The Dairy Ingredient That Will Make Your Boxed Brownies Extra Chewy

For chocolate lovers, nothing gets the sweet tooth going like the sight of a pan of brownies fresh from the oven, the top shiny and crackled, the edges crisp, the center moist. But it seems like there are two warring camps when it comes to brownies and it applies whether you make them from scratch or prefer the convenience of boxed: Do you like your brownies to be the texture of a dense chocolate cake, or do you want them to be so chewy and rich that they almost resemble fudge?

It's surprisingly easy to adjust any brownie recipe, even a boxed mix, to have it turn out one way or the other. The texture mainly comes down to one thing, which is the flour to fat ratio. That means that by adjusting the level of fat you add to a brownie recipe, you can get results that are fudgier. And if you don't know why recipes even bother offering adjustments for the seemingly mythical people who prefer cakey brownies, then you'll be happy to learn that there's a simple swap that can turn even a boxed brownie mix into the fudgy treats of your dreams. All you need is a dairy ingredient you probably have in your fridge already.

Milk is the key

If you look at the back of a box of brownie mix, the directions usually call for the cook to add three things: water, oil, and eggs. Adjusting these ingredients to make fudgier brownies is as easy as swapping out the water for milk. You can either sub half of the water for milk, or replace it completely with milk for the fudgiest results. Whole milk will give richer results than skim, as it has more fat. But you might not want to use an even fattier milk like heavy cream, as too much fat in the mix can make your brownies oily and crumbly.

There are a few other easy hacks you can try to make chewier boxed brownies. Some people add just one egg to the mix, or add two egg yolks instead of one whole egg. Egg whites have no fat, so using just the yolks results in a fudgier brownie. Then there are tips that deal with the execution of the recipe rather than the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix the brownie batter, as that could introduce excess air, which makes fluffier brownies. You should also be careful not to overcook your brownies, and those who really long for that super chewy, fudgy texture might even consider taking them out of the oven a minute or two early. Try these hacks, and be rewarded with chewier boxed brownies the next time you're in the mood for dessert.