The Ultimate Brownies

Still not sure what to bring to your family’s Easter celebration?  Rest assure, that dark chocolaty square pictured above is always a safe bet. Nearly everyone loves a good brownie (especially the ones yielded from this recipe).

When I devour a brownie, I don’t want it to just be good. I want it to be great. The best. The kind where you can’t help but guiltlessly have yourself another one because they’re just that friggin’ delicious.

I’ve had a few of these types of brownies in my days (and more than a few that don’t quite meet these standards). But below, I unleash to you my friends the recipe for the BEST brownie I’ve ever tasted. As in so good that one bite might just spark a food orgasm in your mouth. Especially if you’re a sucker for chocolate like me.

The recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated, a godly magazine on the food frontier. Cook’s doesn’t just create recipes. They test* and trial and transform classic recipes into science experiments until they generate an outcome that’s nearly perfect.  And for me, these brownies are just that. Perfect.

*(Sometimes carrying out as many as 70 test runs!)

Irresistibly fudgy, rich, and oh-so deeply chocolaty, these brownies are worth every last bit of splurge. A crisp exterior gives way to the moistest, fudgiest brownies I’ve ever eaten with chunks of bittersweet chocolate scattered throughout. Chocolate sublime.

The brownies require a few extra steps, but by now I’m sure you know I’m going to tell you they’re worth it. Make sure to follow the cooling instructions, as hard as that may be!

Cook’s Illustrated Chewy Brownies


  • -1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • -2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • -4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • -1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. boiling water
  • -1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • -2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • -2 large eggs
  • -2 large egg yolks
  • -2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • -2 1/2 cups sugar
  • -1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • -1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • -3/4 teaspoon salt
  • -6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350F. Make a Foil Sling as follows: 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 the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet (if using extra-wide foil, fold second sheet lengthwise to 12-inch width). Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.

4. 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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  • Reply
    Simply Life
    April 23, 2011 at 6:44 am

    oh those do look great!

  • Reply
    Colin Kerrigan
    April 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Yum. I love brownies!

  • Reply
    Robert Willey
    December 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    How much espresso powder? The interview made me want to read the book.

  • Leave a Reply to Colin Kerrigan Cancel Reply