Too Many Add-Ins Could Actually Ruin Your Brownies

It's hard to argue with a pan of fresh-baked brownies. Something about the crackly crust containing the perfectly warm, fudgy batter makes them the perfect bit of decadent dessert. And yet, these delicious treats can be overdone. Brownies are so simple that it's tempting to want to plus them up a bit, and while adding an ingredient to add some extra sweetness or texture can improve the overall experience, it's easy to over-complicate and overwhelm the simple chocolate goodness when you let yourself get carried away.

At the end of the day, brownies are meant to showcase the rich flavors of chocolate in a sweet and indulgent form. While you may be able to get away with mixing a lot of complicated add-ins into something like a filled cupcake, brownies are best when left rather simply. It is best to pick one or two ingredients that complement each other for your recipe and stick with what works, while leaving the chocolate as the star of the show.

Choosing your extra brownie ingredients wisely

While an aggressively loaded brownie may be off-putting, there are some tried and true mix-ins that will usually work to elevate your brownies to a new level. Some classics include chocolate chips, cream cheese, peanut butter, and nuts. However, even these may need some experimentation to be perfected. Not only do you need to get the ratio just right to achieve the right balance of flavors, but you may also need to adapt your recipe to accommodate the addition of new ingredients.

The most important thing to take into consideration when adding mix-ins to baked goods is the moisture content. While nuts can add some savory saltiness to brownies, they can also lead to a drier texture in the finished product if you don't adjust the recipe while moist ingredients like fruit, cream cheese, or peanut butter may increase baking time. Once again, this means that adding multiple ingredients to a recipe could overcomplicate it and lead to uneven or undesirable textures in your brownies. Sometimes it is best to just keep things simple.