I know brownie baking is very much a practice of personal preference, and there's no pleasing everyone. I'm a corner piece gal myself. We made a double batch for the Food Championship aftermath lunch, and they were just the right amount of fudgy and cakey to please most palates. I suppose the palate also adapts in the face of free brownies, but I think they were pretty solid by any standard.
This recipe uses one of my favorite baking with chocolate tricks by incorporating coffee into the batter. Nevermind that I've never worked a coffeemaker before and had to ask one of my cohorts to do it for me. Grad school is about discovery, right? The astringency of the brew balances the richness of the chocolate and adds a nice warm undertone of something good you can't quite put your finger on. The use of brown sugar instead of the standard white is a nice touch. This recipe happens to be vegan, too.
The brownies are fairly sticky, so I highly recommend lining your pan with parchment paper, and maybe spraying it, too.
Adapted from a source I can no longer find
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 c coffee
3/4 c soy milk (I use unsweetened)
1/2 c canola oil
3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350 F.
Mix all the dry ingredients (brown sugar included) together. Combine the coffee, soy milk, and canola oil. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients while stirring. Throw in the chocolate chips or any other brownie flair of your choice.
Pour into parchment lined 9x9-in pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or to the fudginess of your liking.