10 tablespoons or one and a quarter sticks of unsalted butter. it doesn't call for it to be softened, but its getting melted so I think either way is good.
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus two tablespoons cocoa (natural or dutch-processed---I used natural)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I think I might try switching things up, making orange brownies next time using orange extract. who knows. we'll see.)
2 COLD large eggs
1/2 cup AP flour
2/3 cup pecans or walnuts (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chocolate chips, they're huge and delicious. also, this is totally optional)\
equipment: 8 inch square baking pan
medium heatproof bowl
foil or parchment
Oven rack: lower third of oven. temp: 325 Fahrenheit
Pan lined with parchment or foil. no greasing needed. NO GREASING. NONE!
In bowl, combine butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Place bowl in wide skillet full of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until butter is melted and butter mixture is smooth and hot enough that if you dip your finger in, you want to pull it out fairly quickly (or until the temperature thing happens despite smoothness of mixture--mine was still grittyish) Remove from water, let cool until warm, not hot.
Add vanilla and stir. Add cold eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously to combine after each. Once your batter is thick and shiny like a supermodel's hair, add the flour and stir until no trace of flour is visible (I folded, with a silicone spatula, it took 3 or 4 folds for me) then beat, vigorously, for forty strokes with a wooden spoon (or the spatula, its fine, but the spoon probably holds up against the batter better) Stir in add ins, if using. The batter will hold together more than regular brownie batters, which tend to be more pourable. Spread evenly in lined pan, bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs (it took me a half hour, but my oven sucks) let cool completely in pan on wire rack. remove, using foil as sling. cut into 16 squares. ENJOY!