The Baked Brownie

The Baked Brownies

The famed Baked brownie. Oprah says it’s one of her favorite things. America’s Test Kitchens says its their favorite brownie. I don’t put much stock in Oprah, but America’s Test Kitchens are pretty much like the bible when it comes to all things kitchen. I check their reviews before any other recipes, and before I buy any kitchen equipment or new ingredients. So, if it’s their favorite brownie, I need to take a serious look. The Baked cookbook has been on my Amazon wish list for what seems like an eternity. After a couple of readers pointed out that the recipe for the pumpkin whoopie pies I posted last week looked like an adaptation from the cookbook, I hit up Barnes & Noble to do some research and add it to my cookbook collection. I could go on about all of the amazing recipes in this book, but for now, let’s focus on these brownies. Because they deserve it. They are now one of my favorite things. And I think I’ll need to hide them from myself.

Baked Brownies

There is a great explanation in the book about how the Baked brownie recipe came to be, which is a great read. The key is that they don’t want it to be cakey, so they use no leavening agents (no baking powder or baking soda). With 11 ounces of chocolate, additional dark cocoa powder, lots of butter and sugar, and 5 eggs, you don’t need me to tell you that these babies are R-I-C-H. And I say that with every ounce of goodness. This is quite possibly the most perfect brownie. Now, if you like cakey brownies you won’t think so. But if you like honest-to-goodness, rich and dense brownies, you will have found your Eden when you bite into these.

The Baked Brownies

They have a good bit of height given that they don’t have any leavening agents, so they aren’t thin, gooey and smooshed like some brownies (this is a good thing). So they have substance and heft when you bite into them. And they have the ever-elusive and much sought after thin, crackly brownie crust that seems to be the calling card of amazing brownies. Now, not all brownies with a thin crackly crust are amazing brownies. But all amazing brownies have that thin crackly crust. Still with me? Good. Now get thee into the kitchen and make these. Then pour yourself a tall glass of cold milk and enjoy bite after decadent bite.

Three years ago: Outrageous Brownies

The Baked Brownie

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9x13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.

4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.

7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

(Recipe adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

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450 Responses to “The Baked Brownie”

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  1. The Klutzy Cook on October 8, 2010 at 1:49 am

    We definitely need more brownies in my part of the world. These look fantastic – and I like that they are not ‘cakey’ with a ‘thin crackly crust’. What a great explanation of texture. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  2. the blissful baker on October 8, 2010 at 2:14 am

    you always have the best recipes on your blog! this is no exception. now i’m craving brownies! yummm

    Reply

  3. Judy P on October 8, 2010 at 5:16 am

    What does “dark chocolate” mean? Unsweetened, semisweet or sweet dark “eating” chocolate?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 8th, 2010 at 10:22 am

      Hi Judy, dark chocolate is typically 60% – 72% bittersweet chocolate. I buy Ghiradelli 60% for baking.

      Reply

      • Erika on October 12th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

        If I didn’t wait for the chocolate mixture to be room temp, did I ruin the brownies? The texture seemed lumpy =/

        Reply

        • Miss Know it all on May 27th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

          um yuck!!
          only kiddin yum!!

          Reply

      • Miss Know it all on May 27th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        these brownies rock my world!!! best recipe ever!!

        Reply

  4. Judy P on October 8, 2010 at 5:25 am

    ALSO, in the photographs of the brownies, it appears that there are chunks of chocolate or chocolate chips in the baked brownie but the recipe says to melt all the chocolate and mix into the dry mixture. Am I seeing things?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 8th, 2010 at 10:22 am

      Hmm maybe? ;-) There aren’t any chips or chunks of chocolate in the brownies.

      Reply

    • Chelsea on October 8th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      I thought so too at first, but I think what we’re seeing is bits of the crackly crust on top… Mmmmm…

      Reply

    • Linda on June 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 am

      I think its the crust pieces you see, that has been cut thru

      Reply

    • jess on August 13th, 2012 at 6:05 am

      Hi Judy, that’s not chocolate chips or chunkc of chocolate. They looked like it but they are actually the thinly crunchy crust top. Thats what you get baking brownies. Good luck and have fun baking !

      Reply

  5. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 8, 2010 at 7:06 am

    These make my mouth water! :)

    Reply

  6. linda on October 8, 2010 at 7:28 am

    i LOVE the baked cookbook & the brownies are the best!
    i have re-created so many of their goodies from that book & everyone is a gem.
    i just received “the boys” new cookbook “baked explorations: classic american desserts reinvented” & it looks like a treasure! their take on reviving old recipes with a modern twist is great!
    i am lucky enough to live not too far from their bakery & that was an amazing experience!
    thanks for your adaptation…i am going to bake it & i know why i enjoy your blog so very much…we are on the same wave length when it comes to sweets!

