These better than box mix brownies are PERFECT. Ooey and gooey right out of the oven, soft and chewy after they cool with a light, delicate flaky crust.
There are two things I am an absolute perfectionist about: Chocolate chip cookies and brownies. I have probably tried hundreds of brownies throughout my life (not sure whether I should be admitting that or not) and these “better than box mix” brownies truly are the best I have had.
Allow me to break down the perfect brownie for you:
- The Crust: The crust can never be dry and could never be “crunchy”. It must be chewy with a lightly crisp edge.
- The Center: When you pull the brownies out of the oven, the center of the brownies need to be hot and gooey (perfect for adding a a scoop of ice cream). When they cool, they should be soft and chewy (even for the next day or two).
- The Top: The top of the brownies should have an ultra thin, delicate, flaky layer. Thinner than tissue paper. See image below to see what I am talking about.
The biggest tip for making these brownies is to NOT OVER BAKE. They may seem slightly under-done when you pull them out and that is totally normal. When they cool, they will be soft and chewy. You want these brownies to fail the “toothpick test”. Brownies are not a cake. They don’t need to be “done” all the way through.
These really don’t need anything extra. They are perfect the way they are. If you want to swap out the dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet, that is totally ok. You can even use peanut butter chips or you want to switch it up. We have used mini-chocolate chips before and those work great too. The chocolate chip part is totally substitutable. Mint chocolate chips would be a fun substitution around the holidays. Get as creative as you want here.
Making them GLUTEN FREE:
Because there is only just a little over a cup of flour in this recipe it makes it SUPER easy to make gluten free. You can use pretty much any 1:1 flour blend and you will not even be able to tell they are GF. You can use Better Batter, Namaste Four (Costco), or your own flour blend with this recipe. Trust us, we have made them GF for friends and family before and no one even suspected they were GF!
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and shortening.
- Microwave for 15 seconds at a time until just melted together. Stir and set aside to cool.
- When butter mixture has cooled, add baking cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips.
- Stir dry mixture into chocolate mixture until combined (it will be fairly thick).
- Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 baking dish (or 9x9 if you want them to be thicker).
- Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies just start to pull away from the sides of the pan (if you are using a 9x9 dish you may need to add a few minutes). Do not over bake.
- Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!