Chewy Brownies

Cook’s Illustrated, how I love thee. Your recipes are created using the scientific method, and it calls to the nerd in me. You tell me to use the finest ingredients, not because a company is sponsoring you, but because the products really are excellent. You give me a recipe for brownies that involves three types of chocolate.

Could you be any more perfect? I’d dress you up and take you home to meet the folks if I could.


Okay now, let’s talk about these brownies.

As a “always from scratch” baker, can I admit a guilty pleasure? Boxed brownie mix. Homemade brownies up until now just haven’t done it for me. I never get that chewiness that the boxed version leaves me hankering for. And the slightly crispy crust? Heaven in my mouth. Most brownie recipes I’ve attempted to date haven’t really hit those spots.

Thank goodness for Cook’s Illustrated though. They went about replicating that boxed deliciousness without the boxed preservatives and chemicals, and I’ll just say that they came pretty darn close. If you have to make any brownie recipe this year, make it this one. It’s well worth the couple extra steps. I wish I hadn’t made these for a BBQ – I wanted them all for myself!

Chewy Brownies | Cook’s Illustrated


1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (17 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate , cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make a foil sling using the following steps: Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and fit into width of pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet (if using extra-wide foil, fold second sheet lengthwise to 12-inch width). Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder (if using), and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
  3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.
  4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

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