    Reply

  7. Lauren at KeepItSweet on October 8, 2010 at 7:34 am

    i am practically drooling at these pictures

    Reply

  8. Amalia on October 8, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I have been dying to try these! oh my god, woudl you say is your favorite brownie ever? cause you have tons of brownie recipes, my current favorite is from Boudin Bakery’s and I found the recipe in http://www.cookiemadness.net/2009/09/boudin-bakery-brownies/ and is amazing! it has no baking soda or powder either, but I still want to try this! Thanks a lot!

    -Amalia

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 8th, 2010 at 10:24 am

      Amalia, I do think I would stamp these as my favorite ever. They are just the quintessential perfect brownie in every possible way. Love!

      Reply

  9. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on October 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

    *droooll*

    I absolutely love the Baked book, these look too good to be true!

    Reply

  10. Paula on October 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

    B.E.B., I am mad at you this morning, just saw this post and you know I’m just going right over to the cupboards to start pulling brownie ingredients together and that means I’ll be missing aerobics class again…what are you trying to do to the “willpower challenged”??? Am not going to visit here for at least however long it takes me to burn off the brownie caloreis, oh my!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 8th, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Haha my apologies, please don’t stay mad for long! :-D

      Reply

  11. Lindsey at Burn Me Not on October 8, 2010 at 8:26 am

    These brownies look amazing! My husband LOVES brownies, and I’ve been looking for a great recipe to try. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 8th, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Aw, thanks Lindsey!

      Reply

  12. Amy on October 8, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I love this cookbook and just picked up their latest book. I’ve got some big plans for Christmas gifts with these tasty treats.

    Reply

  13. Erik on October 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Those look great, I’ll have to try them. I too love everything ATK, especially Baking Illustrated. They are a great resource. You know, as much as you like these, you should consider renaming your site “Brownie Eyed Baker”. :-)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 8th, 2010 at 10:26 am

      Not bad, Erik! I’ll keep it in mind :)

      Reply

  14. Jess on October 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

    That’s it. I am going to have to make these. And buy the cookbook. I love a good brownie. Ooey gooey and rich are the best kind.

    Reply

  15. Lisa on October 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I love rich dense brownies, so this recipe looks like the one for me.

    Reply

  16. Tracy on October 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Oh my gosh, these look SO rich and decadent. I am definitely in the fudge-y brownie camp so I’m super excited to try these. Putting that cookbook on my wishlist too!

    Reply

  17. Island Vittles on October 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    The fudgey vs cakey ratio looks perfect, as does that thin crust on the top — very nice…Theresa

    Reply

  18. RavieNomNoms on October 8, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Those look fantastic!

    Reply

  19. Joy on October 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    That looks so rich and yummy.

    Reply

  20. Amanda@Choc-Chip-Cookie-Recipe.com on October 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    You know I think I might be a little miffed at you too. You see I logged on this morning to get the garlic rolls to make for a friend who just had a baby. I was completely ambushed by the thick squares of chocolaty goodness that slapped my drool button silly. Yes, for the THIRD time this week, the kids will be getting brownies. (We really do eat balanced around here, I promise.) We have been looking for that special recipe as of late and you had me at “America’s Test Kitchen”. I am very excited to spend my rainy afternoon in the kitchen with these brownies, and garlic rolls.

    THANKS AGAIN!
    Amanda

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

      I hope you enjoyed the brownies, Amanda, and aren’t *TOO* mad at me ;-)

      Reply

  21. Jeanne on October 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try these brownies ever since I got the cookbook! But instead I refrain from flipping to that page so that I won’t eat a whole pan of these. Plus, I can never seem to keep an ounce of chocolate in my kitchen, never mind 11 ounces. These look just as incredible as the ones in the book, I better go buy some chocolate!

    Reply

  22. Jen @ How To: Simplify on October 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I’ll have to make these for my husband! He’s such a chocoholic!

    Reply

  23. Charlene on October 8, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I made these afternoon and we just cut into them. Let me tell you, my fiance is a brownie expert and I have baked many different recipes and he has liked most of them, but tonight he told me to throw away every other recipe and memorize this one because this is the only one he wants to eat from this point in life. He told me that he could and will eat the whole pan for he has finally experienced brownie nirvana. Thanks for the recipe, I am off to buy the Baked cookbook tomorrow.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      You are very welcome! I’m happy that these got the thumbs up from a brownie expert, so excited to hear he loved them!

      Reply

  24. celebreatySarah on October 8, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    a baked chocolate bar…now that is a good thing!

    Reply

  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on October 8, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Now I am totally craving brownies! I really don’t think there’s a “safe” time to read your blog. Even though I just had dinner, I now am ravenous for some brownies :)

    Reply

  26. Shannon on October 9, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Everything in the Baked book is awesome, glad you got your copy :)!! The second book just came out, I am seeing the authors next week on their book tour, should be lots of fun!!

