Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, leaving a bit of foil overhanging on each end to use as handles later. Grease the foil with cooking spray. (Or use a nonstick 15.2x8 brownie pan without foil.)
Place the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl (or other microwave-safe bowl). Heat the butter and chocolate in the microwave for two minutes on high. Stir until the chocolate melts.
Stir in the sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix with a spoon until blended. Add the flour and pecans (if using) and stir until the batter is mixed. Pour the batter into the pan. (If using a brownie pan that comes with dividers, insert the dividers after you pour in the batter.)
Bake for 27-30 minutes. Test to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the brownies; the toothpick should come out with fudgy crumbs.
Let the brownies cool in the pan. Then lift them out with the foil handles, and frost before cutting into servings. (If you used the brownie pan that comes with the dividers, remove the dividers before frosting the brownies.)
While the brownies are baking, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, cocoa, and salt, starting on low and then increasing to medium speed. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low. Add in the vanilla and milk.
Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat the frosting until smooth and fluffy. Spread onto the cooled brownies. Store the frosted brownies in the refrigerator. If eating them leftover, let them come to room temperature first, if you want the frosting to be softer.
A 9x13 pan will yield 20 brownies. For the photos, I used a 15.2x8 brownie pan with dividers to get 12 thick brownies.Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating!