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Big Batch Chewy Brownies

chewy brownies
chewy brownies

The great brownie debate will probably roar on until brownies have been wiped from the face of the planet. No brownies, sounds terrible. There are generally two camps, cakey and fudgy. However, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say they prefer cakey brownies so I’m not sure why people bring it up? Who knows. But the real winner is a secret third kind. CHEWY brownies. Yes, the real stars of the brownie world. If you know, you know.

You’re probably familiar with chewy brownies because the boxed brownie mixes most of us grew up eating. Fudgy brownies are ever so popular but honestly, I’ve eaten a lot of fudge in my life (my mom loves fudge and we would always get some from the Seattle waterfront) and almost none of them resemble fudge. Most of them are just gooey and under-baked. I said what I said. Now, I don’t have an issue with that being people’s preference, but I just think we maybe need a new name for these brownies. If you like them this way, don’t let me stop you!

I did a ton of research (and testing) on what gives brownies texture. What happens if you whip the sugar and eggs, what happens if you melt the butter with the sugar, what happens if you bloom the cocoa. Which sugar is best, cocoa powder or melted chocolate. Cornstarch? What kind of flour. There are a lot of variables.

If you need a TLDR, my results for the perfect chewy brownies are as follows:

  1. Butter AND oil
  2. Granulated and brown sugar, but mostly granulated
  3. Bread flour
  4. Chocolate chips for crinkle top
  5. Metal pan

Now, if you remember making your boxed brownies you probably remember the key to their fat is oil. Oil is an unsaturated fat (it’s liquid at room temperature). Oil while helping keep the brownies moist.. doesn’t have much flavor. Butter is a saturated fat, but when you bake it you lose the water content and your brownies can become more dry. But they have that wonderful flavor. So what’s a baker to do? The ideal chewy brownies (in my opinion) have both butter and oil.

The biggest difference to me, in getting that perfect texture is bread flour. Now, you shouldn’t be all that surprised. My blog is BREAD baking babe. So I enjoy testing recipes with more glutenous flour. However, gluten creates chew so it makes logical sense it would do the same in a brownie. And it does. Now, if you don’t want to use bread flour, you don’t have to. I test this recipe with AP as well and there was a slight difference in texture but they both tasted great and were what I’d deem chewy.

Both had a crinkly top, good chocolate flavor with some bite. The bread flour ones had slightly more rise, and slightly more chew. The AP ones were slightly more dense and lean slightly more towards fudge-like brownies. You can see the differences below, the bread flour batch on the right, AP on the left. Everything else in the test was the same, same exact pan, same bake time, baked the same day.

To achieve chewy brownies, they also have to have some brown sugar for both flavor, and it’s ability to create moisture. However, having the majority of the sugar being granulated, helps create the crinkly top. But having chocolate chips in the batter makes a bigger difference in creating that perfect crinkle top. I tried whipping eggs, whipping sugar and butter, those really made a negligible difference. Adding sugar to hot butter, and chocolate chips seemed to be the key in my tests.

I always recommend a metal pan over glass for brownies. Metal pans will bake your brownies more evenly. You are less likely to get a tough crust and underdone center. Lastly, you have to bake them perfectly. If you under-bake these they come out as some kind of chocolate sludge that doesn’t want to come out of the pan. They taste like chewy brownies but they don’t look like them and they are almost inedible. You can’t overbake them either though. Baking for 25 minutes and letting them cool for at least 2 hours in the pan afterwards yielded the perfect chewy brownies.

All the brownie variations you could ever want:

Big Batch Chewy Brownies Key Ingredients

  • Cocoa Powder – I tested this recipe with Dutch processed cocoa and a triple cocoa blend from King Arthur that has natural, Dutch processed, and black cocoa. Both work, the ones with just dutch processed will taste a little bit more intensely of chocolate and richer. The blend (which I love) has a more balanced chocolate flavor but is NOT lacking in the chocolate dept.
  • Oil – Canola or vegetable oil are both fine, if you want to use another oil just make sure it is neutral, so it doesn’t impart any flavor.
  • Chocolate Chips – Use semi sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate if you’d like your brownies to be sweeter.

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chewy brownies

Big Batch Chewy Brownies

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Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 28 minutes
Servings: 24 brownies

Ingredients

  • 170 g Unsalted butter 12 tbsp
  • 50 g Neutral oil ½ cup
  • 400 g Granulated sugar 2 cups
  • 100 g Dark brown sugar ½ cup
  • 70 g Cocoa powder ¾ cup + 2tbsp
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt
  • 180 g Bread flour 1½ cup
  • 160 g Semi sweet chocolate chips 1 cup
  • optional Flaky sea salt topping

Instructions

  • Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment, set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a small pot, on the stove or a bowl in the microwave, add oil to your butter and melt your butter.
  • In a large bowl, add your sugars and hot melted butter. Mix well.
  • Add your eggs and mix well. You can add all at once, and you don't need to use a whisk, but make sure the eggs are homogenous in the batter. It should be glossy and smooth.
  • Sift your cocoa powder into the ingredients, and stir until completely incorporated.
  • Add in your vanilla and salt.
  • Add your flour and fold into the batter, mixing until just combined.
  • Add your chocolate chips, and stir them to disperse them evenly throughout the batter.
  • Pour your batter into your prepared pan, smoothing into the corners and an even layer.
  • Bake on the center rack of your oven for 25-30 minutes. The edges of your brownies may have small cracks, the center will be set, soft, but not jiggly.
  • Allow your brownies to cool completely, at least 2 hours in the pan before cutting into them. I usually let them cool for 3-4 hours. Store your brownies in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

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