Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

Cover recipe- Bon Appetit, Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter & Walnuts: February 2011

I can’t tell you how many people have told me they swooned upon receiving this issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I know I did. The Cocoa Brownies from the cover are completely droolworthy in every sense of the word. How I managed to have my copy for 16 whole hours before making them? One will never know.

Bon Appetit included these Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts in a round-up of delicious chocolate recipes, and most of them sounded cover-worthy. So why did these brownies beat out the others to make the front?

Read below to see what I thought of the results…

Print Print Recipe

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

Yield: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 20 min + chill time

Cook Time: 35 min

Ingredients:

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup walnut pieces

Directions:

1. Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).
3. Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
4. Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Tips:

*I baked my brownies a bit longer than the stated recipe, by about 2 full minutes. I could have pushed it another minute, but didn’t want to take a chance in overbaking them. They turned out delightfully gooey but still set.
*Definitely use the tip of lining the pan with foil or parchment as an overhang. It makes removing the brownies from the pan a snap, and you are able to cut them into perfect square servings.
*Use the very best cocoa you can find. I used Scharffen Berger, but Ghirardelli would work as well. All you taste is the cocoa, and you’ll want to be using the good stuff.
*Because I was afraid they wouldn’t be chocolatey enough, I threw a small handful of milk chocolate chips into the mix with the walnut. They were a great addition.
*The mixing of the recipe by hand is a difficult task. I suggest using a mixer versus a regular whisk. My arms are still feeling the burn 3 days later.
*If you’ve never browned butter before, it is better to underbrown it versus burn it. Just keep an eye out, and your sense of smell. Once it starts emitting a nice nutty aroma, you’re on the right track. Stir continuously for the best results.
*Be sure to add the butter while it is still HOT to the sugar. It’s the only way to get that massive amount of sugar to become less gritty.
*These brownies are every bit as good the day after making, stored at room temperature in an air tight container. They would be perfect for Valentines Day, and take less time to make than running out to WalMart to purchase a box of chocolates.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 brownie
Calories per serving: 199.7
Fat per serving: 12.7g
Saturated Fat per serving: 5.2g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">45.3g
Fiber per serving: 1.9g
Protein per serving: 3.7g
Cholesterol per serving: 45.3mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 20.8g

Source: Bon Appetit, February 2011

The results:

Perfect. In fact, I am so enamored with them that they have become my go-to brownie recipe. It’s easily adaptable and I am looking forward to making them again with little changes, like orange oil, peppermint, candy pieces…you name it!

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight? Yes, yes they do. They were simple to put together, required no effort at all, and I always have the ingredients on hand. Bon Appetit claimes them as the best brownies they’ve ever eaten, but I’m not sure I’d take it that far. They are GREAT, but the best part for me is the flavor/results based on the amount of effort involved. That’s what makes them so wonderful!

Susan found her love of food while working as executive sales & catering director for Mountain Lake Hotel, the home of Dirty Dancing. From there, she got the travel bug and has dined in restaurants around the globe, from Bangkok to Paris, Cairo to London and even Kenya! You can find her blogging these days at www.ShesBecomingDoughMessTic.com, where she shares recipes, ideas and product reviews.

10 Responses to “Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts”

  1. 1

    Erin — February 8, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    I made these last week after getting the mag in the mail. So incredibly delicious!

  2. 2

    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — February 8, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    I made these same brownies and for grins also did my own mimic of the cover shoot. Not crazy about the photo (sun bouncing off of snow adds yet another element to my photo studio/dining room conundrum) but crazy about the brownies.

    I agree with Susan it’s best to use a good cocoa but I had no problem mixing them with a whisk at all; as a matter of fact that was one of the benefits..keeping cleanup to a minimum. I took mine out early but that’s a standard in Denver; high altitude and dry typically shortens most baking times. I read the reviews at Bon Appetit; seems the people not fond of them wanted a more cakelike result. Without leavening, that won’t happen so expect a gooey result and you won’t be disappointed!

    I added a Tablespoon of dried espresso and have to say, in the spirit of Emeril, I do think it kicked them up a notch and resulted in a very adult and not overly sweet brownie that we all loved.

  3. 3

    Ashton Keefe — February 8, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    These brownies are outrageous! I left out the walnuts but killer brownies.

  4. 4

    Kelly — February 8, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    I may or may not have just licked my screen. Ok NOT, but I wanted to! These look so good and I love how simple the ingredient list is – stuff I always have on hand. I’m definitely going to give this one a try!

  5. 5

    Jenny Flake — February 11, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    Oooooo, I could go for those today, looks great Lori!

  6. 6

    Maria — February 11, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    I am going to try these, but I will have to leave the walnuts out:)

  7. 7

    Tracy — February 11, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    I don’t know why I haven’t made these yet, either. They look incredible!

  8. 8

    Jessica — February 11, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    Those look absolutely decadent, LOVE!

  9. 9

    Cathy/ShowFoodChef — February 11, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    I wish my monitor had a swipe and lick app for that picture. I got the mag last week, but this is what will make me try them. Mmmm.

  10. 10

    Cookin' Canuck — February 14, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    I have these babies bookmarked. Now I really want to make them!

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