Where Bittman's elegant brownie has an almost bittersweet adult taste, this dense brownie is more conventional, definitely American. Even packed with nuts, it's a good gift brownie because it cuts well.
16 tbls unsalted butter
8 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate cut into big pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
(2 cups walnut or pecan pieces)
* I buy x-large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, rack in middle. Butter (generously) a 9- by 13-inch pan, line the bottom and sides with waxed or parchment paper and butter again.
3. In a big bowl whisk the eggs until they look entirely blended, then add salt, sugars and vanilla. Using a big spoon, stir in the chocolate mixture and fold in the flour. (Add the nuts here if using them.)
4. Pour batter into the pan and even it out if needed. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack then wrap the entire pan and leave it, in the fridge or on the counter, overnight (or all day).
Trim the edges. Don't be alarmed - they will be crisp. For 24 two-inch square brownies make 3 cuts lengthwise and 5 across. For boxed gift-giving, wrap each brownie individually.