We've created the perfect brownie by employing a few tips and tricks. Using both semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder gives us the deep and complex chocolate flavor we crave. Cooking the butter until golden brown adds a toasted nuttiness, while the pop of cream provides luscious texture.
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, preferably metal, with nonstick baking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang on the longer sides. Lightly coat with nonstick spray.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, swirling occasionally, until the butter is a deep golden color, about 5 minutes; the butter will hiss and spit as the whey evaporates so be careful. As the foam subsides the butter will go from a canary yellow color to golden. When it does, take it off the heat. Add the chocolate and cream to the butter and let it sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, espresso powder and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on low speed and gradually increase to high speed until the eggs are pale, very thick and fluffy, about 8 minutes (start your timer when you get to high speed). Do not be tempted to skimp on the mix time; this step is key to getting the signature shiny, crackled brownie top. Reduce the speed to low and slowly pour the warm chocolate into the eggs; beat until completely incorporated. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined; do not overmix. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold until the batter is completely combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the brownies are glossy and just barely firm, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 205 degrees F, 25 to 35 minutes. Don't let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan or you will get a much higher reading. (The cook time will be at the higher end of the range if using a glass or ceramic baking dish.)
Let the brownies cool completely to allow the crumb to set before slicing, about 3 hours.
Use an offset spatula to loosen the brownies from the sides of the pan. Use the parchment overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Remove the parchment and cut into 24 squares.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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