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The 1-Ingredient Upgrade for Fudgier Brownies (It's Already In Your Pantry)

Calling all members of Team Fudgy Brownie... this trick is for you!

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

All brownie lovers have a strong opinion on what makes a perfect brownie. There are proponents of crispy corners, chewy edges, and soft middles. There are super fans of doctored-up boxed brownies with ingredients like wine, nuts, or extra chocolate, and those who swear by classic brownies from scratch.

For me, the perfect brownie is somewhere between cake and fudge, though it should lean more toward fudgy.

Recently, Simply Recipes senior editor Myo Quinn shared with me that a trick for making any brownie recipe fudgier is to swap some of the butter with oil.

Traditionally, butter has been the fat of choice in the baking world for its rich flavor, and what's most used in popular brownie recipes. However, the addition of oil, as suggested by baking experts like Martha Stewart, offers a chewier, denser texture. (Martha's famous chewy brownies call for both butter and oil, and that's where Myo learned this trick from.)

Could this seemingly minor tweak bring me closer to that dreamy, fudgy texture I love in brownies? I set off to find out if this one-ingredient upgrade works.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

Does Adding Oil Actually Yield Fudgier Brownies?

To put this theory to the test, I enlisted the help of the ultimate taste-testers: a group of hungry adults and toddlers fresh off a day of skiing, ready to dive into a special treat.

While I’m a diehard fan of Ghiradelli Double Chocolate boxed brownie mix, I decided for this bake-off to go with a classic recipe from scratch. I went with my mother’s brownie recipe which tends to be a slightly cakier brownie. The recipe is very similar to this classic recipe.

I prepared two batches: one with butter, as the recipe calls for, and another where I substituted half of the butter with canola oil. The idea was to highlight the impact of this one-ingredient tweak on the texture and taste of the brownies.

Without revealing the modification, our group sampled and judged each batch. The batch with butter was slightly taller, suggesting a cakier texture. The oil-enhanced brownies emerged as the clear winner with comments ranging from "rich and moist with crunchier edges" to "undeniably fudgier," showcasing the difference a simple change can make.

Though the testers may have been hungry enough to enjoy a week-old tray of brownies after the day on the slopes, their consensus was clear—the batch with oil was fudgier… and all-around better.

The addition of oil to the brownie mix resulted in a denser and more satisfyingly fudgy texture. Oil adds moisture and density without the water content found in butter, which is roughly 80% fat and 20% water. This water, when baked off, can sometimes lead to a drier texture.

This small adjustment had a big impact, proving that sometimes the best baking secrets are the simplest ones—and they’re probably already in your kitchen.

How To Add Oil to Any Brownie Recipe

If your favorite brownie recipe already calls for both butter and oil, great! These fudgy cosmic brownies do and they are delicious.

For all other brownie recipes, getting the perfect fudgy texture isn't hard. Simply swap out half of the butter in the recipe with any oil you like. For example, if the recipe calls for one stick of butter (that's eight tablespoons), use four tablespoons of butter and four tablespoons of oil.

It can be a neutral oil like canola or vegetable oil or even something more flavorful like coconut oil or olive oil.

By blending the rich flavor of butter with the moisture-enhancing properties of oil, you can whip up brownies that are not only delicious but have that fudgy texture you’re after.

I encourage my fellow bakers to experiment with this one-ingredient upgrade. Whether using a box mix or a cherished family recipe, the combination of a little oil and butter can elevate your brownies to a new level. Happy baking, and may your brownies be ever so fudgy!

<p>Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm</p>

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.