Chewy chocolate brownies just got an upgrade by America’s Test Kitchen. Like the best boxed brownies but even better. So much better. They still have that irresistible chewy factor but they also have major chocolate flavor and, you guessed it, far better ingredients. Nothing but real food here.
While box brownies may not offer superior chocolate flavor, there’s no denying their chewy appeal. To crack the code for perfectly chewy brownies, we discovered that the key was fat—the right proportions of saturated (butter) and unsaturated (vegetable oil) fats. We preserved this careful balance by replacing some oil with an extra egg yolk, whose emulsifiers keep fat from separating out while baking. Unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder provided the strongest flavor without cloying sweetness, and folding in bittersweet chocolate just before baking gave our chewy brownies pockets of melted chocolate. For the best texture, let the brownies cool before cutting. For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a full kettle to a boil and then measure out the desired amount.–America’s Test Kitchen
CAN I DOUBLE THIS RECIPE?
Feeding a crowd? These chewy chocolate brownies can easily be doubled and baked in a 9-by 13-inch (23-by 33-cm) baking dish. You’ll need to increase the baking time by an extra 10 to 15 minutes.
Chewy Chocolate Brownies
- Nonstick baking spray for the pan
- 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon espresso powder optional
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
- 5 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into 1/2‑inch (12-mm) pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- Adjust toaster oven or regular oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Make foil sling for an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches (20-cm) wide. Lay sheets of foil in the pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Spray foil and uncovered pan corners well with the baking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk cocoa, espresso powder, if using, and boiling water together until smooth. Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in oil and melted butter. It’s ok if the mixture looks curdled at this point.
- Whisk in sugar, egg and yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Add flour, bittersweet chocolate, and salt and mix with a rubber spatula until no dry flour remains.
- Scrape batter into the prepared pan, smooth top, and bake, rotating the dish once, until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for 1 1/2 hours.
- Using the foil overhang, lift the brownies from the pan. Return the brownies to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
☞TESTER TIP: It is much easier to remove the foil if you flip the cooled brownies over and peel the foil off.
- Cut into 2-inch (5-cm) squares and serve.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Oh my! If you like chocolatey, chewy, moist, I-think-I-might-fall-outta-my-chair brownies then look no further. These chewy chocolate brownies are nothing short of divine. Rich brownie cake studded with melty, chocolate pockets is the stuff dreams are made of. Excuse me while I swoon!
From pantry to cooling rack in less than an hour, delicious, and simple to put together. I'll definitely be adding these chewy chocolate brownies to my recipe box.
First, there was the heavenly waft of rich chocolate after cutting through the thin top crunchy layer. This was followed by the feel of the knife blade gliding through the gooey layer beneath, begging for me to dive in. How could I say no? Rich and sweet enough to feel completely satisfied without being heavy. Another major plus? They're easy to put together from everyday pantry ingredients.
I did make them twice. The first time, I felt that although they tasted quite yummy, I wanted more of an intense flavor. So, the second round of testing I increased the vanilla to 1.5 tsp, espresso to 1 tsp, and chocolate pieces to a hefty 6 ounces. (This might have been a tad too much chocolate so I'll likely find a happy medium on upcoming attempts, adding somewhere between 4-5 ounces. Another option would be to keep the chocolate at 3 ounces and add 3 ounces of toasted nuts to the batter.) Hmm...I can sense a third batch coming on soon!
Sadly, my oven door is still broken but I said “too bad” as I had a mega craving for brownies these last couple of weeks. So, I did what I know best and jerry-rigged a chair to my oven door to keep it closed, thus making a delicious batch of chewy brownies.
It's all in the name—these chewy chocolate brownies are very chewy, and even though I'm not one who prefers chewy brownies (I like mine gooey, a la Katherine Hepburn), I'd have to agree with my boyfriend's exclamation of "these are like a gourmet version of a boxed brownie," because a) I have no problem with a boxed brownie or any brownie for that matter and b) these do have the same consistency of a boxed brownie only not as sweet with way more intense chocolate flavor.
I'd change nothing about this recipe, every bite is both a tad bitter and sweet from the combination of unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate, with a little hint of salt at the end. I doubled the recipe, had no issues (I even accidentally left them to cool in my glass pan for too long), and will definitely be making these again!
