Bar Cookies

Perfect Chewy Brownies

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Brownies can basically be classified into 3 different types: cakey, fudgey, or chewy. People tend to have definite preferences for which type of brownie they love. I don’t know if there are many cakey brownie fans out there (let me know in the comments), but I think there is a definite line drawn between chewy and fudgey brownie people.

For a long time, it seemed like fudgey brownies were the trend, and blogs and cookbooks I read would exclusively offer up those recipes. To me, they are dense brownies that always seemed uncooked. In case you cannot tell, I am not a fudge brownie fan. (Now fudge I love, but fudge brownies? No thank you).

I longed for brownies like the ones I first made when I was learning bake. At first, I made brownies from a box mix, and then I wanted to graduate to recipes that were designed to taste like those. Perfectly chewy brownies with a crackled top and deep chocolate flavor. Thankfully, the people at Cook’s Illustrated developed a recipe with the perfect ratio of saturated and unsaturated fats to create that divine brownie texture. This recipe is my variation on that technique. And as a bonus, you can make this without your mixer in one bowl!

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The chocolate chips/chunks mostly melt into the brownie, creating little pocks of chocolate. So you can use any flavor of chocolate chips you like. I used semi sweet, but dark chocolate would make for a more intense brownie. White chocolate chips would add a wonderful pop of vanilla!

I only bake bar cookies like this using a metal dish. If you use glass/Pyrex, you’ll want to only cool the brownies only 10 minutes in the pan before removing to the cooling rack, to prevent overcooking. The cooling times are very important to create the best chewy texture, so don’t rush into cutting them!

Perfect Chewy Brownies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Makes one pan of brownies, between 12-24 depending on how you cut them

  • 1 ounce (1/3 cup) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8.7 ounces (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chunks, any type

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment or tin foil, leaving over hang on all sides to create a sling. Lightly butter it with softened butter (or spray with non-stick cooking spray if you prefer).

In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract, and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar and whisk until fully combined. Add the flour and salt and stir with a rubber spatula until all flour is combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, about 35 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool in the pan for 1 hour. Gently lift the brownies from the pan using your parchment or foil sling. Let cool completely before cutting (about 1 more hour).

Brownies can be stored in an airtight container (with parchment paper between layers) at room temperature for several days.

 

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