How do you like your brownies? They tend to fall into three major categories (with their own diehard fans): cakey, fudgy, or chewy. All have their advantages: the dense richness of brownies that are closer to fudge than any baked good; the lightness and flavor of ones that run closer to cake. But chewy brownies — just this side of gooey, with a crackled, shiny crust — are perhaps the most ardently adored.
Here is our own step-by-step recipe for super-chewy brownies, with gorgeous tops and a rich center. They're oh-so-better than the box, but only need one pan to whip up. Brownies await!
What Makes a Chewy Brownie?
These brownies ride the line between chewiness and the rich experience of dark, fudgy brownies because we really just don't want to compromise on the chocolate or the flavor. The absolute chewiest brownies use unsaturated oils, like canola (Cook's Illustrated has a comprehensive guide to why this is so). But we find that brownies made with oil just don't taste as good as those made with butter.
But oil isn't the only key to a chewy brownie: Using dark brown sugar helps create that texture. Mixing in some white sugar gives you the shiny tops.
However, the best touch for the chewy brownie experience comes at the very end: Chewy brownies must be slightly underbaked; if you over-bake them you will lose out on that chewiness you want. Secondly, put these in the fridge for an hour after baking for the ultimate chewy texture. Yes, it's torture to wait an hour when you've been smelling the fine aroma of baking brownies. (Sneak a corner to tide you over.) But chilling the slightly underbaked brownies will give you reliably chewy results every single time.
How To Make Chewy Brownies
Makes 16 2-inch-square brownies
What You Need
plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped
packed dark brown sugar
large egg yolk
chopped walnuts, optional
Metal 8x8-inch baking pan
Baking spray or butter for greasing the pan
Spatula or wooden spoon
Line a baking pan with parchment: Heat the oven to 350°F and move an oven rack to the center of the oven. Line a metal 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides of the pan. Lightly grease the pan and parchment with baking spray or butter.
Melt butter and chocolates in a saucepan: Melt the butter and both chocolates in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.
Add the sugar: Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar. The mixture will be grainy.
Add the eggs: Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Whisk vigorously for about 1 minute.
Add the dry ingredients: Stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder, then fold in the walnuts, if using.
Spread the batter in the pan: Spread in the prepared baking pan.
Bake the brownies: Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs. The edges should look firm and well-baked, and the center should be moist but not gooey.
Chill the brownies: Immediately put in the refrigerator to cool. Chill for at least 1 hour before slicing. Brownies will be at their chewiest when completely cool. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days, well covered.
On nuts: We love walnuts in these brownies, but hazelnuts and almonds are also delicious.
Adapted from The Kitchn Cookbook