I Tried the Internet’s Most Popular Chewy Brownie Recipe — And It's Almost Perfect (2024)

  • Recipes
  • Desserts
  • Bars
  • Brownies

Recipe Review

Grace Elkus

Grace Elkus

Grace Elkus was the Deputy Food Director at Kitchn, where she wrote a monthly vegetarian recipe column called Tonight We Veg. She received her culinary arts diploma from The Natural Gourmet Institute.


published Nov 3, 2022

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

I Tried the Internet’s Most Popular Chewy Brownie Recipe — And It's Almost Perfect (1)

Tessa Arias, creator of the blog Handle the Heat, is arguably the biggest brownie expert on the internet. She’s the author of an incredibly comprehensive (and Pinterest-famous) brownie guide, has shared more than 40 brownie recipes on her blog, and takes a scientific approach to all of her baking projects. I had no doubt her chewy brownie recipe would live up to its “best ever” name.

To give these brownies their chewy texture, Tessa uses cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate, a combination of melted butter and vegetable oil for the fat, and an extra egg yolk. She also calls for a tablespoon of cornstarch, which she says makes the brownies thicker and creates that quintessential crackly crust. I couldn’t wait to give them a try.

Get the recipe: Handle the Heat’s Best Ever Chewy Brownies

How to Make Handle the Heat’s Best Ever Chewy Brownies

Preheat the oven to 325°F, line an 8×8-inch metal pan with foil or parchment paper, and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Microwave butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla, followed by vegetable oil and cocoa powder. I used regular unsweetened cocoa powder as instructed, but Tessa said she’s also had success with Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, which is what’s used in the recipe video.

Next, stir in flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt with a rubber spatula, then fold in semisweet chocolate chips. Spread into the prepared pan (it’s a thick batter, so I smoothed the top with an offset spatula) and bake until the brownies are set and a toothpick has moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

My Honest Review of Handle the Heat’s Best Ever Chewy Brownies

If I was judging on looks alone, I’d give these brownies a 10/10. They rose beautifully in the oven and formed a shiny, crackly top as promised. Each square is thick and decadent, with melty chocolate chips studded throughout.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find them particularly chewy. Sweet, fudgy, and dense, yes —but not chewy. Everyone has a different definition of chewy, and Tessa does describe these as gooey and moist, so maybe they just weren’t chewy enough for me personally. I’m curious if a longer bake time would have made them more chewy than fudgy.

But back to the positives. What this recipe loses in chewiness it gains in ease. You don’t have to set up a double boiler, chop chocolate, or really do anything fussy at all. You simply whisk everything together in one bowl and that’s it. I also appreciate Tessa’s thorough explanation about why she chose each ingredient, and I’m impressed that someone on her team has responded to every one of the reader comments. Her attention to detail makes me want to try more of her recipes.

If You’re Making Handle the Heat’s Best Ever Chewy Brownies, a Few Tips

  1. Use your largest mixing bowl. Because all of the ingredients are ultimately added to this one bowl, you’ll want to use your biggest one. Just make sure it fits in the microwave!
  2. Check on the butter after 30 seconds. Tessa recommends microwaving the butter for 1 minute, but mine was melted after 45 seconds. Start checking on it early to ensure it doesn’t spatter or burn. If there are any stubborn solid pieces, simply stir the hot butter to melt them.
  3. Bake a few extra minutes, if needed. Tessa advises against baking the brownies for longer than 30 minutes, as the residual heat of the pan will continue to cook them. But at 30 minutes, my toothpick was a gooey mess. I ultimately baked them for 33 minutes and honestly feel like they could have used a few more minutes. Next time, I’ll go based on her visual indicator instead and pull them out when the toothpick has moist crumbs attached.
  4. Cut into 16 squares. These brownies are rich. Tessa gives the option of slicing them into 9 large or 16 small brownies, and I highly recommend the latter. If you have one, use a plastic knife to slice them, which will help you make cleaner cuts.

Overall rating: 9/10

Filed in:



Recipe Review

I Tried the Internet’s Most Popular Chewy Brownie Recipe — And It's Almost Perfect (2024)


Why are my brownies not chewy? ›

Chewy brownies must be slightly under-baked. One of the top mistakes to avoid when making brownies is waiting until there's no more crumbs on the toothpick to pull the pan from the oven. By that point they're close to over-baked, and you will lose out on that chewiness you want.

