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it ain’t broke, but

March 24 2009 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Dessert,Recipe » 36 comments


This recipe, I admit, is a little gimmicky.  It’s reminiscent of an overplayed commercial featuring  bad lighting and the latest, greatest idea: the snuggie, for instance (like a blanket, except it has armholes!), or perhaps the clapper (clap on! clap off!).  This recipe, unlike those commercials, has the advantage of Martha Stewart (or at least her brand) proclaiming its virtues.  And what she (or one of her magazines) says is this: like a brownie, except it’s made in a skillet!


Well, I’m sold.


Actually, it was Kevin who was sold, when I made the questionable decision to tip the magazine spread featuring the recipe in his direction.  Like a kid in candy land, his eyes lit up and the next thing I knew, I was digging the bittersweet chocolate out of the pantry and retrieving a skillet from the cupboard.


I felt a little bit less sheepish about this chain of events considering that brownies seem to be an exception to the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  There is nothing—not one thing—wrong with a regular-old-plain-Jane brownie.  Chocolate, butter, eggs, flour, sugar and you’re done.


But I see absolutely nothing wrong with upping the ante a bit: adding a dollop of mascarpone, to the batter, say, or slathering the top with a thick layer of ganache.  Same goes for swirling a trail of cheesecake batter or pureed pumpkin or peanut butter through a pan of brownies.  I’ve also been known to liberally apply cinnamon and I’d like to try my hand at adding a bit of spice too.  Heck, I even hear good things about black beans, of all things, in brownies.  Black beans!


So, yes, it seemed that me and my skillet were in well-trod “fixing something that’s not broken” territory.  And, you know what?  I’m so glad we were.  Because these brownies were really, really good.  The surface of the brownies achieved the papery-thin, crackled quality that the best brownies all have.  And the interior deftly towed the line between cakey and fudgy—dense, but with a delicate crumb.


Factor in the circular shape of the brownies (baked in a skillet!, you’ll recall), which requires you to slice the them into wedges (and even the thinnest wedge is inherently larger than a standard-issue square brownie—which is okay by me), and a scoop of Vanilla Bean-Bourbon Ice Cream and, gimmick or not, I’m a believer.


Fudgy Skillet Brownies
Everyday Food

Printable Recipe

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

In a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet, bring butter and cream to a simmer over medium. Add chocolate; reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes.

Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture, whisking until blended (reserve skillet). Fold in flour mixture. Pour batter into skillet.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Serve from skillet, warm or at room temperature.

36 comments so far. »
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  1. ashley (sweet & natural) says on March 24 2009 at 7:17 pm:

    Brownies – the key to my heart! Love it love it love it.

  2. Whitney Merritt says on March 24 2009 at 7:41 pm:

    I totally have a friend that asked for a Snugglie for Christmas from her BF. I really had to laugh.

    I would love a slice of this with your vanilla bourbon ice cream. Holy Yum. I live just due east of you ;-P Haha

  3. Christina says on March 24 2009 at 8:49 pm:

    Black beans in brownies, wow! These brownies look phenomenal, and what could be better than a one-dish dessert? Brilliant!

  4. Jessica says on March 24 2009 at 9:22 pm:

    I have to say that I have made those black bean brownies and they are quite good! You have to make sure the beans are mashed smooth, but no one would ever guess if you never told.

  5. Monica h says on March 24 2009 at 9:28 pm:

    Bookmarked for sure! I’m always on the look out for good brownies. Yum!

  6. Polly Rice says on March 24 2009 at 9:34 pm:

    I love your recipes but I think I love your banter just as much — snuggie! mancation! these are jokes that come up often in my own circle. And btw, my good friend received a snuggie from her husband for Christmas, and yes, they look as ridiculous in person as you might imagine. Brownie w/your vanilla bourbon bean ice cream – you’re killing my wedding diet!

  7. Jodye says on March 24 2009 at 11:03 pm:

    Gimmicky or not, these look amazing!

  8. Camemberu says on March 25 2009 at 2:35 am:

    Oh my…I have to make these now! Thank you for the slurpalicious photos too!

  9. Kelly says on March 25 2009 at 5:16 am:

    Wonderful! Is there any concern about putting a nonstick skillet in the over? Alternatively, do you think this would work in a cast iron pan that was liberally greased beforehand?

    Thanks for all your wonderful posts! Very enjoyable to read…. and cook!

  10. Jen Schall @ My Kitchen Addiction says on March 25 2009 at 6:34 am:

    These look good… I just have to remember not to use a metal knife to cut the brownies in my non-stick skillet… that is an accident waiting to happen for me!

    Did you happen to catch the Late Night Show w/ Jimmy Fallon last week when the entire audience and guests were adorned in Snuggies? It was pretty funny.

  11. noble pig says on March 25 2009 at 7:48 am:

    Oh it’s beautiful. I love recipes like this becuase of the rustic feel. I also love Everyday Food mag.

    Nice all around.

  12. Tabitha (From Single to Married) says on March 25 2009 at 8:07 am:

    wow! in a skillet? Well, that just makes it perfect then!

  13. Sara: Our Best Bites says on March 25 2009 at 8:29 am:

    Oh wow, that looks so good. The pictures are gorgeous- I can tell by looking at them how dense and fudgy those things are. Yum!

  14. Kate says on March 25 2009 at 9:13 am:

    But how do they compare with your favorite brownie recipe? I mean, skillet is nice, but how do they taste?

