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Best brownies in DC?

I am interested in moist & intense chocolate... Thanks...

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  1. Ooo, good topic! Looking forward to seeing the replies. I've always liked Marvelous Market's but they are not as good as they used to be.

    1. I absolutely 100% agree w/ The Marvelous Market comment! These days I have been eating (too many) brownies from Balducci's. (Great w/ Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream & quality hot fudge.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: chicken kabob

        Chicken Kabob you clearly speak my language...I'll have to check that combo out.

      2. Buzz in Alexandria has some really good brownies.

        1. Balduccis--no nuts, they are the best by far. Second (although not a brownie), the chocolate espresso cookies at Firehook.

          1. Burgundyslut- Thanks for the reminder about Firehook. They also have good brownies. I will have to try those cookies you mentioned. Glad you agree with my Balducci's opinion on brownies. I had one last night (w/out nuts!) Although, I like the w/ nuts, too. I alternate between nuts/no-nuts.

            1. Elyssa- I am new to Chowhound, and I cannot help but notice your name everywhere on this website! I am honored =) that you responded to my email. It is always good to meet other people who are interested in food!

              1 Reply
              1. re: chicken kabob

                I am adding to my original post. Spring Mill (Bethesda- I think there may be others) has a VERY decadent and delicious, big brownie. I like the rocky road flavor (more walnuts than marshmallows and tons of chocolate goodness!) The brownies from Spring Mill are a very recent discovery of mine. There lemon bars are very good, too. I still want to try other items there, including their breads and pumpkin/cranberry bread.

              2. Just a couple of observations to guide the discussion:

                - Brownies are among the most time-critical baked goods made. Even a mediocre brownie recipe can taste great, if you get it fresh (and preferably warm) from the oven. After about 1-2 hours, a baked brownie loses it's "life force".

                - Moist brownies can also mean preservatives and most bakeries that keep brownies around for more than a day use them. A lot of places also use frosting as a means of naturally air-sealing the brownie, to extend the shelf-life. (In the worst cases, frosting is used for camoflage of a hard, tough, stale brownie.)

                - Be careful about buying bagged/packed brownies, even from a good bakery. If they were packed too soon (while even slightly warm), you get condensation that destroys the nice, flakey, caramelized skin on top. Plus, the brownie tends to get a bit gloppy.

                Having made these points, I can say that I've had wonderful brownies from Marvelous Market, Balducci's, and even some grocery store bakeries. I have also had horrible brownies from the same places.

                For those reasons, I typically make my own. To be honest, there's just no reason not to, nowadays. The ingredients, time, and mess is all minimal now. Both Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker make excellent moist brownie recipes. (So much so, that I don't even bother making them from total scratch anymore.) I usually add varying amounts of Dutch processed cocoa, vanilla extract, liquers (mostly amaretto, Frangelico, and/or a good whiskey), and sometimes chocolate chips - all depending on who is eating them. (Simpler ones for my nieces and nephews.)

                There is nothing like pulling a pan of hot brownies out the oven and resisting the urge to dig straight in with a spoon!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sean D

                  Sean D, Try Spring Mill brownies- I if you do, let me know what you think- after all, you sound like THE brownie expert!I used to love Marvelous Market brownies, too, but it seemed like over night, they got dry. I agree with you that Balducci's brownies are awesome, too.

                  1. re: chicken kabob

                    Will do, Chicky. I'm less of a brownie expert and more of a brownie "super consumer" (as evidenced by my gut).

                    By the way, I don't waste brownies - even when they are hard. I have moistened they with liquer and served them with ice cream. (Hard brownies are perfect for making parfaits or ice cream molds.)

                2. DC 1791 has some decent brownies.

                  On the chain steez
                  1) Firehook has some decent ones
                  2) Lawson's is ehhh
                  3) Q'Doba - no comment - in my defense, I really had a chocolate jones.
                  4) Devon and Blakely has good Missippippi Mud style

                  My go to is usually Firehook though.

                  I wonder if they have them @ ACKC?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: WestIndianArchie

                    I really like Firehook Brownie's, too. However, I think, like Sean said, it depends on the batch at places like MM and there other chain bakeries.

                    1. re: WestIndianArchie

                      The 2 bite brownies at Whole Foods are like crack. I cannot keep them in the house...

                    2. LollipopChef.com has the best brownies. I received a box for my birthday and they were the best brownies I've ever had -- moist, fudgey, pure heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!