Last summer, a friend and I did some unofficial research: We staged a brownie throwdown and pitted recipes from Ina Garten, Ruth Reichl, and Dorie Greenspan against each other. Three cooking icons, three recipes—and each couldn’t have been more different. Where Ina called for a pound of butter and six eggs, Ruth listed two-thirds of a cup of butter and four eggs, and Dorie required five tablespoons of butter and two eggs. The resulting desserts were vastly different and, in the end, we deemed Ruth’s the winner for its dense crumb and shiny, crackly crust.

Since that day of brownie immersion, I’ve been on the hunt for a treat that rates as highly as Ruth’s. Over the weekend I found it at Skoops Eatery in Capitol Hill. This brownie (pictured), though slightly more cakey, was chocolaty and rich with hidden pockets of caramel and salt. Had I known how good it was going to be, I would have asked for two.

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