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Double Chocolate Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

This elusive brownie is finally, finally a reality. I began the search for the perfect brownie a little over three years ago. Born and bred on the box mix brownie, it became my goal to find a homemade brownie to rival the rich chocolate tone and chewy texture of the powdered mix. It seemed an easy enough task at the time, but as time passed—and batch after batch didn’t meet my expectations—the challenge became more than I bargained.

There were great brownies along the way, alternating between dense and fudgy and light and cakey, but they were not the box mix brownie I so coveted. The search continued.

Double Chocolate Brownies Double Chocolate Brownies

I stumbled across this particular recipe on accident. I would like to say that, after making dozens of batches, intuition guided me here, but sometimes kitchen accidents lead to the best surprises. Playing around with my recipe for brownie cookies one tired morning, I messed up the math when doubling the recipe and realized the ratios were off halfway through. What was another failed batch? I thought, and baked up the brownies anyway. When they came out of the oven with a crackly top (something I have never been able to achieve with a brownie before), I knew that these might be something special.

I made these brownies three more times afterwards, verifying that the recipe was as consistent and delicious each and every time.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Over the course of my brownie search, I discovered the “right” ingredients to lead me to these brownies. Brown sugar is what truly gives a brownie the chewy texture you know and love—and these brownies are certainly chewy. However, it is the addition of a few tablespoons of granulated sugar which gives the brownie its crackled top. When baking, the granulated sugar forms a thin layer on the top, crystallizing and eventually cracking to give it that covered layer. Oil tends to give brownies a more “rubbery” texture versus the clean finish produced by melted butter.

In terms of the chocolate, this is where you can customize the brownie more to your taste. For a richer, less sweet brownie, use dark or bittersweet chocolate. For a sweeter brownie, use a semi-sweet or milk chocolate. The choice is all yours.

Double Chocolate Brownies

And so, dear reader, this Double Chocolate Brownie recipe is yours. The brownies are chewy, dense, and, most importantly, full of a rich chocolate flavor. As three of my taste testers separately told me, These taste like box mix brownies, only better! I hope you will feel the same. The search for the perfect brownie has finally come to a delicious end.

One Year Ago: Raspberry White Chocolate Scones and Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls
Two Years Ago: Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream, and Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Vanilla Pear Milk, Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, and Fleur de sel Caramels

Double Chocolate Brownies

Yields 16 servings

4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter
4 ounces (110 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (85 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9x9-inch pan.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Allow the batter to cool to room temperature before adding the chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs. Cool before slicing into squares for the cleanest cuts.

Reader Comments (34)

You always post the best brownies...these look killer!
Mmm the chocolate goodness is making me droll. I simply love your pictures here.
Wow do these look incredible. I have a feeling they will be made and devoured in short succession at my place very soon!
I absolutely LOVE brownies!!! They are my pick me up snacking :). Thanks for the tips on the roles of the two sugar. I learnt something new. Looking forward to trying out this recipe soon.
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAsha@fsk
I just ate! How dare you tempt me with such chocolatey perfection?
*runs off to kitchen*
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterElsa
It's true that, in many cases, it's difficult to duplicate the taste of a boxed mix or other commercially produced product. I found the same issue with Mac & Cheese; it's so difficult to get that same flavor in homemade. Maybe it's the chemicals, whatever, but it is not easy getting that same flavor in some products that you can buy off the shelf. Of course, in many cases homemade is much better, but there are times when it's desirable to duplicate a commercial product. These look great and I, for one, will give them a try.
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlan
MUST bake these! Box mix is such a guilty pleasure, so excited that you've figured out a homemade version :)
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAriane
I tried to make a perfect brownie once. It was far from perfect, and I decided I wouldn't ever make plain brownies again. I feel like brownies can be full of stuff and get away without perfect texture. So that's what I do, but I will sure have to try these. Mad props for your persistence; it looks like it paid off! I loved reading about the unexpected development of this recipe.
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianne
These look amazing!
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara
This look amazing! I think brownies are one of the few things where the box version can be just as good as homemade!
My default brownie is the Alice Medrich recipe, but I'll have to give this one a try. These brownies look spectacular!
SO THAT'S HOW THEY DO IT! I've always wondered how the crackly tops came about; they're my favorite part of box-mix brownies.
Congrats on your achievement! It must feel so good to have accomplished a recipe you've spent so long working toward. :)

