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Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

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Yields 2 dozen.

  • To learn more, read:
    How to Make Fudgy Brownies
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 105

You won't find the secret to rich, fudgy chocolate brownies in a box: Make them from scratch for the best flavor and texture. This one-pot batter comes together in minutes and there's a good chance you already have all the ingredients on hand.

  • 12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into 9 pieces; more softened for the pan
  • 3-3/4 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 7-1/2 oz. (1-2/3 cups) all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch straight-sided metal baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on the short sides. Lightly butter the foil.

Put the butter in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until melted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth, 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk until well blended. Use your fingertip to check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm, not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a minute or two before continuing.

Whisk in the eggs, two and then three at a time, until just blended. Whisk in the vanilla until the batter is well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and stir with a rubber spatula until just blended.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small bits of brownie sticking to it, 35 to 45 minutes. For fudgy brownies, do not overbake. Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack, about 3 hours.

When the brownies are cool, use the foil overhang to lift them from the pan. Invert onto a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil. Flip again and cut into 24 squares. Serve immediately or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 1 month.

Variations

Embellish the brownies with one or more of these variations  if you like:

Add-Ins: Stir 1 cup chopped toasted nuts (such as pecans, unsalted peanuts, or walnuts) or 3/4 cup baking morsels (peanut butter, or bittersweet, semisweet, or white chocolate) into the batter after adding vanilla.

Chocolate Glaze and Toppings: Put 6 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate and 4 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, in a small, heatproof bowl set over a small pot of barely simmering water and stir frequently until melted, about 3 minutes.(Alternatively, the chocolate and butter can be melted in a microwave.) Pour the glaze onto the center of the cooled brownie (after unmolding but before cutting into squares). Using a small offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly over the brownie. If you like, sprinkle your choice of topping (crushed toffee or peppermint candies, or chopped nuts) over the just-poured glaze. Let the glaze cool until set, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, then cut and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): fat g 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 8; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 32; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 65; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 75; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Best brownie since the other FC brownie recipe: Double Chocolate Chunk brownies. Delicious & loved using just one pot. I added finely chopped walnuts. A huge hit!

Amazing brownies. Very rich and delicious. I used kosher salt instead of table salt. It added the most incredible contrast.

Made these for valentine dinner. They are rich, chocolatier than most, very moist and now favorites of my family. Did add the glaze and sprinkled with red sugar to get the holiday flare. This recipient can be adjusted to fit any season or holiday by simply adjusting the topping.

I've just made this brownies today, and it came out perfect. I love this recipe, I've been searching for so long looking for the right recipe and now I found it, I put 2 1/4 cups of sugar to the batter cause I think 2 3/4 cups was way to sweet for me. It was half gone already before it was totally cooled.

these are amazing! I cut them into small squares and 1 square is sufficient to fulfill any craving for chocolate. Everyone loves these. They freeze well too.

The best brownies I've ever made!

"Test Kitchen Guaranteed"? Does that actually mean anything? I relied on the measures in the magazine -- but now, after having read ALL the 24 comments before mine, find that the correct amount of butter is not 12 TBS but 12 OZ (24 TBS). I also found that, at least with the smaller amount of butter, these were impossible to mix with a whisk. Overall, this has been a frustrating waste of time and money.

Made these today from the print edition and noticed at once the butter measurement discrepancy but had not read the reviews (which I keep telling myself I will do and sometimes don't). Fortunately I used the weight measurements and all worked out very well. Everyone raved about the taste but I will try these again and add a teaspoon of instant coffee which Ina Garten says brings out the chocolate flavor even more.

I would not describe these brownies as "fudgy" -which suits me well since I like my brownie to have some chew. I always use 3/4 cups of butter (as called for in the actual magazine, due to a typo) instead of the 1 1/2 cups mentioned above. And when I check the doneness with a toothpick, I actually wait until the crumb has just barely set to remove the pan from the oven -no liquidy batter for me. This is easily my favorite brownie recipe so far (I've tried many), I make it all the time. They look beautiful with their typical crinkley top, and taste all at once very chocolate-y, very thick, moist, dense and satisfying... my family loves them! (I honestly don't understand how this recipe could have gone so wrong for so many people, even with the typo... I made them for a picnic with a half-dozen avid "foodies", and they got rave reviews!)

my kids love these!!! use the best available (i buy mine at a restaurant supply) natural cocoa powder for fantastic brownies.

I tried the variation with walnuts. I also added one cup of Heath English Toffee bits. They were moist and chewy.

These were not at all fudgy. I think there is too much egg in this recipe.

Being that my family (including me) LOVES brownies, I was dying to make them. They were easy and quick to make. They were chewey, chocolatey and simply wonderful! By the next day the pan of brownies was gone...like always!!! Just make sure you use the correct amount of butter!

