It’s hard to beat boxed brownies, but this recipe aims to do just that. It has all of the hallmarks of box-mix brownie – crispy edges, crackly tops, and perfect fudginess – with the added benefit of being made from scratch. Whether you need an easy dessert for a dinner party or just want something sweet on a weeknight, this recipe is sure to earn some brownie points when you serve this tasty treat!
The list of ingredients is probably about what you expect when you think of brownies, but there are a few things to note when you’re checking your pantry to see if you have everything on hand.
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar*
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted*
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt*
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup oil*
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
* Ingredients with an asterisk next to them need careful consideration. For the granulated sugar, the recipe notes that you can reduce this to 1 cup if you prefer brownies that lean into the rich, bitter notes of chocolate rather than sweetness. Because cocoa powder gives these brownies so much of their flavor, it’s best to use Dutch-process cocoa powder because it has a very intense flavor that can stand up to the other ingredients. It’s also important to use sea salt not iodized table salt because sea salt has larger granules than table salt; using table salt would render the brownies too salty. Finally, the choice of oil is up to you. If you enjoy the flavor of olive oil and chocolate, you can use olive oil, though you will definitely taste it in these brownies. If you don’t want to taste the oil in the brownies, opt for a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed.
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Differences from Boxed Brownies
Though this brownie recipe was created to mimic boxed brownies, the method is a bit different than making boxed brownies. Perhaps the biggest difference is that you don’t have the flexibility to change the size of your baking pan like you can with a boxed mix. With this recipe, the best results will come from using an 8×8″ dish, anything larger will cause the brownies to be too dry.
The other difference you’ll notice is that instead of mixing all of the ingredients together in one bowl at the same time, you’ll mix the ingredients separately. First, the dry ingredients are whisked together. Next, the wet ingredients are mixed. Finally, the dry is added to the wet and mixed until just combined. This method prevents overmixing and helps keep the texture and flavor of the brownies.