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.

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.

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.

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.