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!
Originally published April 6, 2021