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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ultimate Chewy Fudge Chocolate Brownies

SO much better than boxed brownies! I'm not above reaching for the boxed stuff when in a rush, but these are on a whole other level. They have a depth of flavor that you just can't get from a mix, and come together very quickly. The tops are crackly and the insides are soft...they are usually devoured by the next day but I hid a piece to see how long they would stay fresh and 5 days later it was still soft and delicious. Depending on the chocolate you use, you can alter the cocoa flavor from milk to dark or anything in between. I usually stick to milk chocolate because that's what most people like. Personally, my favorite addition is adding some salted caramel chips to the batter, but just like with a lot of my other recipes, you can customize to your liking.

Those orange specs of salted caramel are pure heaven

If you look at the ingredients you'll notice that this batter is made with mostly chocolate with just a little bit of flour to provide a soft crumb. I use melted chocolate in addition to cocoa powder to provide a moist base for the brownies. These are not dry (unless you over bake them) and they are definitely NOT cakey. Butter adds delicious flavor and oil keeps the batter dense and fudgy. There is no baking soda or baking powder to preserve the integrity of the bar and to avoid rising into a cake like texture.  Since there is so much chocolate in the batter, the quality you use will affect how good your brownies get the good stuff! I either use Trader Joe's milk chocolate from the 1 pound size bar or Guittard milk chocolate chips (my absolute FAVORITE milk chocolate chip). No Hershey's chocolate in this batter ;)

This is a great project to get your kids in the kitchen for, especially if you go crazy with the fun mix-ins!  I find myself turning to these brownies when a I need a quick last minute dessert as kids and adults gravitate to them equally. Grab a glass of cold milk and enjoy these bites of chocolate-y bliss!

Makes 24 small squares

*Read the paragraphs above to understand why each ingredient is used before you try substituting*

-8 ounces chocolate (I like to use a combination of milk and dark, use the best quality you can)
-5 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons oil
-3 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup flour
-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
-1 cup milk chocolate chips

Optional Mix-Ins
Up to 1 cup of:
-walnuts, hazelnuts
-salted caramel chips
-peanut butter chips
-broken up candy pieces: oreos, m&m's, snickers, reeses, etc.
-swirled marshmallow cream

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 7x11 inch pan (or 9x9) with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
-In a microwave safe bowl, melt 8 ounces chopped chocolate with butter in 30 second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds. Allow the mixture to cool before you add it to the wet ingredients.
-In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Slowly stir in cooled chocolate/butter mixture.
-In a third bowl, mix together the salt, flour and cocoa powder then slowly add it to the wet ingredients. Mix JUST until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
-Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes (I don't recommend exceeding 35 minutes because brownies should be fudgy). The brownies are baked when the edges are dry and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with a few crumbs attached.
-Allow to cool then cut into bars and serve.

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Looking for more decadence? You can't go wrong with these other delicious desserts!