Olive Oil & Sea Salt Brownies

Brownies aren’t a thing here in Italy.  In my humble opinion, desserts in Italy are kind of a bummer.  I miss the brownies, cakes and cookies of America all the time. So, when Nasreen (my Della Pace business partner) came to Tuscany for harvest last month I seized the opportunity to bake like an American.  Well, kind of.  The New York Times and the ever amazing Melissa Clark gifted us with this recipe that very week and we went all in.  My favorite thing about this recipe (besides the whole olive oil thing, obviously) was that they converted all the measurements into metric and spared me the hour in front of google checking and double checking my conversions. It made for my least stressful baking experience since crossing the pond.  You’re going to love these.  Serve with a luxurious scoop of vanilla gelato and maybe drizzle a little espresso on top?! Buon Appetito!

  • 6 tablespoons/90 milliliters mild extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup/25 grams Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup/60 milliliters boiling water
  • 3 ounces/90 milliliters melted unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup/165 grams packed dark brown sugar
  •  cup/65 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ cup/90 grams mini or regular chocolate chips
  •  Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, as needed



    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish with some of the olive oil. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides so you can pull the brownies out easily.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Whisk in 6 tablespoons oil, melted chocolate, egg and vanilla.
    4. Whisk in brown and granulated sugars, then fold in flour mixture, then chocolate chips. Scrape into prepared pan, and bake until set and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes.
    5. Immediately sprinkle brownies with flaky salt while still warm, and let cool. Cut into 16 squares and serve.

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