It’s no secret that I’m a lover of baked goods. Cookies and brownies to be specific. And, when I’m not working on our home or out thrifting for my favorite home decor, I’m probably in the kitchen baking. I recently shared some of my go-to favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes I’ve found on Pinterest. Today, I’m sharing my quest to find the perfect brownie recipe and one unlikely recipe that may just be a new favorite!
Favorite brownie recipes
While I’ve nailed down a few go-to favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, I don’t have a favorite brownie recipe in my repertoire. To tell you the truth, when I’m craving something chewy and chocolate, I usually just reach for the Ghirardelli dark chocolate or triple chocolate box mix. Is that crazy?!
When I worked in residential design, the owner I worked for would whip up a batch every now and again and they were TO DIE for. Perfectly underbaked and gooeyness perfection!
I’ve decided though it’s time for me to find a from-scratch recipe that I can make and move beyond the box mix.
The quest to find the perfect brownie recipe
Better than Box!
The first brownie recipe I tried is from Tessa over at Handle the Heat. I had saved her link on Instagram one day when it popped up in my feed and made a note to try them one day. What sold me on this recipe though was the pro tip Tessa listed stating “better than box and almost as easy!”
This brownie recipe also has all my favorite tricks I’ve come to love about great chocolate chip cookie recipes. An added extra egg yolk for richness and cornstarch to help with the texture. This recipe has tons of promise and if not for my user errors, they may have turned out to be perfect!
I pulled out all the ingredients I needed and was all ready to get started. I got distracted though and added 3 whole eggs instead of 2 and an extra egg yolk. No worries I thought! I’ll just double the batch! Who doesn’t want a double batch of brownies?
Well, that was my first mistake. I should have just scratched the melted butter, sugar, and eggs and gave it another go. But I pressed on.
Which led me two my second mistake. I had just enough vegetable oil to make one batch but when I doubled the recipe, I came up 1/4 cup short. Mistake number two involved me substituting extra virgin olive oil to make up for the 1/4 cup I was missing, Maybe not a huge deal but I did notice the batter had a bit of a fruity taste from it.
Mistake number 3 was when I decide to bake the double batch as one instead of dividing it in half. Really, Deanna?
Needless to say these needed a LOT of extra time in the oven, the edges got way too done, and the middle was still pretty raw.
I’m not ruling this recipe out though and will give it another go. The batter tasted AMAZING and I have high hopes for this one! I mean, I can’t blame the brownies for MY mistakes, can I?
Tessa recommends baking these brownies in an 8×8 inch metal pan lined with aluminum foil. I followed this suggestion but I may change this up next time. I know, I know. Didn’t I learn from my previous mistakes?? Well, maybe. I’ve never really liked lining my pans with parchment or foil and have had good results regardless so I may omit this the second time around. I also prefer my rectangular glass baking dish for brownies and may just heed her warning on baking time with this.
Fudgy and rich
Chrissy Teigen is a damn good cook. I’ve recently fell hard for her banana bread recipe and have made it 3 times so far in the last few months.
So when I came across her recipe for fudgy pecan brownies, I bookmarked that pin and made a note to make the recipe asap!
This recipe was pretty miraculous. You start off by melting the butter and chocolate together in the microwave. Next, you whisk in the sugar, salt, vanilla, and espresso. You also add the eggs in at this point and here’s where the magic happens. The batter goes from this thin, runny chocolate to a thick, fudge-like consistency when you add the eggs. I got super excited when this happened!
Lastly, you mix in the flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. The recipe calls for pecans at this stage too but I omitted them. No need for nuts in my ooey-gooey, fudgy brownies!
So, I totally failed Chrissy on this. You would have thought I would have learned from my earlier mistakes but I had not. I baked these guys in my trusty glass baking dish that is slightly smaller than the recommended 9×13 inch pan. AND I committed the ultimate cardinal sin and overbooked them!
Oh the shame!
Again, I didn’t do this recipe justice and will try to make them again one day. The one thing I will say is I’m not sure I’m a fan of the espresso in the brownies. Normally I don’t mind it and love what it adds to a recipe. But with brownies, I’m a bit of a purist and it just wasn’t what I was looking for. So if I do make them again, I will probably omit this ingredient. Blasphemy, I know!
High protein, quick and easy bites
I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I discovered it earlier this year on Well + Good’s Instagram and can’t stop making them. They are super easy to make, do not require baking, and have very few ingredients!
These high protein, brownie batter bites are a little unconventional, and reading through the list of ingredients, it sounds like it won’t work. But it does! These sneaky little bites are better for you than the traditional brownie recipe and pack in a bunch of protein. All while being disguised as a bit of delicious brownie batter in dough form!
I doubled the batch last time I made these and didn’t regret it! Try these out next time you’re craving a brownie and looking for a healthier alternative! I promise you won’t regret it!
An unconventional favorite
I kept seeing rave reviews on Instagram for this next brownie recipe and quite a few people seemed to deem it a favorite. I saved it for future reference and decided today was the day to give it a go.
Sweet Laurel is known for her delicious bakes that are grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Everything is Paleo, some are vegan, and others raw. Taking the guilt out of craving things you love and giving you better options to indulge in!
I haven’t tried any of her bakes but after seeing these brownies and having such success with the high protein bites, I decided to see what the hype was all about.
I think I may have found my favorite brownie recipe yet!
Mixing this batch up I wasn’t so sure. Some of the ingredients are not your traditional brownie recipe ingredients.
It calls for 2 cups of almond butter and I used Justine’s Almond Butter for this batch. I sometimes think it can be a bit drier and harder to work with than some of the other butters. You really have to put some muscle into it to get it to mix.
Next comes maple syrup to sweeten the mix up. Cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips follow.
Giving it all a good stir, it started to resemble the brownie batters I’m familiar with but I was still a bit skeptical.
When they came out of the oven I was sure I over baked them or didn’t bake them enough but I left them alone to cool.
When I cut them up after dinner I realized the texture was just PERFECT! None of the crackly top the first two recipes had that I don’t actually love. Just perfectly fudgy and ooey-gooey through and through.
I baked these in my 8×8 inch metal pan but I didn’t line it with parchment as suggested and just used a bit of nonstick spray. I had zero issues removing them from the pan.
These are by far my favorite of the day and you can see a bit of the almond butter swirled throughout in the photo below. Perfection! I can’t wait for you to try them out for yourself! Just try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting!
Finding the ultimate recipe for brownie perfection
Who knew an unconventional brownie recipe would become such a favorite! While I’m head of heels for the almond butter version from Sweet Laural, you can never have too many great brownie recipes in your arsenal!
So the quest continues for additional favorites and I’ll be sure to share any standouts here so you can try them out for yourself!
Do you have a favorite brownie recipe I need to try? Let me know in the comments below!