Goodness! Thank you so much! I'm always on the lookout for a better brownie recipe too. As someone once said to me, "you can always improve on perfection!" I will bake these tonight! (Love your blog)
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterVickie S.
So I saw this post and decided to needed to make brownies. Problem - no chocolate in the house save for a white chocolate baking bar. Experiment ensues. Smells great. Taste? Time will tell.
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKier
Thank you for sharing the result of your hard investigations. A couple of questions: do you use the really dark! brown ugar, or the dark yellow one? Do you use a fan assisted oven? And finally for these brownies what chocolate did you use.? Thank you
01.13.2014 | Unregistered CommenterInes
My husband will only eat boxed brownies so I'll have to give these a try. They look incredible. So much for resolutions!
01.13.2014 | Unregistered Commentersistrsprkl
Ines-- I used dark brown sugar because I prefer the deeper molasses flavor, but light brown sugar will work just as well. I use a standard conventional oven without a fan. And lastly, I used baker's chocolate for these brownies-- nothing fancy!
01.13.2014 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
That is always the best feeling when a failed kitchen attempt actually turned into your new favorite recipe! Cheers to that!
Oh my goodness these looks absolutely divine! I'm seriously astonished. That sounds like me, messing up the ratios of ingredients in a recipe. Gosh, I do it all the stinking time. It's not even funny.
These brownies look so delicious and rich and full of chocolate. I love them!
01.14.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbbie
I just put these in the oven...I'm so excited! I even weighed the amounts just to make sure I followed exactly (something I rarely do...follow directions). These look and sound like the brownie I've been looking for, and I can't wait for them to be done! Thanks so much!
01.14.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLorrie
I have followed you through the quest for the perfect brownie - congratulations on reaching your goal. These brownies do look fabulous!
Been using the same brownie recipe for 40 years. Time to try something new! I'm thinking chopped pecans will be a nice addition to yours ? We'll see!!! Thanks!
01.14.2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Queen
I love brownies and am always on the look out for that dark, moist, perfect treat. These look great: I'm gong to try them. Also, beautiful photography.
01.14.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I baked this reciipe last night and it came out perfect! The brownies have a very rich, deep, chocolately flavor and are a bit fudgy in texture. Thank you so much! It's wonderful to ba able to add another "keeper" recipe to my collection!
01.15.2014 | Unregistered CommenterVickie S.
These look amazing! Would you change anything about baking if you used an 8x8 pan? I don't have a 9x9.
Lindsey-- They might bake a few minutes longer, but they should turn out just fine. I've baked these in an 8 x 8 pan before.
01.15.2014 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
These brownies look AMAZING. My mouth is watering just from looking at your photo!
I made these exactly like the recipe and they were delicious! Thank you so much
01.19.2014 | Unregistered Commenterkatheryn
I made these brownies last night and they were great! very chocolately :) I absolutely love your blog and all the great quotes you put on it!
01.20.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
Wow these look incredible! I'm surprised by how little butter there seems to be in the recipe. Usually a recipe calls for 2 sticks for a 9x13 inch pan or a single stick for an 8x8 inch pan. But no matter. I will have to try these. I have indeed already found my favorite brownie recipe, but what harm will another recipe do?
I'm an experienced baker, and I too have been brownie recipe hopping for years. I saw this post and decided to give it a try- what's another brownie recipe under my belt? They. Are. Perfect. Absolutely delicious. Very fudgey and gooey, and the crackly top just seals the deal! I baked these yesterday for a friends birthday and everyone kept asking me which box mix I used, and were shocked when I told them that it wasn't from a mix.
For any other readers, this truly is one of the best brownie recipes I've ever come across, if you are looking for something that tastes just like a box mix, but better, this would be it!
Congratulations, and thanks for the great recipe!!! :)
01.26.2014 | Unregistered Commenterjulia
I've baked these twice now and both times they were AMAZING (I used caramel chips instead of chocolate chips and it was delicious). I took the first batch to work and they were devoured in all of 10 minutes, so I kept the second batch at home but, well, to be honest, they didn't last that much longer. They really are the perfect brownie- thank you!
02.18.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKat
I overbaked them, BUT they turned out delicious anyway! The middle parts were especially chewy and fudgy, just the way a good brownie should be!
02.27.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGabriella
This look amazing! I feel brownies are one of the few things wherever the box version may be just as good as homemade!
02.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJon Mark

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