A Bittersweet Goodbye

Goodbyes are almost never easy. And after working for nearly 33 years at Mercer County Community College, I was retiring and ready for new adventures. But before I bid adieu to my colleagues, I wanted to bake up a batch of my appreciation for all of the years of accomplishments, blood, sweat and tears endured with these folks.


OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I spent more time with many of them than I did my own friends and family—and actually, I consider quite a few of them real good friends now! But that’s the way of the work world, no regrets. I pondered over what I could bring to my office farewell get together, and realized most people I know can’t resist a decadent, fudgy, chocolate brownie.


Ooey, gooey and chewy—these chocolate lovers dream brownies are made with cocoa, semisweet, bittersweet and dark chocolate—the whole enchilada! Below is a single recipe, of which I made three batches, but only doubled the ganache topping, which was plenty.

BTW, lining the pan isn’t busywork; it makes it super easy to remove the brownies.


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 4 ounces each semisweet AND bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) dark chocolate morsels


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. Place butter and chopped chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan.
  4. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not over mix). Add chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  6. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares.
  7. Drizzle ganache over cooled, cut brownies. Let ganache harden somewhat before packing. (It likely won’t harden completely.) Do not stack on top of each other.
  8. Store in single layers in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Get ready for choco-shock!

For Dark Chocolate Ganache:
HEAT cream in 2-cup microwave-safe glass measure or small bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 60 seconds. Slowly add morsels. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir well. Refrigerate any remaining ganache. Makes 1 cup. (Since I made three batches of brownies, I doubled, NOT tripled, the ganache.)

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