’re moister than brownies made with actual chocolate (cocoa butter bakes up drier than butter). These brownies are rich, intense, pure fudge-brownie heaven.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Whisk in the eggs until thoroughly combined and smooth. Stir in the flour until no more streaks of flour show. Stir in the optional nuts.
- Spread the batter evenly in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes. Scoop the brownies warm out of the pan and serve with ice cream, or cool them in the pan on a wire rack and slice into wedges.
Recipe by Tara Tuckwiller