Fudgy brownies from Cooks Illustrated

These decadent fudgy brownies are a chocolate lover’s dream. They contain half a pound of chocolate and have a shiny, crackly top!

fudgy brownies

Sometimes, when we go to the library, I am disappointed. I tend to wander in the New Releases area and have high hopes of finding a good new novel. Most of the time, I am satisfied with my picks, but there are times when I come out empty-handed and revert back to the classics (I recently re-read George Orwell’s Animal Farm and finally read 1984).

This, however, was not one of those days. On one particular trip to the library, I scored big. I saw a copy of Desserts Illustrated and knew that I’d hit the jackpot. I’ve been a fan of the team that publishes the Cooks Illustrated recipes since they test and re-test recipes dozens of times for the perfect version.

fudgy brownies

It took me a while to flip through the book, since it contained over 500 pages and weighed as much as a small child. I knew that there were dozens of recipes that I wanted to try, so this ended up being a book that I ultimately wound up purchasing.

After browsing all 100+ recipes, I settled on baking the fudge brownies first. I wanted to try something easy right off the bat and a recipe that wouldn’t require too many things to wash afterwards. While Addie was at her voice lesson, I made these brownies and had them cooling by the time she returned.

fudgy brownies

I had high hopes for these brownies, but they were on the dry side.  I baked them for 30 minutes but found them to be too dry. Ideally, these would have baked for closer to 25 minutes.

If you try these, start checking them around the 25 minute mark. You don’t want to over bake these or else they will turn out to be more cake-like and and dry.

Husband’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Fudgy brownies from Cooks Illustrated

These decadent brownies are a chocolate lover's dream - they are fudgy and have a beautiful crackly top.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bars, Brownies
Servings: 16
Author: Eva Bakes


  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped finely
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped finely (I substituted with additional bittersweet chocolate)
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • Preheat your oven to 350℉. Grease and line a 8"x8" square pan and set aside.
  • In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, add the chopped chocolate. Microwave for about 45 seconds and stir. Add in the butter pieces and heat in 30-second increments until fully melted.
  • Add in the cocoa powder and mix well. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add in the melted chocolate and mix well.
  • Fold in the flour until no dry streaks remain (do not over mix the batter).
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan and bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Do not over bake.
  • Allow the brownies to cool in the pan, about 2 hours.
  • Slice and serve.


Leftover brownies should be stored, covered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.
Source: Desserts Illustrated

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