Oh boy, friends. This week, things got real. Real, as in, maybe had to wear some stretchy pants for a couple of days and wear facemasks before bed because I spent two days eating pretty much nothing but brownies and my body was angry.
Dietary recommendation for normal humans? Absolutely not. Worth every fudgy minute of taste bud bliss for this chocolate-deprived sugar addict? Absolutely yes.
This week were the Cook’s Illustrated and Supernatural brownies. I chose these because I (still) don’t have any espresso powder, and I wanted recipes with even numbers of eggs so that I could halve them (so that my stomach wouldn’t explode from eating two 9×13 pans of brownies, which is a real fear, but also maybe a dream? If people survive eating dozens of hot dogs and pies, why not two trays of brownies? Anyways…)
The Cook’s Illustrated brownies beat the last four. They were melty, rich and dark, and smooth. They had a true fudge texture that I enjoyed even more after a few days in the fridge (they did best either very cold or very warm). For this, I gave them a winning 8/10.
But wait. They were not winning enough, compared to Hummingbird High’s adaptation of Saveur’s Supernatural Brownies. These bad boys got a 9.5/10 because they were almost hallelujah chorus worthy. A wonderfully moist, solid texture, they had a warm, buttery caramel flavor which mingled perfectly with the chocolate. They stayed strong at all temperatures, from fresh out of the oven to cold from the back of the fridge. I highly recommend ’em, folks.
Let me know if you came to the same conclusions! Enjoy 🙂
Cook’s Illustrated Best Brownies
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp boiling water (measured after it reaches boil!)
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (chocolate bar >75%)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Move the oven rack to the lowest possible position, then heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil, leaving about 1″ overhang on all sides, and coat lightly with cooking spray or your baking oil of choice.
- In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted.
- Whisk the melted butter and oil into the chocolate mixture, then add in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla, continuing to mix until it is smooth and well combined throughout. Whisk in the sugar until fully incorporated.
- Gently add in flour and salt, and fold in with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into an even layer in the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not batter- 30-35 minutes.
- Let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack for about an hour, then remove the foil and place on the rack to finish cooling completely- another hour or so- before cutting to serve.
- This recipe makes 24 brownies in three hours, including cooling time.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (just under 3 bars of 65-75% chocolate), chopped into small pieces
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray pan with cooking spray (or brush with oil), then line with parchment paper and spray (or oil) again. Set aside.
- In a bain marie (a heatproof bowl above but not touching boiling water), or in the microwave in short bursts of 20 seconds at a time, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs until fluffy and frothy. Add the granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and sea salt, then whisk until fully incorporated. Pour in the melted chocolate and whisk again until combined.
- Gently fold flour into the chocolate mixture, taking care not to overmix the batter (it is preferable to leave a few streaks of flour).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack completely- at least an hour but preferably overnight.
- This (wonderful) recipe makes 24 servings, and takes about 2 hours to make, from start to cool.