Searching for the best brownie: Cook’s Illustrated’s Best Chewy Brownie

This is a good one. And you know its good if that’s how I’m starting. It’s fudgy, it’s chocolatey but not too overpowering, it’s chewy, it’s so good. It rivals and I think surpasses the first brownie recipe I posted from King Arthur and I think may have bumped it out of the first place position. I made this recipe for Riley’s preschool graduation Family picnic and a couple moms and one of the teachers raved about it. In fact, they took the remainder of them home. I have yet to find a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that doesn’t totally satisfy and deliver. Definitely make this one. It will not disappoint. Did I mention its fudgy?


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


Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. 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 th same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

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 meted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogenous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan sire rack and cool 1-1/2 hours.

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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