As renowned chocolatier Michael Rechiutti says, "There's two different types of brownie people in the world: the cakey brownie people and the fudgie brownie people." But whether they're fudgy or cake-like, warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or eaten straight from the pan, brownies rarely disappoint. That's because they're so simple. In fact, it's hard to find an easier or more forgiving dessert. Most brownie recipes come together in under 20 minutes with just a few ingredients and don't even require an electric mixer. Food & Wine's guide to brownies has the basics covered (see: your new go-to fudge brownie recipe) plus brownie recipes with a twist—because while brownies don't need any additions, we never say no to bourbon, bacon or extra chocolate.

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Air Fryer Brownies
Rating: Unrated 1
With the help of an air fryer, these gooey, fudgy brownies—baked in ramekins and reminiscent of a molten chocolate cake—are less than an hour away. Adding espresso powder to the batter helps bring out the chocolate flavor, as does the crunchy sea salt garnish at the end. Serve them on their own, or with your favorite ice cream. Better yet, top them with berries, whipped cream, chopped nuts or caramel sauce to make a brownie sundae.
These Passover-Friendly (and Gluten-Free!) Brownies Are Coconut Bliss
Coconut pulls double duty in this Passover dessert that you'll want to bake all year.
Coconut Macaroon Brownies
Rating: Unrated 9
Super-rich, fudgy brownies meet chewy, sweet macaroons in this gorgeous mash-up of two crowd-pleasing desserts. Using coconut flour instead of wheat flour, Jake Cohen created a brownie with a consistency that’s simultaneously tender and dense, while also keeping the brownies gluten-free and kosher for Passover. Then, in an homage to the canned Manischewitz macaroons he grew up eating at his own family’s Passover Seder, Cohen tops the coconut flour brownies with a layer of well-salted coconut macaroon to yield an eye-catching hybrid dessert that’s the best of all worlds: chewy, crunchy, and not too sweet. A cup of coconut oil may be used in place of butter, if you'd like to make the dessert pareve.
Cannabis-Infused Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies
Editor’s Note: This recipe has been modified from the version developed by Anya Von Bremzen to include cannabis-infused butter in addition to regular butter. You’ll find the original non-cannabis recipe here. These incredible brownies are filled with a layer of gooey salted caramel which can be made two weeks in advance. Note: As cannabis regulation continues to evolve across the United States and around the world, please consult your local laws.
Yes, You Should Be Pouring Caramel on Your Brownies
Whether you eat these brownies on their own or covered with ice cream, your world will be forever changed.
Salted Caramel Brownies
Put down that box of store-bought mix—the perfect pan of fudgy, gooey, intensely chocolate brownies is just a few steps away. Of course, being drenched in buttery salted caramel sauce doesn’t hurt, but it’s what’s going on inside these brownies that makes all the difference.First, I start with melted chocolate in the batter which makes a moist and gooey brownie. (Recipes that rely on cocoa powder yield a more cake-like brownie.) I like to use unsweetened chocolate because it makes it easier to control the amount of sugar in the recipe overall. Sugar is important in brownies not just for sweetness—the just-right amount of sugar also affects the texture, making a softer and more tender chocolate treat.Another key reason these brownies are dense instead of cake-like is that there are no chemical leaveners (i.e. baking powder), just eggs. Here’s a tip: if you want an even fudgier brownie, replace one of the eggs with two egg yolks. Regardless of how many eggs you use, be sure that the melted chocolate isn’t too hot when you add it to the whisked eggs and sugar so that you don’t scramble the eggs. You want the chocolate just warm enough to dissolve the sugar.Use the best chocolate you can since it’s the main ingredient. I like to splurge on good-quality bars such as Ghirardelli and chop them myself; chocolate chips are often coated with ingredients to keep them from sticking together, which can affect the finished texture of the brownies. The hefty amount of vanilla (a whole tablespoon!) intensifies the flavor of the chocolate.For the richest flavor, cook the caramel until it’s deep amber in color. The corn syrup in the caramel actually helps to keep the caramel from burning too quickly as it cooks. The dark caramel adds a more complex layer of sweetness, and the salt balances everything so that the caramel doesn’t overpower the brownies.Take care not to overbake these brownies; it’s OK if a few moist crumbs cling to the toothpick when you test them for doneness. In the recipe, I counsel you to let these guys cool completely before drenching them with caramel sauce, but I’m definitely guilty of cutting them while they’re still warm and covering them in caramel sauce. Trust me—they’re just as delicious, and pulling this trick out of your hat for eager guests is a move they won’t soon forget.

More Brownies

Skillet Brownies on the Grill
These brownies take on a deliciously smoky flavor on the grill from "baking" in a skillet set over hot coals. After you're done grilling dinner, prepare to make brownies on the grill by adding a few more lumps of charcoal to maintain a grill temperature of around 350°F. Pull the skillet brownies when they're still a bit moist, but not wet, in the middle for an fudgy texture in the center and smoky brownie "bark" around the edges. (You can also make them in an oven: Preheat to 350°F, then bake for around 35 minutes.) Chef Valerie Gordon (of Valerie Confections in Los Angeles), who shared her recipe for this grill-baked dessert, likes to make it in a lavishly buttered cast-iron skillet using the ambient heat of a Big Green Egg. Top them with ice cream for a showstopping dessert for your next cookout.
Chewy Black Licorice Chocolate Brownies
Rating: Unrated 1
Top Chef judge Gail Simmons’s father, Ivor, comes from a small town in South Africa. Although his background is English and Eastern European, he was raised in a region with strong Dutch influences. One Dutch passion he passed down to his daughter is a love of black licorice, specifically a salty, chewy variety. Whenever their family visited his homeland, Ivor stocked up on dubbel zout (double salt)—coins of salted black licorice about the size of a quarter. Simmons devoured them, relishing the savory, saline exterior that gave way to the barely sweet, chewy center. Her father’s other sweet vice, which she also inherited, is chocolate. Not white, not milk, but the pure bittersweet kind. This deeply dark-chocolaty brownie is her homage to him. It has a sophisticated touch of salt, plus notes of molasses and anise from black licorice, and the combo makes a brilliant treat that is irresistibly chewy and not too sweet. Slideshow: More Brownie Recipes