Really chewy brownies are difficult to achieve without using a box mix. The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book claims to have found the magic formula, which involves the use of vegetable oil (for chewiness) and extra egg yolk (to decrease the greasiness from using vegetable oil). I’ve decided to test out this recipe and see if it really lives up to the hype.
After reading their lengthy explanation of why this recipe works the way it does, I’ve taken note of their recommendation to “Use high-quality in this recipe” and used it as a fantastic excuse to buy some good chocolate.
Chewy Brownie Recipe by Cook's Illustrated
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 1 ounce
- 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder optional
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
- 1/2 cup plus 2 TB vegetable oil
- 4 TB unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups sugar 17 1/2 ounces
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 8 3/4 ounces
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Grease foil and set pan aside.
Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, if using, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in oil and melted butter. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs and yolks and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl and then mix into batter with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan; spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove brownies from pan using foil. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Brownies can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
These chewy, fudgy, and dense brownies are topped by a picture-perfect, paper-thin, shiny crust. The mild chocolate flavor is somewhere between milk and dark chocolate, rounded off by a warm taste of cocoa. The chewiness of the brownies gives them a bit of candy-like stickiness.
This chewy brownie recipe is highly recommended if you want to make chewy brownies from scratch. Many of the other recipes in this book looked great, too. The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book has so much good information in it that it would be very useful to any baker- definitely worth purchasing.
PS- If you prefer a cakey brownie, try this Fudgy Brownie Cake.