My cousin in Chicago is a caterer, in addition to being a darn good cook! She is very stingy when it comes to handing out recipes, because, as she puts it, "every time you get a hold of a recipe the whole world knows about it"! That being true, here is her recipe that I promised not to tell.
The best part of this recipe is that it can be done in one pot and 5 minutes.
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. water
12 ounces chocolate, divided in half
1 tsp. good vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unbleached flour
pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, optional
1. In a small stainless steel pot, combine the butter, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and add 6 ounces of the chocolate along with the vanilla. Stir until melted.
2. Lightly beat the eggs, fold the eggs along with the dry ingredients into the pot and add the remaining 6 ounces of chocolate. Stir in the nuts if desired.
3. Pour the mixture into a 9" square cake pan and bake at 325F for 30 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! The center of the brownie should be soft and fudgy.
4. To serve cut into squares or use cookie cutter shapes to make it a little fancier. It is great served warm with a little vanilla ice cream.