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When I make brownies, I sometimes end up with really hard thin brownies instead of thick fudgy soft brownies.

I bake them the same amount of time, use the same ingredients, and use the same equipment each time.

Are there any reasons why my brownies sometimes end up thin and hard?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You might not be as consistent as you think. See my comments about baking cookies.

One thing that comes to mind is amount of flour, and how (and how much) you're mixing -- but I don't know that those would make it 'thin' necessarily, but it would make them tough if you're over mixing.

It might be a temperature issue, if you're using a solid shortening (eg, butter) rather than a liquid shortening.

Also, although you said you're cooking them for the same amount of time -- you only want brownies to be set on the sides when you take them out of the oven -- they should fail a toothpick test if you want them fudgy. Cooking them until they're 'done' will result in them hardening up as they cool.

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A few tips from personal experience:

  1. Stop cooking your brownies when a toothpick inserted about 3 inches from a corner toward the center comes out clean, not when the center necessarily comes out clean. 2.Make sure your batter is at room temperature before you start baking to promote even cooking.
  2. Make sure you've added enough fat. A good amount of liquid ingredients is: 2 eggs for every 1/2 C oil. A good amount of dry ingredients is 1 C sugar, 1/2 C flour and 1/3 C cocoa and 6 to 10 ounces of chocolate chips depending on how chocolaty you like them.
  3. When your brownies are done (see point #1) rest them away from the oven to promote quick and even cooling.
  4. If you want to increase the moistness of the brownie, you can ice brownies with your favorite chocolate icing. Let your brownies cool for about 5 to 10 minutes, then drop large spoonfuls of your icing on the brownies and let them partially melt for a couple minutes, then come back with a spatula and smooth it out. The icing will not only give you more height, flavor and appearance points, but will also insulate the brownies and some of the richness will soak into the brownies besides just sitting on top.
  5. Mix all your wet ingredients together first and then add your dry ingredients, which don't need to be all combined.
  6. Cook your brownies in the middle of the oven.
  7. Store your brownies covered and in the refrigerator once they are cool.
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Definitely check the expiration dates on your mix/ingredients, but also if the humidity in your area varies greatly this can have a significant impact on the amount of moisture in baked goods. Flour, sugar and salt are all effected by humidity especially if they are not stored in air-tight containers.

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A couple of thoughts ...

1- You are using old ingredients or an expired mix. In particular, if the eggs or baking soda/powder are not fresh, the brownies will be hard and thin.

2- The oven temp could be inconsistent. Hard and thin also indicates overcooking.

BTW, do you ever get thick, cake-like brownies?

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Add more liquid, more fat, or cook them less.

Milk, cream, butter, yogurt, oil, or applesauce will all impart more creaminess.

Try cooking them like you do bread, with a pan/can of steaming water in the bottom of the oven.

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Possibly the pan you are using is too big. Try using a smaller one.

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