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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.
The Best Brownie Recipe
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.
The Perfect Brownie Breakdown:
- 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.
Tips for Making Brownies:
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.
GLUTEN FREE Brownies:
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!
More Brownie Recipes
This is a recipe for good ol’ plain chocolate brownies. It is a no-frills homemade brownie recipe. If you are looking to try some other brownie variations, give one of these a try:
- Pretzel Crust Cheesecake Brownies
- Almond Joy Brownies
- White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Brownies
- Red Velvet Brownies
How to Make the BEST Brownies EVER
Better than Box Mix Brownies (aka BEST Brownies EVER)
- ⅓ c. butter
- 2/3 c. shortening
- 2 c. sugar
- ½ c. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 c. chocolate chips dark
- 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 9×13 baking dish (or 9×9 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 9×9 dish you may need to add a few minutes). Do not over bake.
- Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
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How long should I bake them if using an 8×8 glass pan?
In a smaller pan, the brownies will be thicker and will take 40-45 minutes to bake. Set the timer for 40 minutes, and use the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in the center of the pan) to see if the brownies are fully cooked. If not, check every 3-5 minutes or so until the toothpick comes out clean. Thanks for asking!
Would it be ok if I didn’t add the chocolate chips? Years ago Hershey had my favorite brownie recipe. It was chewy with the crackle top, it didn’t require chips. I’ve been trying to find that recipe. This one sounds close, think it has more eggs and the chips.
Of course! I hope it turns out the way you remember it!
I haven’t made them yet but wanted to know if I could add walnuts to the batter?
Yes, of course! Walnuts would taste great in this recipe!
can you use regular salt instead of kosher salt or will it mess with the flavor
You can use regular salt!
Just came to say this is the 3rd time I’ve made these brownies in a month! They are delicious.
Thank you, Amy! I’m so glad you like them!
These were yummy, chewy and moist! I made these using all butter. Since I used a glass baking dish, I decreased the temp to 325* and ended up baking them for 35 min. because at 30 min. they were kind of “liquidy” in the center. Maybe they are supposed to be that way? I think I will boost the temp back to 350* even though I use a glass pan and bake them for the suggested 30 min. Recipe is definitely a keeper!
It shouldn’t be liquid but definitely gooey. Glad they turned out well for you! Thanks for sharing your results with butter!
what is the purpose of the shortening versus full butter?
The shortening helps get that perfectly flaky top, you can go ahead and try it with full butter. It will taste the same. 🙂 Hope this helps
Is there anything that I can substitute the shortening with? I don’t use it for anything.
You can use just all butter. Hope this helps!
I just made these for my boys and i have to say they were delicious. thanks for the great recipe.
Thanks, so glad you liked it!
Wow, all the pop-up ads are preventing me from seeing the recipe….
So sorry about that! We are working on getting that fixed so there aren’t so many.
That sounds great!! Best of luck with your efforts! I agree .. love your site btw ! A Canadian new fan
😀 We are excited that you found us! Welcome 🙂 Hope you are able to find more recipes here that you enjoy!