These chewy chocolate brownies are so much more than just chewy. They're rich, chocolatey, moist, and the little bits of chopped bittersweet chocolate provide texture and an extra yummy chocolate burst in every bite. I couldn't wait to try these so I took a little bite while they were still warm. It was delicious and would be wonderful with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
When cooled, they were just as good, maybe even better because the chopped bittersweet chocolate solidified a bit so each bite had a little soft crunch. If I were to change anything it would be to leave the bittersweet chocolate pieces larger than 1/2-inch. I did use the espresso powder but I can't say I tasted it in the finished product.
I'm a baker, I love to bake but sometimes I don't love the clean-up. The added advantage to this recipe is everything is done in one bowl, no mixer, so very little clean up.
At first glance, this recipe seems like nothing special, but don’t be fooled. They got the ratios right on this one, which produces a pan full of chocolate bliss. These are intense, chocolatey, just the right thickness, and overall divine.
The ingredient list is readily available in most kitchens, and if you follow mise-en-place, it makes this recipe go really quick, which is a bonus. I made the 8"x8" version of the recipe (not doubled). In making a sling, I’m not convinced this is necessary. Simply greasing is probably sufficient if you just want to cut brownies and eat them out of the pan.
I followed the process as written, including the espresso powder, and it did look curdled in step 2. Don’t worry, the result wasn’t an intense coffee flavor, but if you want that, add more powder. For the bittersweet chocolate, I used Nestle Dark chips (53%), and this worked out perfectly. Not too sweet, and not too bitter. I baked a bit longer than specified, about 32 minutes. It did get a bit crusty on the edges, but some people like that. The ‘toothpick’ test as stated is not a good indicator of doneness here because of the chocolate chunks. I think 28-30 minutes would have been better. In summary, these chewy chocolate brownies are a keeper.
A good brownie is intensely chocolatey. A good brownie is rich. A good brownie is moist. A good brownie is slightly chewy. A great brownie is all of these. This is a supremely great chewy chocolate brownie. They are delicious, and almost sinful eaten slightly warm, or with a scoop of ice cream.
I used a gluten-free flour blend to make these chewy chocolate brownies, and they still lived up to their promise of a rich, chewy brownie with a crackly top.
I'm really impressed with the function of the extra egg yolk--the batter looked somewhat oily before adding the eggs, but I whisked in the extra yolk first, and BAM! Everything emulsified. I gained a whole new appreciation of egg yolks in that moment. Making these again, I'd be tempted to do without the tinfoil sling, although I will say that the brownies did try to stick in the corners that the foil didn't cover.
This recipe for chewy chocolate brownies is dangerously good. Super easy to make, and delivers on the title—dense, fudgy, chewy, and intensely tasty. Honestly, this reminded me of the Cosmic Brownies bars, something I myself had been trying to recreate. I found my winner!
I think it could have used less sugar, perhaps reduce to 1 cup, as it erred on being cloyingly sweet. I'd also probably up the salt by a 1/4 tsp. The chocolate pieces within the brownie add to the chewiness once they resolidified. Cooling for a few hours is key— it tastes MUCH MUCH MUCH better at room temperature when the chocolate pieces have gotten a chance to solidify, and the flavors seem much stronger than when I took a bite while it was fresh out of the oven.
So, these chewy chocolate brownies are a little bit delicious. I cut them into 2” squares but one really isn’t enough. You want at least another half. We love the rich deep chocolate flavor that we get from these brownies and they're not too sweet. I think of these as adult brownies.
Part of the reason they are not too sweet is the type of chocolate used. It would be nice if recipes would include the cocoa % or at least a range, instead of a general type. Terms such as bittersweet can vary between countries and even companies within the same country. To make sure I selected the appropriate chocolate (for our taste), I went to the Lindt site as I use their chocolate. For the unsweetened I used 100% and for the bittersweet 70%.
A good quality chewy chocolate brownie and obviously better than a boxed version in terms of pure chocolate taste. My only complaint is the brownie itself could have used a bit more height but I won't hold it against this perfectly chocolatey chewy goodness.
This recipe for chewy chocolate brownies is simple and straight-forward to measure out and to prepare. The brownie was dense, moist, and chewy. Mine looked a bit less crumbly than the picture suggests and looked quite glossy on the underside.
I served the brownie with tea but it would be nice with a scoop of ice cream and perhaps some caramel sauce.
Very good brownie recipe. Quick and lots of chocolate flavor. We enjoyed these brownies, they were gone in a day. They were easy to make and had all the ingredients available. I think the addition of espresso powder enhance the chocolate flavor, although there's lots of chocolate added to the brownie.
The brownie mixture did look curdled before adding flour. I made the brownies in an 8-by-8-inch pan and cut them into 12 squares.
Originally published April 6, 2021