Rich & Chewy Brownies
These Rich & Chewy Brownies are decadent and, of course, rich and chewy. These are the only brownies we make in our house, except for the occasional box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker – which we love, too. But these are better.
- 75 g (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 113 g (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter
- 200 g (2 cups) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 3 g (1/2 teaspoon) fine salt
- 120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- optional – 1 cup mix-ins (like chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, toffee bits, etc….)
1. Preheat the oven and prepare the baking pans.
– Preheat the oven to 300°F (148°C).
– Place the oven rack in the middle position.
– Grease an 8″x 8″ pan with cooking spray.
– Line the pan with parchment paper all the way up the sides to facilitate easy removal of the brownies. (See TIPS.)
– Grease the parchment paper with cooking spray as well.
2. Stir the cocoa and oil together.
– In a small bowl, stir the cocoa and vegetable oil together with a spoon until combined and smooth.
– Set aside.
3. Combine the butter and the cocoa mixture over medium heat.
– Melt and warm the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
– When the butter is very warm, stir in the cocoa/vegetable oil mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir until smooth and combined.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
– Remove from heat and immediately stir in the sugar and the salt until combined and smooth.
– Stir in the eggs and vanilla until combined and smooth.
– Sift in the flour and stir until combined. (The batter should be thick and shiny.)
– Stir in any mix-ins, if using.
5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake.
– Spread into the prepared pan.
– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top looks dry, is almost firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with moist crumbs.
6. Cool, cut and serve.
– Let the brownies cool in the pan.
– Lift out the brownies with the parchment paper.
– Cool completely before cutting into squares.
How to store:
– These Chewy Brownies can be kept on the counter in a airtight container for a few days and then should be refrigerated.
– They can also be frozen for a month or two.
ABOUT THIS RECIPE
Based on the recipe for Harvard Brownies:
This recipe was based on Fannie Farmer’s Harvard Brownies, which were aptly described as “rich and chewy”. It is an old-timey recipe from my childhood and one of the first things I ever made from scratch!
These brownies set the standard for me. When boxed brownie mixes started to appear (Yes, I am that old….), these were what they had to live up to.
Here are 5 helpful tips:
1) Lining your brownie pan:
This is how I do it:
1) Lay your pan on top of your parchment paper.
2) Cut from the outer corner to the corner of your pan.
3) Tuck the parchment paper into your pan, letting the corners overlap.
4) Trim off any excess edges and secure in place with office clips***.
***I have used office clips (generic from Staples) in the oven in temperatures as high as 500°F and have never had a problem. Just be careful. When taken out of the oven, they are hot!
2) Good quality cocoa is a must!
– You don’t need to buy an expensive brand. You do need to buy a brand you love. I was raised on Hershey’s, but these days, I like to use Ghirardelli’s 100% Cocoa for baking. Find your preference!
- This recipe can use either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa.
– If you want to use unsweetened chocolate instead of cocoa, simply omit the cocoa and the vegetable oil. Melt 4 ounces (114 g) unsweetened chocolate along with the butter and continue from there.
3) These Chewy Brownies are rich, dense and chewy.
– They are definitely not cake-y. If you under-bake them, they may be gooey and fudgy. But if you over-bake them, they may break a tooth. So don’t over-bake them!
– If you are looking for something more fudgy rather than chewy, add an extra egg or two to this recipe.
4) To get a shiny, crinkly top:
I have found the batter must be smooth and shiny when spreading it into the pan before baking. Some ways to ensure this:
- Make sure the butter is nice and warm before stirring in the sugar. (But don’t leave it on the heat when adding in the eggs. We don’t want scrambled eggs!)
- Make sure your eggs are room temperature before you begin. If you use cold eggs, your butter might chill and make your batter stiff and crumbly.
5) If you want really clean edges:
– Chill the brownies before slicing them. But bring them back to room temperature before serving.