    Reply

  27. Frankie on October 9, 2010 at 5:26 am

    these are gorgeous! i’m going to see if i can get my hands on 11 ounces of chocolate tomorrow… i used to work in a coffee shop that had dense, chewy delicious brownies with that signature crackly top..they were like crack! so addictive!!

    Reply

  28. Brittany on October 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I have these in the oven right now! Unfortunately, I didn’t have instant espresso (or even instant coffee) so this recipe is without that ingredient. But I think it will still be super tasty (or at least the batter was… and I don’t normally eat batter).

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

      Brittany, would love to hear what you thought, I’m sure they were still amazingly fabulous even without the espresso powder!

      Reply

      • Brittany on October 10th, 2010 at 8:02 pm

        AMAZING, even without the espresso powder. These will make a regular appearance in my home. Thanks for sharing the recipe here!

        Reply

        • Michelle on October 10th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

          Awesome to hear! You are very welcome!

          Reply

  29. Lauren on October 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Wow! These are gorgeous and look amazing!!

    Reply

  30. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit on October 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I may just need this cookbook- these brownies look fabulous!

    Reply

  31. GreenGirl on October 9, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    These brownies look so great, the best brownie recipes are on your blog. thanks for sharing them with us

    Reply

  32. The Chocolate Priestess on October 10, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Oh, LOL. I was confused by the title. My immediate thought was “How else would you make brownies? They have to be baked.” Now I understand, thank you.

    Reply

  33. Abby on October 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I can’t find dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder anywhere! Where did you get it? I need to make these! They look so delicious!

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 5th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      I found some at Walmart.

      Reply

  34. joudie's Mood Food on October 11, 2010 at 4:30 am

    These are making me drool. OMG!

    Reply

  35. bigFATcook on October 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    mmmmm These look real good! :)))

    Greets from BFC

    Reply

  36. foodlvr on October 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    These look too good to be true! So chocolatey, so luscious. Are they anything like Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies? I’ve made those a few times with great success. Always a hit. I think I am going to make these for my son’s karate school party for Halloween. Maybe decorate them a bit for the holiday. Thanks for making these unbelievable chocolate-y delights!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 11th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      I don’t think they’re as dense as Ina’s brownies. They are definitely rich and chewy, but don’t have that heavy, packed texture that the Outrageous Brownies do. I like these better than Ina’s, hands down (and I really, really like Ina’s).

      Reply

  37. Cookin' Canuck on October 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Oh my! These brownies look so rich, chewy and moist. America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book is one of my favorite baking cookbooks. The recipes are consistently great.

    Reply

  38. tom on October 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I should not have looked at this post workout, lol

    Reply

  39. bridget {bake at 350} on October 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I just made a *different* Baked brownie today. They look similar, but now I will have to try these! I haven’t even tried mine, yet…they are still cooling. Seeing yours makes me want to dig in NOW!

    Reply

  40. Heather on October 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I made these today and they didn’t turn out so well for me. The flavor isn’t bad but the texture seems all wrong. They break up and crumble all over the place at the slightest touch or movement. In fact, the entire pan’s worth cracked in half as I lifted them up by the parchment paper. No crisp crackle to the top, either. There were a few things I did differently from the recipe — I used a darker pan instead of a glass or light-colored one and I melted my butter and chocolate in the microwave instead of in a double boiler. I also used wheat flour as that’s all I had in the house and I have subbed in many recipes with no problems in the past. I wonder if any of those could have been the issue?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      Hi Heather, A dark pan can often times cause baked goods to be overbaked if it is baked at the same temperature and for the same amount of time. If using a dark pan, I would recommend reducing the temperature by 25 degrees F and checking for doneness at least 5-10 minutes earlier than the recipe states. Melting in a microwave shouldn’t be an issue unless it really overheated and the chocolate scorched, but you would have definitely been able to tell if that happened. As far as wheat flour, I never bake with it and it does have slightly different properties than all-purpose flour, so that has the potential to play into texture issues.

      Reply

    • Jeannie on September 1st, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      It depends on what kind of whole wheat flour you used. I buy Eagle Mills Ultagrain. It’s white whole wheat and it’s much more fine than regular whole wheat. I can usually substitute it 100% in most recipes. The most important thing to remember is that whole wheat sucks up the wet ingredients, so you usually have to add more liquid.

      Reply

    • Mae on July 4th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Hmm, well I baked these just last night using a dark pan and they turned out PERFECTLY! So delicious! I did reduce the oven temp by about 25 degrees. I think it must have been your flour.

