Malted “Forever” Brownies

Season: All | Active Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, plus time to cool and 1 hour for chilling | Difficulty: 2 (Easy)

I didn’t have a go-to brownie recipe before writing this book, and since they’re such an oft-requested, universally loved treat, I set out to develop one. This felt like a simple task since brownies, almost by definition, are easy to make, but I botched a lot of batches. It was the chewiness that eluded me, and because I was determined to keep these hand-makeable and weeknight-friendly, I didn’t want to pull out any crazy stops. After much tweaking—and realizing that chilling them is an essential step—this is the winning formula. I call them my “forever” brownies, since I don’t think I’ll make any other brownie recipe again.

Makes 16 brownies

Special Equipment: 8 × 8-inch pan (preferably metal) ①

Butter for the pan

¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (0.7 oz / 20g)

5 ounces (142g) semisweet chocolate (preferably 64 to 68% cacao), coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 oz / 85g), cut into pieces

¼ cup neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed (2 oz / 56g)

½ cup granulated sugar (3.5 oz / 100g)

½ cup packed dark brown sugar (3.5 oz / 100g)

1 large egg (1.8 oz / 50g)

2 large egg yolks (1.1 oz / 32g)

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup all-purpose flour (3.5 oz / 100g)

2 tablespoons malted milk powder ② (0.63 oz / 18g) (optional)

1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (0.11 oz / 3g)

6 ounces (170g) milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (1 cup)

Preheat the oven and prepare the pan: Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 × 8-inch pan ③ with 2 sheets of foil, crossing one over the other and pressing the foil into the corners and up the sides. Lightly butter the foil and set aside.

Bloom the cocoa: In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and ¼ cup boiling water (4 oz / 113g) until smooth (this will bring out the flavor of the cocoa).

Melt the chocolate, butter, and oil: Add the semisweet chocolate, butter, and oil to the bowl with the cocoa mixture and set it over a medium saucepan filled with about 1 inch of simmering (not boiling) water (make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water). Warm the mixture gently, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool until lukewarm.

Add the sugars and egg: Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the chocolate mixture. It will look grainy and you might see some of the fat start to separate from the rest of the mixture, which is normal. Add the whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes back together and looks very thick, smooth, and glossy.

Add the dry ingredients: Add the flour, malted milk powder (if using), and salt and whisk slowly until everything is combined, then whisk more vigorously until the batter is very thick, a full 45 seconds.

Fold in the chocolate and bake: Add the milk chocolate to the batter and fold with a flexible spatula to distribute. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading in an even layer all the way to the corners. ④ Bake the brownies until the surface is shiny and puffed and the center is dry to the touch but still soft when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool, chill, and cut: Allow the brownies to cool in the pan until they are no longer hot, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until the bottom of the pan feels cold, about 1 hour longer (this results in a chewier texture). Use the ends of the foil to lift the brownies out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Slice the brownies into 16 squares.


Mint: Omit the malted milk powder and add ½ teaspoon peppermint extract to the batter. Swap in 6 ounces (170g) of chopped Andes Chocolate Mints for the milk chocolate.

Nuts: Add 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans (3.9 oz / 110g) to the batter along with the milk chocolate.

Whole grain: Substitute ¼ cup buckwheat, rye, whole wheat, or spelt flour (1.2 oz / 33g) for ¼ cup of the all-purpose flour (1.2 oz / 33g).

The brownies, stored airtight at room temperature, will keep up to 5 days or can be frozen up to 2 months. Freeze the brownies separated by sheets of parchment paper.

① If you don’t have an 8 x 8-inch pan, double the recipe and bake these in a 13 × 9-inch. If doubling the recipe makes more than you need, freeze the rest!

② Malted milk powder is available in most grocery stores (look for the Carnation brand). If you can’t find it, you can substitute 6 ounces (170g) coarsely chopped malted milk balls (my favorite candy!) for the milk chocolate.

③ Use a glass pan if it’s the only one you’ve got, but note that this will affect the way the brownies bake. Glass takes longer than metal to heat up and cool, which means the brownies will continue to bake once they’re out of the oven and possibly overshoot that medium-rare mark. To avoid possible overbaking, reduce the oven temperature by 25°F and keep a watchful eye.

④ Sprinkle flaky salt on top of the batter prior to baking if you’re a salty dessert person.

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