5 Ways to NOT screw up brownies:
- Don’t overbake. Holy cow this is a big one. Ask my kids how crazy it makes me when I see the cooking times listed on a brownie mix or cake mix box and it’s so long that you’ll end up with hockey pucks! No wonder people think they are bad cooks when really we can just chalk it up to bad directions. Can we do that? Yes, we can. Anytime you are baking up a cookie, cake or brownie….watch those precious gems like a hawk. You want laser beam focus because a few minutes can be a difference maker.
Use a toothpick or even ato test the middle to make sure it’s not a goopy mess. You want it to come out with a soft crumb and not be dry as cardboard. No one likes to eat cardboard. Use light colored pans. The dark colored pans cook the bottoms of baked goods too quickly. Here are a few of my favorite pans — and .
- Cream butter + sugar for at least 3 minutes to ensure you don’t end up with grainy brownies. Creaming works wonders in baked goods as it helps to dissolve sugar crystals and it creates little pockets of air. The butter wraps around the sugar as it coats it and helps to say goodbye to the grainy texture.
- Don’t overmix your flour. You know how kneading bread makes it better….well it’s the opposite with baked goods. If you overmix your batter, it creates more gluten which can leave you with a tougher brownie. We want a tender one! Mix until just combined or even turn off your mixer and fold in your flour.
- Use high-quality cocoa. It’s the star ingredient and it’s integral to the overall success of the brownies. I buy Callebaut cocoa powder in bulk at Winco and even though it’s high-quality stuff, it is actually less expensive than buying one of the other popular brands in the store. It makes a huge difference in the depth of flavor.
- Add chocolate chunks. Because if you are going to eat chocolate, you want to really eat chocolate. Adding semi-sweet chocolate adds a richness to it and another depth of flavor. Guittard and Ghiradelli are some of my favorite brands of chocolate. Trader Joe’s makes a killer chocolate bar and it melts beautifully. If you are really crazy, add some white chocolate just to really mix it up (think Paradise Bakery black + white chippers).
- 1 cup Butter, softened
- 2 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 1 cup Flour
- ½ cup Cake Flour
- 1 cup Cocoa Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1½ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks or Chips
- *Optional: add 8-ounce jar Dulce de Leche. Carefully heat in the microwave. Swirl in 4 ounces into the batter. Bake. Top brownies with remaining Dulce de Leche.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Stir in flour, cake flour, cocoa, and salt until mixed together.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into 9 x 13 pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 28-36 minutes.
- *Adapted from I am Baker’s decadent brownies