From classic to caramel, a great brownie is a wonderful thing.
August 24, 2011
1 of 17Photo: Francesco Tonelli
Our Favorite Brownie Recipes
The best brownies are fudgy, chewy, and dense, with the thinnest sugar crust on top. Achieving all this in a light recipe can be tricky: If you use too little fat or too much flour, or leave the brownies just a minute too long in the oven, results will range from springy cakes to dry pucks. These recipes, though, yield decadent success, from full-throttle chocolate with meaty walnuts to salty-sweet caramel-drenched bars and even a bonus blondie (or two).
The key to keeping regular brownies moist is usually loads of butter or other fat. To ensure a nice fudgy texture, take care not to overbake. Large chocolate chunks create big, luxurious pockets of melty chocolate in our first recipe, Classic Fudge-Walnut Brownies, but you can always substitute chocolate chips.
You start with brownies and then top them with a swirl of sweetened tahini that gives a delightful nutty depth of flavor and richness. Be sure to use untoasted sesame oil in the batter; the dark, toasted kind would be too strong.
Matzo cake meal thickens the cheesecake batter but allows the texture to remain creamy when baked. You can always substitute all-purpose flour for the cake meal. (The recipe also works with all matzo cake meal—no flour.) Cherry liqueur reinforces the fruity flavor, but sub plain brandy, if necessary.
Proper measuring of flour is probably the most crucial factor when baking light brownies. Weigh or measure carefully for the correct amount. Then place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Kitchen tip: For taller brownies, bake them in an 8-inch square pan and add about 5 minutes to the cook time.
For truly fudgy treats, be sure to cook the brownies until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. If you wait until the pick is clean, the brownies will be overcooked. Garnish the plate with a sprig of mint.
A recipe for decadent, thick, dark chocolate brownies is a must-have for any kitchen, including a gluten-free kitchen. This version is much lighter than the typical brownie (unless you serve them with a giant bowl of vanilla ice cream). You can also dust them with powdered sugar for an even sweeter finish.
These gooey bars are as rich as anything you'll find in a bakery. They are a welcome treat in a lunch box, as a weeknight dessert, or your next bake sale—of course!
15 of 17Photo: Randy Mayor
Dark Chocolate and Cherry Brownies
These decadent brownies are a top-rated favorite of CookingLight.com users, and we agree! Cherry preserves are folded into the batter to add moisture and tartness to rich chocolate. Lining the pan with parchment paper helps prevent the moist brownies from sticking. Many online reviewers suggest using raspberry preserves in place of cherry; you may even try orange marmalade for something unexpected.
Historically, the phrase "black and tan" referred to the much-reviled auxiliary force of English soldiers sent to Ireland to suppress the Irish rebels after the 1916 Easter Rising. Eventually, a much-loved drink made with half Guinness Stout and half Harp Lager assumed the name, and now this two-toned brownie (with the addition of Guinness) shares it.
These fudgy brownies have a thick, rich swirl of dulce de leche and a kick from ground red pepper. If you prefer a milder version, omit or reduce the pepper. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature 15 minutes to take the chill off before using.