Drum roll please….
Touted as Oprah’s ‘favorite brownie’…rated as ‘Best Brownie‘ by America’s Test Kitchen…more mouthwatering than George Clooney in a suit at the Oscars…
First up, the famed Baked Brownie, adapted from the geniuses behind Baked: New Frontiers In Baking
And the underdog…
Claim to fame: 4 star rating on the web and a starring spot in Cooking Light Magazine’s top 16 chocolate desserts of all time.
I’ve been wanting to try out the Baked Brownie since November when I first got my hands on Baked. I mean, if Oprah says its the best….
But really, after I made these, o geeezzz.. they really are the BEST. Best flavor, texture, chocolate-iness, best with ice-cream, best eaten after 2am.. at 2pm…dangerously good!
But then, halfway through baking these delicious bars I got to the part of the recipe that calls for 5 eggs. 5 eggs! That’s why they are so freaking amazing and moist. And the butter! And the melted chocolate! Just with those ingredients alone you know you’re going to get a sinfully delicious brownie.
That’s what got me thinking. I knew these were going to be a hit, but what if I could find another recipe that was just as delicious… with half the calories and a quarter of the fat? With all of the baked goods circling through my house I really wanted to find a lower cal option that would satisfy just as much as the Baked Brownie.
And I did! I admit that you really can’t beat the consistency of the Baked brownie… super rich and so moist with the perfect amount of fudgy-ness. But the Cooking Light brownie had the exact same DELICIOUS flavor. They were still moist without the five eggs and were just as addicting as the Baked Brownie. I had my brothers try out both of the brownies and they honestly couldn’t decide which they liked better. So if they loved both of these equally I’m only giving them the lighter version from now on.
For special occasions and random saturday night sugar cravings, the Baked Brownie is definitely the BEST. But the Cooking Light brownie is such a close second that its going to be my new go-to brownie recipe for sure. For half the calories and a quarter of the fat you really can’t beat the Cooking Light Classic Fudge Brownie.
The Baked Brownie might have all the looks, but the Cooking Light’s got the whole package!
Here’s the recipes, winning brownie first!
Classic Fudge Brownie
Yields 20 brownies
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine (altered the recipe to substitute semisweet for bittersweet chocolate and omitted the walnuts)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks, divided
- 1/3 cup fat-free milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add milk mixture, 1/2 cup chocolate, and 1/4 cup nuts to flour mixture; stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts.
- Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 20 pieces.
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (I slightly altered the recipe to substitute semisweet chocolate for bittersweet)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13 inch glass or metal baking pan.
- Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
- Put chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large heat proof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.
- Turn off heat but keep bowl over water and add sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove from stove. Let cool to room temperature.
- Add 3 eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat batter.
- Sprinkle flour mixture over chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold the flour into the chocolate until just a little bit of flour is visible.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.