I haven’t been making brownies much lately – I’ve been spending more time honing my chocolate chip cookie recipe and M has been a-okay with that. He isn’t a big fan of me trying new recipes for brownies because he already likes the Baked Brownie so much. M feels all other brownies pale in comparison and doesn’t like having lesser brownies around the house. I understand his plight, but I’m doing this for brownie science. He just doesn’t understand.
Anyway, last month I made Cook’s Illustrated’s Chewy Brownies with a few tweaks: less oil – I didn’t want the brownies slipping out of my hands, and I used Earth Balance instead of butter, though that’s never been an issue for me taste- or texture-wise. The amount and type of chocolate (the most important part!) remained the same, though.
Chewy Brownies adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Makes about 12 – 16 brownies
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance), melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Adjust your oven rack to the lowest positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. The mixture might look clumpy, that’s okay. Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue whisking until smooth.
Whisk in sugar until fully mixed. Add flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.
Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs – about 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool completely.
When cooled, lift the brownies from the pan and cut into 2-inch squares.
Well, these brownies certainly lived up to their name – they were delightfully chewy. But that’s about it. They weren’t all that chocolatey and just didn’t do it for me. They were sort of moist (5/7), but not at all chocolatey enough (4/10). They also were easy enough to make, but required lots of different bowls (2/3). This leaves a total score of 11 out of 20 – not excellent. I expect more from you, Cook’s Illustrated!