Make any one of these decadent brownie recipes to celebrate International Chocolate Day

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

International Chocolate Day is Sept. 13, and there's really no better way to celebrate the food "holiday" than by baking one (or even all) of these decadent brownie recipes. 

Decadent chocolate brownies

Decadent Chocolate Brownies

This recipe straddles the line of cakey and fudgy for the perfect batch of chocolatey goodness. 

Serves: 12

Ingredients

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter

8 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

4 1/2 cups sugar

8 large eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Instructions

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick oil spray. Line the bottom and the sides with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, sift in the baking powder, then whisk to combine.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and the butter together over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Stir in the flour mixture, taking care not to overwork the batter. Stir in nuts, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool completely, then invert the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.

Gooey welcome-home brownies

Gooey welcome home brownies with sea salt.

These are my take on the famous Katharine Hepburn brownies. Hepburn believed brownies should be mostly chocolate, contain very little flour and turn out super gooey. I agree.

These are incredibly easy to make and remember, so if you, too, have little ones at home, you'll enjoy making these together. Hepburn's recipe calls for 1 cup of toasted walnut or pecan pieces, but I skipped that.

Serves 9-12

Ingredients

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of flour

Pinch of salt (I used a generous pinch of Maldon sea salt crystals)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan with the cocoa and stir until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, grease an 8X8 square baking dish. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and salt.

Add the melted butter and chocolate to a separate mixing bowl. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla. Then slowly add the flour and sugar mixture to the chocolate mixture while stirring until just combined. 

Pour batter into the baking dish and bake until set but not overly firm, about 30-35 minutes. Center should remain gooey. Let cool completely before serving. Garnish with more sea salt if desired. 

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Cream cheese brownies

Cream Cheese Brownies

The Homespun Cafe bakes these extremely moist brownies in large quantities with the cream cheese layer on top. After cutting down the recipe for one pan and trying a couple of batches, our tester said the layers seem to stay together and the brownies cut better when the cream cheese layer is on the bottom.

Serves: 18

Ingredients

Cream cheese layer

1/3 cup granulated sugar

5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon almond extract

Chocolate layer

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2/3 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13- by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the cream cheese layer: In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter and egg. Stir in the cream cheese, flour and almond extract. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

To make the chocolate layer: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.. Cool slightly. Pour 5 1/2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a mixing bowl and leave the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons in the saucepan. Add the chocolate morsels to the saucepan and return to low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts.

Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs to the bowl with the melted butter. Mix well. Stir in the flour and vanilla. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix well. Spread evenly on top of the cream cheese layer. Draw a knife through the pan to swirl batters.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars and serving.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com