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Brownies are a great snack or dessert food. Brownies are fairly easy to make and only take a few simple ingredients mixed together to feed a crowd, or just your hungry family.
Most people who bake often wonder if there are better ways to make the recipes they’ve been using over time.
If you are gathering the ingredients together to make brownies, you may wonder if brownies need milk.
But, with that being said, you can actually replace the water measurement in your recipe with the same measurement of milk.
Adding melted butter instead of oil with that milk, and adding one extra egg to your brownie mix will make your brownies more like cake.
This simple swap would be perfect for those who don’t like the chewy texture of traditional brownies. Milk contains more fat and flavor than water so even a boxed brownie mix will taste more like homemade if you substitute the water for milk.
If the recipe doesn’t call for any other liquid, the eggs are most likely there for the moisture in the brownie recipe. In that case, you can confidently replace the eggs with yogurt or milk. Eggs are high in protein and fat as is milk.
If the egg in the recipe is added for an additional richness, replace it with milk powder or cream. Milk powder will add richness to the brownie mix without the extra liquid.
Milk powder or powdered milk should not be confused with malted milk.
Milk powder happens when you evaporate all the liquid out of milk. The low moisture content of milk powder means it can sit on a shelf in your pantry for over a year and be ready to go when you need it.
Milk powder will add a layer of richness to your brownies.
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How Can You Tell When Brownies Are Finished Baking?
In addition to ingredient proportions, baking time greatly affects the consistency of a brownie, so it’s important to watch your brownies closely as they are baking.
Fudgy brownies baked three minutes too short can be unpleasantly gooey; chewy brownies baked three minutes too long become tough and dry. It is a good idea to invest in a food thermometer to help with ensuring consistent results.
Brownies will cook more quickly in metal pans than in glass, which is what accounts for the wide time windows in the recipes. If you’re using metal, cooking times will be on the short side.
If you are baking brownies in Pyrex or other glass baking dishes the baking time will be longer.
For all these recipes, and regardless of the pan you’re using, start testing for doneness after 20 minutes of baking.
First, press your fingers gently into the center of the pan. If the brownie feels like it’s just setting, insert a toothpick near the center. The pick will probably be wet, but this early testing is good for comparison’s sake. Continue baking for 5 to 8 minutes and then insert the toothpick again near the center.
Brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs still clinging. It’s okay for the pick to look moist, but if you see wet batter, keep on baking.
Start testing for doneness before the recipe says to. Press gently in the center of the pan of brownies. The brownie should feel like it has just set, then insert a toothpick to be sure.
You should lean toward underdone brownies rather than overdone brownies.
Lining the pan of brownies with parchment paper before pouring in the batter makes it easier to take the brownies out of the pan after they are baked.
Are There Many Different Textures Of Brownies?
Brownie texture is definitely a personal thing. Some people like a chewy textured brownie, some people like a cakey textured brownie, and some prefer a fudge textured brownie.
Because of the varied measurements of the basic brownie ingredients of sugar, flour, butter, chocolate and a liquid, each brownie recipe essentially is its own scientific experiment of chemical reactions between various ingredients based on the amounts added to the mix which becomes brownies.
People sometimes even add more ingredients to the basic brownie recipe such as nuts, chocolate chips, or chocolate candy.
There are basically three different textures of brownies. Those are cakey, chewy, and fudgy. Depending on how you like your brownies to come out will determine if you need to alter the ingredients or the total cook time.
A fudgy brownie is dense, with a moist, intensely chocolatey interior. It is somewhere between a rich truffle torte and a piece of fudge.
You can make brownies with either bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate. You could even combine the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate to end with an intense chocolate packed flavor.
You can add an egg yolk to contribute extra fudgy richness without greasiness. Because the fudgy brownie batter is quite dense, it’s best to stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to ensure a smooth, even texture.
A chewy brownie is moist, but not quite as gooey as a fudgy one. The chewiness seems to come from a couple of different factors.
It will come from more all-purpose flour, whose proteins provide “bite”, and whole eggs, whose whites give structure and help the brownies to set.
A cakey brownie has a moist crumb and a slightly fluffy interior. The batter contains less butter than the other recipes, and you can include milk and a little corn syrup for moistness.
Milk and corn syrup are also great ways to extend a brownie’s shelf life. It’s good not to use too much flour (even less than for most cakes), and while brownies don’t usually use chemical leavens, try adding some baking powder to keep the cakey texture of this brownie.
When mixing cakey texture brownies, try using a bit of a cake baking technique. Cream the butter and sugar first, rather than melting the butter, and then whisking the batter to aerate the mixture and get a light crumb.
The cakey brownie improves when you let it sit at least one or even two days after you bake it.