Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

West Tenth Street Brownies

This recipe got its name because I found it in Greenwich Village a few blocks from where I live. As I walked east on Tenth Street, I saw a yellowed index card lying on the sidewalk. When I picked it up I saw written in a spidery hand in blue fountain pen ink a recipe for "The Best Brownie's [sic] in the World." Well, I put it aside in a miscellaneous recipe file, and a few months later I tried it. They turned out to be sensational and certainly a contender for the title.

Makes one 9-x-13-x-2-inch pan, about twenty-four 2-inch brownies

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecan or walnut pieces

One 9-x-13-x-2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered parchment or foil

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Off the heat add the chocolate. Let stand 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If all the chocolate has not melted, return the pan to very low heat and stir constantly until the chocolate melts.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt and vanilla, just until mixed. Whisk in the sugar in a stream, then whisk in the chocolate and butter mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the flour.
  4. Set the batter aside until it has cooled to room temperature (test it with your fingertip). Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  6. Bake the brownies for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick or a small knife inserted in the center emerges clean. Cool completely on a rack.
  7. Wrap and refrigerate the pan so that the brownies solidify, at least 4 hours, overnight is best. This also makes them easier to cut.
  8. Transfer the whole cake to a cutting board and slide a long knife or spatula under it to loosen the paper or foil then pull it away. Use a ruler to mark, then cut the brownies into 2-inch squares.
  9. For up to several days, store the brownies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover. Freeze for longer storage.