The One Ingredient You Probably Never Thought To Add To Brownies

For chocolate lovers, one of the best desserts out there is a decadent, fudgy brownie. For those who are trying to make the perfect brownie, there are tips from Alton Brown or Giada De Laurentiis to get those brownies just right.

Besides deliciousness, another benefit of brownies is their versatility. There's a lot you can add to brownies, whether that means throwing in an extra handful of chocolate chips in a boxed brownie mix, or adding marshmallows and almonds to make delicious rocky road brownies, which have the soft, pillowy texture from the marshmallows and crunch from nuts. But there's one ingredient that likely hasn't crossed your mind with rich, chocolate brownies: cheddar cheese.

Food52 presents a recipe for brownies with cheddar by Katie Quinn, who says she adds pieces of Montgomery's Cheddar to the brownie batter. She also reports that she enjoys topping brownies with cheddar brittle. Though this combination might be a surprise, Lifehacker gave this brownie their stamp of approval.

Why add cheddar to your brownies?

For Food52, Quinn makes a compelling case for adding cheddar to brownies, saying that "the cheddar chunks were almost like white chocolate bits."

Here's how Lifehacker described the brownies, "The bits of salty, tangy cheddar inside the batter get soft and slightly chewy and — as promised — a little caramelized, almost like a salty, cheesy fudge; the cheese on top gets a little crisp, offering a nice textural counterpoint."

Ultimately, it's about adding more flavors and elevating a classic chocolate brownie. We have to admit, these cheesy brownies sound pretty enticing, and we'll be adding them on our list of recipes to try. Quinn recommends using a mature cheddar cheese, and Lifehacker guesses that gouda or Norweigan brown cheese would have a similar effect.

But if you're not feeling the cheese and chocolate combo, there are still more brownie recipes to explore, and other ingredients that you might not immediately think to add to brownies — for example, black beans, for a healthier twist on the fudgy treat.