287: Cooking Light’s Fudgy Brownies

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Readers of this blog know how much I love brownies. I even did a brownie taste test, after all. So, when Cooking Light did a brownie makeover, I decided to give the recipe a chance. Their Fudgy Brownies made an 8×8 pan of brownies, so it wouldn’t be an overwhelming amount of food when I still had to play recipe catch-up for the month.

Notable things about this recipe: it called for both dark chocolate and cocoa powder, took an egg plus 2 egg yolks, and included milk. I’d never made a brownie recipe that took milk before. You melt together butter and chocolate (which I did in the microwave), add sugar and other liquid ingredients, and mix in dry ingredients until just moistened. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake for 20 minutes. I think I had to bake mine a few minutes longer (I think I poured in extra milk on accident) until the toothpick came out a little sticky, which is how I know I like my brownies.

cooking light's fudgy brownies
Fudgy Brownies

These were good brownies. Slightly underbaked as all good brownies are, they were moist. These brownies were very rich from the high cocoa and chocolate content. There was no leavening in these, so they were dense rather than cakey.

How do they compare to other brownie recipes? Taste-wise, this is an intermediate step between Hershey’s Best Brownies and Best Cocoa Brownies [links to my reviews of them]. Cooking Light Fudgy Brownies are not as sweet as the Hershey’s brownies, nor quite as dark or rich as Best Cocoa Brownies (from what I recall of the two times I made the recipe).

Are Cooking Light’s Fudgy Brownies light? Sure, if you compare them to the rich, butter-laden Best Cocoa Brownies. Fudgy Brownies have much less butter than the Best Cocoa Brownies, as well as a tiny bit less sugar; however, they do have more flour. I don’t think they’re particularly lighter than the Hershey’s brownies, though. The recipe for Fudgy Brownies says that they have 147 calories per square; Hershey’s Best Brownies (in a 9×9 pan) says 135 for a comparably-sized square. [I always make the Hershey’s recipe in a 9×13 pan but it’s about the same.] Fudgy Brownies only has a little less fat (less butter but chocolate contains fat) than the Hershey’s, and it has both more cocoa and more flour than the Hershey’s Brownies. It’s nice to see that my standby recipe is about the same calorie-wise as the “light” brownies.

These Fudgy Brownies are good brownies, and the fact that they’re “light” (or from Cooking Light) shouldn’t scare you away. They’re moist, not too sweet, rich but not too rich. I don’t feel like I’m eating a “light” brownie when I eat one – and that’s because they’re similar enough to my usual Hershey’s brownies recipe. I think this is a good compromise recipe, as the flavor falls between the favorites of my taste test – richer than Hershey’s, but not as dark as Best Cocoa Brownies. I won’t give up either of those recipes, but I’ll make this recipe again sometime (but I’ll probably just use 1 egg in place of the 2 egg yolks, for simplicity). You should give it a try too.

If you want a not-light recipe with chocolate chips, I highly recommend you give these Fudge Brownies a try.

Cooking Light's Fudgy Brownies
adapted from Cooking Light
Servings: 16
Author: Leona Konkel
  • 1 cup flour (4.5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks (substitute 1 additional egg if desired)
  • 1 egg
  1. Melt butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, microwaving in 15 second bursts and stirring after each one, until chocolate is smooth. If mixture is too hot to touch, set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Stir in sugar, milk, and vanilla. Add egg and egg yolks, whisking to combine. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt, mixing until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 inch baking pan. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs stuck to it.


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