The 2nd Annual Great Ingredient Brownie Bake-Off
We had so much fun eating brownies for lunch last year that we decided to do it again! This year, five competitors faced off in one of our favorite office contests, a good old-fashioned brownie bake-off.
Because seriously, anytime you have a work-mandated excuse to eat a plateful of brownies in one sitting…now THAT'S a good day.
But first, a little back story on brownies. The earliest printed recipe for brownies appeared in the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook 1896, created by a woman named Fannie Farmer, who was well known cook and lecturer on food and nutrition. (And yes, the inspiration for the Fanny Farmer chocolate brand years later.)
The first recipe called for molasses instead of chocolate, and the brownies were baked in individual molds. In 1906, the recipe was updated with chocolate swapped in for molasses – and Americans discovered a new favorite dessert!
Fudgy brownies have a minimum amount of flour and no leavening (such as baking powder).
Cakelike brownies are just like they sound – like little cakes. With less butter and more flour than fudgy brownies, along with the addition of baking powder, they bake up softer and lighter.
Chewy brownies are made with extra eggs and a combination of different types of chocolate, creating a nice, chewy texture.
Blondies aren't made with chocolate at all; instead, they're butterscotch bars made with brown sugar, butter, and eggs.
The five brownie recipes in our bakeoff definitely fell in the chewy, fudgy category – and not a blondie in sight! After stuffing our faces with delicious, chocolaty goodness, it all came down to a vote.
In third place: Emily's Glossy Fudge Brownies. Made with three (!!!) sticks of butter, six (!!!) eggs, cocoa, and dark chocolate, these brownies were incredibly rich, dense and chocolaty.
In second place: Marcie's Snickers Brownies. These insanely good brownies had gooey chunks of Snickers candy bars mixed right into the batter.
And in first place: Lindsey's aptly-named Best Ever Brownies, from Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking. Dark, moist, and studded with plenty of chocolate chips, these extra-rich brownies were a chocolate lover's dream. Check out the recipe and try it for yourself!
Best Ever Brownies
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 1 cup (8oz/227g) butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6¼oz/184g) brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8¼oz/244g) white sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (5oz/150g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (4oz/123g) good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cup (9oz/270g) roughly chopped chocolate or large chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), then line a 7x11 inch baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine melted butter, oil and both sugars.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and salt, then whisk for about one minute until evenly combined and light in color.
- Over the same bowl sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined (don't over mix). Fold in half of the chocolate chunks.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then smooth the top. Generously top with the remaining chocolate chunks.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of the brownies no longer jiggles and is JUST set to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the baking tray and slicing into 16 brownies. Enjoy!