I have a confession. This is big time…but I think we’ve reached the point where I can divulge these types of secrets. Here goes: I have always preferred brownies from the box to homemade brownies. Always. It doesn’t matter if the brownies have cheesecake, peanut butter, excessive amounts of chocolate chips, or even if they’re from a restaurant (actually, especially restaurant brownies…ugh), they’ve just never been as good as the box mix brownies.
So, when my friend Bernard (hi Bernard!) requested that I post a brownie recipe, I was scared. Outwardly, I was smiling and saying, “Yeah, of course, I love brownies!”…but really, I was thinking, ‘I do love brownies. Brownies from the box. The Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Box. FAMILY SIZE.’
And then…I started researching like a mad person. My google search history is now filled with searches like “Cakey vs fudgy brownies number of eggs” and “How do I make fudgy brownies???” I guess that’s not such a bad search history to have.
Especially because these searches did, in fact, yield a bounty of results. It turns out that there are actually three categories of brownies: 1. Cakey (ew), 2. Fudgy, (yay), and 3. Chewy (what?). And then I couldn’t figure out which one I liked better: Fudgy or Chewy?
Fine cooking described fudgy as “dense, with a moist, intensely chocolatey interior” and chewy as “moist, but not quite as gooey as a fudgy one.” First, please stop using the m-word. Secondly, I’ll take one of both, thanks.
But really, here’s what I learned:
- More fat = fudgier. Ain’t that the truth (if you replace the “f” in fudgier with a “p”). Thus, I used butter and melted chocolate chips (in addition to a tiny bit of cocoa powder).
- The development of a brownie crust while baking depends on how much you beat the batter after the eggs are added. This is because beating the eggs forms a meringue, also known as the elusive brownie crust. More beating, more crust. And I do love those brownie crusts.
- Less flour = less cakey. My recipe calls for only 1/2 cup all-purpose flour in the entire recipe!
These brownies . . . have a light, delectable crust. And then. Fudge heaven. I know it’s a bit (extremely) presumptuous to call these “Favorite” Fudge Brownies, but I actually like them as much as (or maybe more than? gasp) my trusty Betty Crocker box. And that is saying something.
Yield: 1 9×9 pan (easily doubled! Do it)
- 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, melted
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or cooking spray a 9 inch baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and flour. Then, set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugars until combined.
- Add eggs, then beat vigorously for 1 minute. This will create the desired “crust” on top of the brownies while baking.
- Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla. Gently fold in flour mixture until just combined.
- Pour mixture into pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached. When in doubt, underbake!