Why This Recipe Works

Chewy, fudgy, ultrachocolaty brownies take very little work for an immensely satisfying reward. Could we make decadent brownies without ingredients like butter and eggs? Happily, we found we could whip up a batch of fudgy vegan brownies just as easily as we do conventional ones. Neutral-flavored vegetable oil was a quick swap for the butter. We typically don’t add chemical leavener to a fudgy brownie; however, we found that a small amount of baking powder gave our brownies the perfect amount of lift and structure—without the need for a replacement for the eggs. For sinfully rich brownies, we used three forms of chocolate. We whisked chopped unsweetened chocolate for intensity and cocoa powder for added complexity into boiling water, the heat of which unlocked their flavor compounds. Stirring chocolate chips into the batter created pockets of gooey goodness.

Makes 24 brownies

Not all semisweet chocolate chips are vegan, so check ingredient lists carefully. It’s important to let the brownies cool thoroughly before cutting. If you use a glass baking dish, let the brownies cool for 10 minutes and then remove them from the dish. (The superior heat retention of glass can lead to overbaking.) For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a full kettle of water to a boil and then measure out the desired amount.

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder   
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
¾ cup (2¼ ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
2½ cups (17½ ounces) organic sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup (3 ounces) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9‐inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk boiling water, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder, if using, in large bowl until well combined and chocolate is melted. Whisk in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Using rubber spatula, stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture until combined; fold in chocolate chips.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Let brownies cool in pan on wire rack for 2 hours.

4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve. (Brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.)

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