Treehouse Brownies


Cocoa-rich, chewy brownies were my mother’s default dessert setting as were they her own mother’s. Not surprisingly, I will make brownies for no reason other than it’s a day ending in “y.” Anyone can get a pan of these assembled and in the oven, with the kitchen tidied up, in under fifteen minutes. Like my foremothers, I like a dense, chewy brownie with crisp edges, and that’s what this recipe delivers.

These brownies require no special equipment and lend themselves to endless variation.

I normally make these with Trader Joe’s cocoa powder, and Hershey’s Special Dark does one proud. The best of these, though, are made with Valhrona. I’m talking “snag a husband” levels of goodness.


Treehouse Brownies
227g a/p flour
397g white sugar
57g cocoa powder
5g baking powder
215g sunflower oil
224g eggs (4)
4g vanilla
40g honey
12g dark soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350º and line a 13×9″ baking pan (the heavier, the better) with aluminum foil.

Weigh into the larger of two bowls the dry ingredients. Be sure to sieve the cocoa powder as you add it. Whisk dry ingredients to combine.

Weigh wet ingredients into the smaller of two bowls and whisk well to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together with a large spoon until flour has just disappeared.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth, and bake for 30 minutes uninterrupted, then test. Done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and edges are firm.

Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before lifting out by foil and cutting as desired. These will keep, covered, at room temperature for a week.



Substitute any extract that strikes your fancy for the vanilla. Or add it in addition to the vanilla.

Peanut, olive, and walnut oils can be added in whole or partial substitution.

Add a cup of any chunky thing you like from cereal to nuts. Don’t be afraid of dried fruit!

Brown sugar bakes up a less sweet, softer brownie.

Get a wallop of citrus by running the zest of two such fruits in a blender on top speed with the oil for a couple of minutes.

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