Let's see . . . using the 3/4 cup of butter called for in your $6.95 magazine, I just wasted about $15 of ingredients in making these brownies, finding out after trying them and running to this site that there was a "typo." I love your magazine, having made perhaps a dozen recipes since last year, but this is pretty inexcusable. Please fact-check your magazine each month. Some of us don't have money to tip down the drain.

Made these twice. First batch too done and only had dutched cocoa on hand. Second batch PERFECT. Used a light metal pan. One thing that made a difference was using Penzeys high-fat natural cocoa. It's fantastic. The richest, darkest cocoa I've used. Set my convection oven to 300. Baked 40 minutes. They came out great. Rich chocolate flavor, nice fudgy, even texture. They are a thinner brownie. I plan to layer them on top of homemade graham crackers (FC recipe) and top with homemade marshmallow cream. Yum! Thank you Abigail!

Did anyone else's brownies come up really high? I thought I was baking a cake. Used weight measurements and Hershey's special dark. They're about 1 1/4" high cooled now.

I made this from the magazine, like others apparently, but caught the printing error since I go by weight measurement when given the option. Outstanding brownies. See my entire review at: http://themomchef.blogspot.com/2010/06/ultimate-fudgy-browning-from-fine.html

I recognized the cocoa weight vs. measure were off so I started weighing the other ingredientts as well. When I weighed the cocoa (3 -3/4 oz) and then scooped it into a dry measure it worked out to 1 cup rather than 1 1/4 cup. Hmmm... I have never questioned the baking measurements in Fine Cooking and now I am wondering if this is an anomaly or the norm??

These brownies were wonderful! Rich and chocolaty. Discovered they were also great cold!!!

Aside from all of the confusion over the quantity of butter, I found it difficult to mix the sugar into the cocoa/butter mix. It became very granular and the butter appeared to separate from the sugar/cocoa mix. Although the final batter was smooth once the eggs and flour were whisked in, I am wondering if anyone else noticed this happening or if I did something wrong.

I have made dozens of brownie recipes and this is on of my top two. First it is really easy and only requires powder and hand mixing. They have a lot of chocolate flavor. Definitely would make them again. I did not change any part of the recipe, perfect as it is.

These were a hit at the office. I would change the name to 10 minute brownies :) as that is what it took to from prep to oven!!! Fantastic.

This recipe is fabulous! My Culinary Arts students made these and together decided we have finally found the perfect 'from scratch' brownie, which nobody thought existed. Perfect shiny, crackly top, rich and fudgy crumb. We also made it using an additional 1/2 cup sugar, which is also quite good and is more similar to the box type. Only way better!

I used H*rsh*y's Special Dark cocoa powder and my brownies came out really dark and fudgy but not too sticky. With 3 sticks (12oz) of butter, the recipe worked well.

This is very good and similar to a recipe I use in my catering business. I think the secret to great brownies is quite simple..don't overcook! I always test mine at 5-10 minutes before stated time as oven temps vary..and prefer to have quite a few sticky crumbs on the tester as the brownies will cook a bit and firm up after they are removed from the oven. My experience has been that customers love a squidgy brownie so better to undercook! If I need to cook longer, I do it in 2 minute increments...a few minutes can mean the difference between done and too dry..I've learned that lesson the hard way. I use this type of recipe as a base for cheesecake or caramel brownies as it marries well with a topping of sorts and freezes great.

I used 12 oz. or butter and it turned out perfect. However, I used only 2 cups of sugar instead of 2 and 3/4 cup as suggested in the recipe. I also added toasted walnut and pecan.

Damn! I went by the recipe in the print magazine and was fooled by the erroneous 3/4 cup of butter measurement listed there, even though the cocoa/butter paste didn't seem loose enough. Came here to read the comments from other folks who've baked these; at least now I realize I should've gone by the 12 oz measurement - twice the butter! Maybe I'll try them again, but with more reasonable proportions of ingredients next time. I can appreciate how easy it is for a typo like this to slip by, even in a conscientious publication (and in all fairness to the editors of FC, most of the recipes I've tried have turned out beautifully). Still... this sure was a disappointment.

I, too, noticed the butter discrepancy in the magazine. I used 12 oz, or 1 1/2 cups of butter. They are really soft and fudgy, best with a glass of milk. Very rich and yummy!

The recipe in the magazine had a typo which could be the reason this recipe was rated low. If you put the full 12 OZ of butter that was called for this recipe is very good. I'm not sure it's the best I ever had but it has great flavor and a nice soft texture.

I too noticed the inconsistency. That is a terrible mistake for a magazine of this calibur! I used a different brownie recipe on the site. Hopefully that one will work.

12 oz of butter is not 3/4 cup......so not sure which measurement to use!! Will try 12oz....and report back!

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