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One of my favorite kitschy mystery writers is Diane Mott Davidson. I read all of her books - in order - and all contain fabulous recipes. I photocopied pages and pages before returning the books to the library. Fortunately she came out with a cookbook! Sometimes when I bake, I have what I call happy accidents - when I make a minor substitution and I think the end result is better than the original. That happened with these brownies, as noted below.
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Author: Diane Mott Davidson


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 ½ ounces good quality bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate chop into 1" pieces
  • 3 tbsp Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour add 2 TB for high altitude
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup regular semisweet chocolate chips Or, for the happy accident, mini semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°

  • Lightly grease a 9 x 13" glass baking pan. Optional: line the pan with parchment - placing the overhang over both of the long sides. To keep the parchment in place, use four small binder clips: two on each of the long sides.


  • In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter and the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.


  • Together the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.


  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar, beating constantly. Stir in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate-butter mixture. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. If taking advantage of the happy accident, stir in the mini chocolate chips.


  • The batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the surface - or, if taking advantage of the happy accident, the mini chocolate chips are already mixed into the batter.


  • For 20-25 minutes. (If the mini chocolate chips are already mixed into the batter you will have to add 5 minutes to the cooking time.) Check the center with a wooden toothpick for doneness, and if the center has not cooked, bake for an additional 5 minutes. (The mini chips will be melted throughout the brownies so your toothpick may emerge covered in chocolate. Using another toothpick, try a different spot.) When the toothpick emerges with only a crumb or two adhering to the surface, the brownies are done.


  • In the pan on a rack. Cut into 32 pieces.