For Chewy Brownies, All You Need Is One Ingredient Addition

That sour cream that's sitting in your fridge — you know, the one you've been reserving for this week's nacho night? Use it to make brownies instead. We're serious. Regardless of whether it's a boxed or homemade mix, adding in some sour cream is a foolproof way to make the absolute chewiest brownies ever to come out of the oven.

Sour cream is cream that has intentionally been soured with the addition of lactic acid bacteria. That is what gives it its signature tangy taste, but it also thickens the cream into an incredibly rich consistency. So while we may be more used to loading it onto baked potatoes or pairing it with other salty foods, sour cream has its place in baking. The key thing it brings is moisture. Too often, bakers worry that their cakes or brownies will turn out dry and crumbly. Thanks to the addition of some sour cream, the batter will remain moist but also keep its essential fudgy consistency which would be lost if standard cream or other liquids were used. 

However, there is a limit to how much sour cream you should actually add. There is a sweet spot where the sour cream provides that extra bit of moisture you need to make those chewy brownies without imparting too much of its characteristic sour tang.

How much sour cream is too much?

There is a reason we associate sour cream with more savory dishes. On its own, it does have that sour tang perfect for pairing with things like salsa, bacon, cheese, and chives. So, while the sour cream does give your brownies that extra moisture and chewiness, be careful how much you add to your mix.

The general rule is that you should use half a cup of sour cream per batch of brownies. This provides just enough on the moisture front, without the unwanted tang infiltrating the otherwise rich, sweet, chocolatey brownies. You can play with this amount if you wish, adding more or reducing it if you feel the need. You'll know you've added too much if the sour cream's natural flavor is present upon first bite and lingers well after you've finished chewing.

Still, it is worth a little experimentation for the outcome. Adding sour cream to your brownie mix is a guarantee that they will turn out chewy. And trust us, you want the chewiest brownies possible. There is simply no other way to enjoy them.