Pat’s BETTER Damn Brownies.

An update of Pat’s Best Damn Brownie recipe. Recipe first, comments after.

  • 1 cup Guittard semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 cup (1 stick) Crisco butter flavored shortening
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsps good cocoa (I use Penzey’s — Ghiradelli in a pinch. For very special occasions I have used Vahlrona or Scharffen-Berger. ) Natural cocoa, not Dutch-processed.
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup – 2 tbsps all purpose flour

Freeze chocolate pieces for at least a couple of hours. Set oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 13×9 baking pan using cooking spray. (I also make a parchment sling to remove the brownies.)

Using a microwave safe bowl, melt shortening and stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, completely incorporating each one before adding the next.  Add the cocoa and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Add frozen chocolate pieces.

Place in oven for fifteen minutes. Remove from oven for fifteen minutes (yes, really). Return to oven until the brownies hit 195 (about 30 more minutes). Remove and let cool for 30 minutes. Then either remove (if using a parchment  sling) or cut in pan. Makes 24 brownies.


I took these to trivia recently, and reactions ranged from “wow, these are really good” to “oh my God.”

This recipe owes  a lot to the Cooking Channel. I grabbed the interrupted cooking technique from Alton Brown’s Good Eats: Reload episode “The Art of Darkness II.” I saw the freezing the chips on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate. (I found the Guittard pieces myself.) I now have access to a stand mixer, but I usually just use a wooden spoon. It’s easier and there is less chance of flinging cocoa or flour all over the kitchen,

Now that pot is legal in California, I keep meaning to adapt the recipe for “special brownies.” I haven’t yet, but if I do I promise to post the recipe.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these.


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