      Reply

  41. Denise on October 17, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I made these today and they are delicious. The only thing I changed was I didn’t have enough Scharffen Berger chocolate so I made up the balance with Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Am still waiting for them to cool completely, but managed to slice about an inch sliver on the corner! Just couldn’t wait…..Thanks for sharing BEB!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

      Yay, so happy to hear Denise! Isn’t it torture waiting for baked goods to cool?!

      Reply

  42. Denise on October 18, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    So they finally cooled and yummo! Those are some of the tastiest brownies we’ve ever eaten. This recipe is a keeper which will be at the front of my brownie section in my recipe box! Again, thanks for sharing!
    (PS…..if they’re this good with my subbing some of the choc, I can’t imagine how they’ll taste with all the Scharffen Berger)!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      Yay!! So glad you loved them! They are fab!

      Reply

  43. foodlvr on November 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I finally made these last week. I made them for a party we had to go to for Halloween. I decorated them with homemade vanilla frosting and sprinkled with Halloween shaped sprinkles. They were just delicious. I used a combination of Scharfen Berger and Lindt chocolate – very dark chocolate – and they were amazing. Thanks for the excellent brownie recipe.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      Oooh I just adore Lindt chocolate. I actually just ate a square of 85% about an hour ago :) Glad you loved the brownies!

      Reply

  44. nina on November 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Hye Michelle,

    I’d made this last weekend. And, I’ll say, totally nominate this as the IT brownies, heck it is the IT brownies. haha. Here a link of mine, which I play with the brownies, yes I play with my food, just to enjoy it a bit longer. By mean play is photograph them, I drool every time seeing the pictures, and for sure I’ll be taking the baking supplies out from the pantry. Anyway thanks, this really a keeper

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      You are welcome, so happy you loved them!

      Reply

  45. Carrie on November 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Another GREAT recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. I know the recipes I try from this blog will be wonderful- no doubt. This blog is my go-to for yummy goodies.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      Aw thank you for the kudos, you are too sweet! And YAY for brownies!

      Reply

  46. Harriette on January 23, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Oh my! I made these today and they were amazing! So moist and chocolaty, thanks for another decadent recipe!

    Reply

  47. Rachel on January 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    what kind of espresso powder do you use? i’ve made ina’s outrageous brownies before & you could really taste the coffee powder. btw, i love your website & want to make everything you post. my husband is a big steelers fan & our dog is named “steeler.” i’m going to try making the cookies for superbowl. :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 14th, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Hi Rachel, I use Medaglia D’ Oro espresso powder. It’s sold in a local Italian market near where I live, but it’s also available on Amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/Medaglia-Oro-Instant-Espresso-2-Ounce/dp/B001E5E24A

      Reply

      • Pinx23@yahoo.com on July 6th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

        Hi there – can’t seem to find instant espresso anywhere. Can I just buy already made espresso at Starbucks? If so, how much do you think I should use? Thanks!!!! Making these tonight! Wish me luck! …:).

        Reply

        • Michelle on July 21st, 2012 at 1:49 pm

          Definitely don’t use already-made espresso; that’s a liquid, which could make the batter way too thin. I have found it at Italian groceries, and you can also buy it online at Amazon (see link above) or from King Arthur Flour. If you’re in a pinch, I would just omit it.

          Reply

  48. Amanda on January 28, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I have recently become a HUGE fan of your blog! I am always looking for new baking ideas…I’m merely a novice baker, but I LOVE to bake! I would love to make these Baked Brownies, but I don’t have any dark chocolate in my baking cupboards, and this PA snow is really making it difficult to get anywhere, especially the store! So, I have a bar of unsweetened chocolate, half a bar of semi-sweet, and natural cocoa powdered… any ideas for yummy chewy, fudgey brownies???

    Reply

    • Amanda on January 28th, 2011 at 11:27 am

      *Powder

      Reply

  49. Sarah on January 31, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    What is the main difference between these and Ina’s outrageous brownies?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 14th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      These are nowhere near as dense as Ina’s Outrageous Brownies. I think these are better.

      Reply

  50. Kristin on February 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I’m not sure where I went wrong on this recipe. My brownies look nothing like what your pictures represent. The brownie itself was Very fudgy-I even cooked it for about 10-15 minutes longer than what you called for. The caramel itself tasted more like toffee than caramel. I took your suggestion on using the foil, but that somehow only seemed to make it worse. I had high hopes on this one, but I’m sure it was probably baker error. Any suggestions on the caramel though? Thanks though. I’ll be making another recipe of yours this week. I’m not giving up just yet… :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 14th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Kristin, If you found the caramel tasted more like toffee and the brownies weren’t very fudgy (more cakey?) then I would lean towards thinking that they were overbaked, especially since you said you baked them for 10 to 15 minutes longer. That’s a long time in brownie years ;-)

      Reply

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