What are Katharine Hepburn brownies? ›

The brownies are made with unsweetened chocolate, which is also known as baking, plain or bitter chocolate. It is chocolate in its rawest form and this means that unsweetened chocolate is just ground cocoa nibs that have been refined and contain between 50-55% cocoa butter (cacao fat).

What is the difference between chewy and fudgy brownies? ›

Fudgy brownies are moist, dense and gooey, with almost the texture of fudge, but not quite as compact. Chewy brownies are dense (like fudgy brownies), but have a little more “bite” to them or elastic texture when you chew them.

How to make box brownies chewy? ›

Eggs – Most brownie mixes call for one whole egg. Adding one large egg plus an extra egg yolk gives brownies an ultra fudgy texture. Chocolate Chips – Even if your brownie mix contains chocolate, plan to add chocolate chips.

How do you keep brownies soft and chewy? ›

Using airtight wrappings (including using plastic wrap right against the brownies) is key to keeping your brownies fresh, whether you're keeping them at room temperature for short-term storage, or planning to freeze them so you can have a fresh brownie ready whenever you need it.

Is melted butter or softened butter better for brownies? ›

If you want a fudgy chocolate brownie, use melted butter. For cakey brownies, beating softened butter and sugar together to create air pockets will make your brownies lighter and cakier.

Why are they called blonde brownies? ›

They're called blondies because they lack the brown cocoa powder of brownies. They're blonde with vanilla and brown sugar, not brown.

What is in brownies on the moon? ›

Description. The most delicious brownies are combined with premium high-quality chocolate cream and vanilla ice cream to give you an experience that is out of this world!

Why did brownies fall? ›

WELL, most likely you just over-whisked your brownie mix. The only step that should be whisked with an electric beater is the eggs, everything else is best done by hand. This prevents the brownie from gaining too many air bubbles, aerating in the oven and then collapsing back down.

Are Ghirardelli brownies chewy or fudgy? ›

Ghirardelli's brownies weren't too sweet and had a denser, more fudgelike texture. They had the most intense flavor of the bunch, which I think came from the chocolate chips and the darker chocolate used in the batter. These were also fudgy, which is my personal preference for a brownie.

Which brownie mix is the chewiest? ›

Duncan Hines Dolly Parton's Fabulously Fudgy Brownie Mix

And if you're looking for fudgy, this is the best brownie mix for you. Even the fully cooked brownie was like chewing brownie batter. And it doesn't end there.

What is a brownie fairy? ›

brownie, in English and Scottish folklore, a small, industrious fairy or hobgoblin believed to inhabit houses and barns. Rarely seen, he was often heard at night, cleaning and doing housework; he also sometimes mischievously disarranged rooms.

What happens if I use milk instead of water in brownie mix? ›

One change is to use milk or heavy cream instead of water. This change will make brownies more moist and gooey since milk is more fatty and flavorful than water. A second change is to use butter instead of oil. For similar reasons to using milk, butter adds a rich and more decadent quality to the batter.

How do you know when chewy brownies are done? ›

Gently shake the pan back and forth a few times and look at the middle of the brownies—if you're cooking fudgy brownies, they should wobble or jiggle slightly. They'll finish cooking after you take them out of the oven. If you're cooking chewy or cakey brownies, you shouldn't see any movement in the middle of the pan.

What to add to brownie mix to make it better? ›

Add a teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso powder. Throw in a handful of nuts—pecans, walnuts, macadamia, whatever you have on hand. Scoop in a palmful of dried or frozen fruit. Add an extra splash of the top-shelf vanilla extract, or a dab of vanilla paste, or a dash of vanilla powder, to the batter.

Why are my brownies still soft? ›

Honestly, there is a slim chance they are underbaked, but it's more likely that they just need to firm up in the fridge. Our brownies are basically a chocolaty puddle when they come out the oven.

What makes brownies fudgy vs cakey? ›

Fudgy brownies have a higher fat-to-flour ratio than cakey ones. So add more fat—in this case, butter and chocolate. A cakey batch has more flour and relies on baking powder for leavening. The amount of sugar and eggs does not change whether you're going fudgy or cakey.

Why are my brownies rubbery? ›

Notice how the brownies are somewhat rubbery. Th larger amount of protein from the egg causes this. Some desserts are made this way, such as bread pudding.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated:

Views: 5767

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.