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Fudgiest Brownies

(by Aimee Lee Ball)

8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate 1 t. espresso powder

1 1/4 c. sugar

1 t. best quality vanilla extract

1/4 t. salt

2 eggs

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 F. Over very low heat, melt butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally until smooth. Off heat, stir in espresso powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time. Add flour, stirring until smooth and the mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Line an 8-inch-square pan with aluminum foil. Brush with melted butter or a flavorless oil, or spray with cooking spray. Scrape batter into pan and bake for 20 minutes. As soon as brownies are removed from oven, place in a larger pan filled with ice and ice water until cool. This is the fudgification process—do not skip.

(Read A Valentine's Day Do-over, the story that accompanies this recipe.)