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cook’s illustrated chewy brownies

July 8, 2010

I was beginning to think that maybe, for me, there was no such thing as a “perfect” brownie.  Maybe when it comes to the classic American dessert, I’m a chocolate chip cookie girl all the way.  Of course, as with many things dessert-related, I was determined to keep at it and Mr. KC doesn’t mind swimming in brownies, so one more recipe it was!

And with that I present to you the brownie that I think I’ll end my search on.  It somehow managed to be both cakey (mostly on top) and fudgy (on the bottom) at once.  The balance of chocolate flavors was perfect and I didn’t even need to add a sprinkling of fleur de sel to the top to bring it all together.   I felt like Goldilocks at her “just right” moment.

I imagine that when the cooler weather returns, there will be a part of me that wants to keep pushing through a few more recipes, but for now, I’m happy to name this my “you just might do” recipe for brownies.

cook’s illustrated brownies
from America’s test kitchen 10th anniversary best recipes collection


  • 5oz/140g semisweet chocolate
  • 2 oz/55g unsweetened chocolate
  • 8 tbsp/1 stick/113 g butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups/8 3/4 oz / 248 g sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1 cp/ 5 oz/140g all-purpose flour


  1. Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position (KC note: more important than you would think.  The reason you see the particularly cakey top is because I allowed the pan to sit just in the middle rack which baked the top much faster than the rest.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F/177°C.
  3. Line 8″ square pan with 2 pieces of foil (making a foil sling).
  4. Melt chocolates and butter in a double boiler.
  5. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Whisk in eggs, sugar and vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds.
  7. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  8. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour until combined and transfer batter to pan.
  9. Spread batter into corners and smooth surface with spoon.
  10. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ally permalink
    November 6, 2010 11:11 pm

    Is there really 1 1/4 cups sugar opposed to 1 cup of flour? I think something about your oz. and g. conversions might not add up.

    Great photos, though!

    • November 9, 2010 9:59 pm

      Hi, Ally. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, for the life of me, I can’t find the magazine with the recipe, but you’re right–there’s no way that could be 1 1/4 cups. From what I’ve been able to find through some searches, I think it was a typo and should be 2 1/4. And based on my g and oz conversions, I should just stick to standard cup measurements. I’m hell bent on finding that original recipe and once I do, I’ll confirm it all. Or better yet, maybe I should go get to work on some brownies to make sure that the recipe adds up 🙂

      • November 9, 2010 10:11 pm

        So, actually, I found the recipe. I updated the recipe to reflect where I found it to begin with so I didn’t misplace it again. Believe it or not, the original measurement of 1 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup flour. I double checked the rest of the measurements and they were all correct as well.

  2. Youngbaker14 permalink
    April 2, 2011 5:11 pm

    did u use unsweetened or sweetened cocoa powder

  3. April 9, 2011 11:02 am

    Hi there-I used Ghiradelli’s unsweetened cocoa powder…hope that helps. Happy baking!

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