These Condensed Milk Brownies are stick to your teeth fudgy.
They are also very rich so a little goes a long way. My secret for ultra-rich and fudgy brownies is sweetened condensed milk.
Growing up I only ever ate boxed brownies, and lets be honest they are pretty good. I wanted to create a recipe that made equally delicious brownies without all of the extra additives.
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Using both melted chocolate and cocoa powder, plus a minimal amount of flour, and adding sweetened condensed milk makes these brownies unbelievably moist and fudgy.
Do you really love brownies? Check out these Nutella Brownies. They are the perfect combination of hazelnut and chocolate!
Where did brownies come from?
According to brownies.com: There are three theories about the invention of brownies.
- A chef accidentally added melted chocolate into biscuit dough.
- A cook forgot to add flour to the batter when baking cake.
- The most popular theory: A housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat. It was said that she was baking for guests and decided to serve these “flattened” cakes to them.
Sweetened Condensed Milk: Sweetened condensed milk adds additional fat, sweetness, and moisture. Keeping these brownies moist and fudgy.
What if you don’t have sweetened condensed milk? You can make your own at home with just sugar and milk. Double this recipe for sweetened condensed milk from Bigger Bolder Baking to ensure you have enough for the brownies.
Unsalted Butter: Using butter instead of oil adds a rich buttery flavor.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet chocolate gives the best balance between bitter chocolate flavor and sweetness. You could also use milk chocolate for a sweeter brownie.
Brown and White Sugar: Both brown and white sugar are used. Brown sugar adds moisture along with some delicious caramel notes. White sugar ensures a crunch shiny crust on top.
Whole Large Eggs + an Extra Egg Yolk: Eggs act as a binding agent and also add structure and leavening. There are no chemical leaveners in these brownies ensuring that they remain thick and fudgy rather than cakey. The extra fat from the additional egg yolk adds extra richness to the brownie.
Vanilla Extract: Make sure to use pure vanilla extract not imitation vanilla extract.
All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is the perfect flour for these brownies. There isn’t much flour in these brownies and all-purpose flour adds just enough structure. When adding the flour you want to be careful to not over-mix the batter. Over-mixing creates gluten which will develop into a tougher brownie.
Dutch Process Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder has more cocoa solids and therefore more chocolate flavor than any other type of chocolate. By adding just a little cocoa powder we are able to bump up the chocolate flavor without drying out the brownies. You could use regular cocoa powder but I prefer the smooth flavor and dark color of dutch process cocoa powder. This is my favorite dutch process cocoa powder.
Kosher Salt: Just a little bit of salt enhances the chocolate flavor and sweetness.
Optional add-in ingredients
Try adding your favorite combination of add-ins. The amount of add-ins you add should total about one cup.
- chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, milk, white etc.)
- crushed nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc)
- dried fruits (dates, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, raisins)
- shredded coconut
- chopped candy (M&Ms, Snickers, Reeses, Butterfinger, Peppermints, Heath etc.)
- chopped marshmallows
- peanut butter
- crushed pretzels or potato chips
- 9×9 metal baking pan
- Medium saucepan
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Mixing bowl: These are my favorite mixing bowls. They come in a huge range of sizes, nest together for easy storage, and are easy to clean.
- A whisk
- A rubber spatula This one is my favorite. It is comfortable to hold and isn’t too floppy.
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Kitchen Scale: For the most accurate measurements, which are especially important when baking, use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients.
- Large serrated knife: A large serrated knife makes cutting even clean pieces much easier.
Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper allowing the ends to extend over two of the sides and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position an oven rack at the top of the oven.
Melt the condensed milk and butter together in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate chips have melted. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the brown sugar, sugar, eggs, and egg yolk on medium-high speed until lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with very moist crumbs clinging to it. Remember the brownies will continue to bake as they cool.
Cool completely before using the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and cutting.
What is the difference between cakey and fudgy brownies?
Cakey brownies are light and fluffy with a texture similar to cake. Fudgy brownies are moist, dense, and gooey, with a texture just slightly lighter than fudge.
What makes brownies fudgy vs cakey?
Fudgy brownies have a higher fat to flour ratio. The more flour in a brownie recipe the cakier the brownie. The addition of chemical leaveners will also produce a lighter fluffier brownie.
Melting the butter rather than creaming it together with the sugar helps to incorporate less air into the batter.
There are a few additions to this recipe that also help ensure a moist fudgy brownie.