  15. Rita says on March 25 2009 at 9:14 am:

    Yeah, that recipe cought my eye too on the magazine…It’s nice to see other people making it, and yours look so good! Last year I made a skillet chocchip cookie also from Martha…Go Martha!!

  16. Miriam says on March 25 2009 at 10:23 am:

    I discovered your blog recently, I love it! Full of nice stories, perfectly mingled with the recipes and the beautiful pictures. These brownies look delicious, surely will try them. By the way, this Martha woman, is she a superheroine or something? How many things can she do? :-)

  17. Kate says on March 25 2009 at 10:47 am:

    I’ve seen enough skillet and/or lava brownies lately to declare it a trend. Faddish, perhaps, but yummy for sure!

  18. Jennifer says on March 25 2009 at 11:53 am:

    Ive never tried black beans in my brownies… or cooked in a skillet!!!! I do cornbread in one, so why not!! YUM!!!

  19. maggie (p&c) says on March 25 2009 at 12:13 pm:

    They do look tasty! And a wedge is a sophisticated way to serve brownies at a dinner party!

  20. KatieJ says on March 25 2009 at 12:37 pm:


  21. ingrid says on March 25 2009 at 1:10 pm:

    I’m liking these! They look like they’d be fun left in the skillet when serving dinner “family style”. I’m thinking mega brownie isundae!

  22. Treehouse Chef says on March 25 2009 at 3:50 pm:

    This looks divine! I love the idea of baking and serving right from the same pan.

  23. MommyAmy says on March 25 2009 at 8:16 pm:

    GREAT…. thanks so much for tempting me with brownies in a skillet! Dang you….

    I’ve already got my Hubs half convinced that we need an ice cream machine by the way… lol

  24. Shari says on March 25 2009 at 8:18 pm:

    I saw those brownies in Martha’s magazine also, and now that i’ve seen how they turned out in your kitchen, i’m definitely going to make them. I love the thin crackly top too. When we were kids and made brownies, we strived for “shiny” brownies, and were very disappointed if they turned out dull on the top. And i’m still that way.

  25. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on March 26 2009 at 11:50 am:

    Ashley: I agree — brownies can be awfully persuasive.

    Whitney: We need to set up some sort of leftover delivery service. I think the Armitage bus would be happy to deliver, no?

    Christina: Thanks!

    Jessica: Another voice in the chorus! I want to give them a try soon.

    Monica: I hope you try them! Let us know how they compare to others you’ve tried.

    Polly Rice: Wedding diet, wedding schmiet. : )

    Jodye: Thanks!

    Kelly: You should look into the oven-safe information for your skillet. Mine is oven-safe up to 400 degrees, so I felt comfortable with this recipe, which bakes at 350.

    Jen: I didn’t see that one (way past my bed time!), but sounds funny. And the edge of a plastic spatula worked well for cutting these.

    noble pig: I’m liking it too. I hadn’t ever read it until recently and it’s full of beautiful photos and practical recipes. Can’t argue with that.

    Tabitha: Exactly.

    Sara: Thanks!

    Kate: They were delicious.

    Jennifer: Good point about the cornbread. Same goes for fritattas.

    maggie: Thanks! And, yes, definitely a way to fancy up brownies.

    Katie J: Yes!

    ingrid: That is an exceptionally good idea.

    Treehouse Chef: Thanks!

    MommyAmy: Oh, you definitely need one. Need, with a capital “N.”

    Shari: I hope you try them! Let us know how they turn out.

  26. Sweet Kitchen says on March 27 2009 at 6:00 pm:

    These look amazing and I love that there is no extra bowl to wash up afterwards! Can’t wait to try them.

  27. joanser says on March 30 2009 at 2:55 pm:

    What size skillet did you use? 9″? 10″? larger? Love your blog. I’m a newbie, and I am just enjoying the heck out of it.


  28. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on March 31 2009 at 7:52 am:

    joanser: Thanks! I used a 9-inch skillet, but I think either a 9- or 10-inch skillet would work.

  29. Iowa Girl Eats says on April 01 2009 at 9:45 am:

    This looks incredible!! I find that brownie recipes with minimal, quality ingredients just come out best. Sooo much better than a boxed mix!!!

  30. Mike says on May 17 2009 at 10:33 am:

    Never bake anything in a non-stick skillet.

    While your baking all that non-stick deliciously toxic material is going into your food.

    Just a heads up!

  31. Presley says on January 01 2010 at 10:43 am:

    Ah but this does fix something – it means less cleanup! I’m all for it. It means I get to use my cast-iron skillet, too.

  32. EdaBy says on February 14 2010 at 11:50 pm:

    Beautifully and apparently tasty. Thank you.

  33. Richard says on April 04 2010 at 6:55 am:

    Brownies in a skillet! who would of thunk!! Looks great!

  34. Susan Rose says on October 01 2010 at 9:09 am:

    Unfortunately, I’ve never seen an oven-proof non-stick skillet.

  35. Ann says on January 20 2011 at 1:22 pm:

    Whoa! Those lok amazing, like a little skillet cake. Same comment as Susan Rose above, wish i could lay my hands on a skillet that was oven proof and non-stick too =(

  36. Skillet Brownies | Pass The Sushi! says on February 07 2012 at 4:00 am:

    [...] From the Kitchen Sink Recipes  [...]

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