Using sweetened condensed milk adds additional fat, sweetness, and moisture. Keeping these brownies moist and fudgy.
Adding brown sugar in addition to the white sugar adds moisture along with some delicious caramel notes.
The extra fat from the additional egg yolk also adds extra richness to the brownie.
How to melt chocolate with sweetened condensed milk
If you have ever made two ingredient fudge by melting together sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips you are well on your way to making these amazing gooey brownies.
It is very easy to burn chocolate so you want to be careful when melting it. The easiest way is to heat the butter and condensed milk together until they just start to simmer. Then remove the pan from the heat and add your chocolate. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted.
What type of pan should you use?
Light-colored metal pans make the best brownies. Glass or dark-colored metal pans heat unecenly and can cause the edges to overbake or even burn.
If a glass or dark pan is all you have, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F and keep an eye on the brownies as they bake.
Always grease the pan thoroughly with shortening, softened butter, or cooking spray. To make brownie removal easy, after greasing the pan, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut the pieces longer than the pan so that the sides hang over the edge of the pan creating a sling. Grease the lining to make sure it will easily peel away from the brownies.
If your like me and want a visual reference for how to line your pan, check out this video from Everyday Food.
The brownie toothpick test
Baking times for all recipes are only suggestions. The actual baking time will vary depending upon your oven. It is helpful to know your oven and worth purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer.
Oven temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees plus or minus. This recipe recommends a baking time of 45-50 minutes But depending upon the accuracy of your oven you may want to start checking the brownies after 35 minutes or so.
When condensed milk brownies are done they will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. You should also look for a slight jiggle in the middle of the pan of brownies.
One way to check to see if the brownies are done is to insert a toothpick into the middle of the pan. Below are photos of 3 toothpicks. Each toothpick was inserted at different times.
The first toothpick was inserted after the brownies had been baking for 35 minutes. The batter is still raw.
The second toothpick was inserted after 40 minutes. There is less raw batter and one crumb from the top crust, we are getting closer.
The third toothpick was inserted after 45 minutes. There is even less batter and more crumb on the toothpick. This is when I like to take my brownies out of the oven.
If the toothpick is clean, like the fourth toothpick inserted after 55 minutes, the brownies are overbaked.
Using a digital thermometer to check brownies
The most accurate method for checking brownies is to use a digital thermometer. Brownies must have a temperature higher than 136 degrees Fahrenheit which is the temperature at which bacteria such as salmonella dies.
Brownies won’t set until they are at least 144 degrees Farenheight, so unless you want brownie soup, you need to keep baking until they reach this point.
The optimal temperature for these fudgy hazelnut brownies is 165 degrees Farenheight.
How do you cut brownies smoothly?
For neater slices, allow the brownies to cool for at least an hour before cutting. This will allow the chocolate and fat to set. Use a large serrated knife to easily cut even pieces.
What is the best way to store brownies?
If you are planning to store the brownies rather than eating them right away it is best to wait to cut them until you are ready to eat them. Cutting the brownies exposes them to air causing them to dry out more quickly.
Tightly wrap the brownies in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container.
Brownies should be stored at room temperature and will stay fresh for at least 3-4 days. If you must store them for longer place them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The brownie will have better flavor if you allow it to come back to room temperature before eating it.
For even longer storage brownies can be frozen. Wrap the brownies tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a zip-top bag. Label the bag with the date and contents. Frozen brownies will stay fresh for up to three months. Allow the brownies to thaw at room temperature before eating.
- Use good quality chocolate. It will make a big difference in the flavor of these brownies.
- Use room temperature ingredients. They are easier to incorporate.
- For accuracy, use a kitchen scale and measure ingredients in grams. Weight measurements are more accurate than volume measurements and will give you the most consistent results. This is my favorite kitchen scale because the display pulls out so that is easy to view when measuring in large bowls.
- Do not overbeat the batter once the flour and cocoa powder has been added. Over mixing traps more air creating a lighter less fudgy brownie.
- Bake the brownies on the top rack. They have a very high sugar content and can burn on the bottom if the pan is too close to the heat.
- Err on the side of underbaked brownies rather than overbaked brownies. Brownies will continue to bake even after they have been pulled out of the oven. After they have cooled for about 15 minutes use the ends of the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan and place them on a cooling rack to continue cooling down.
- Do not slice the brownies until they have cooled completely. These brownies can be sticky so allowing them to cool before cutting will create neater slices.
Loved these brownies? Try one of my other desserts
Thanks for Reading!
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