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…

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Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

Yield: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 20 min + chill time

Cook Time: 35 min


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


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.


*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!

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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13 Responses to “Pimiento Mac and Cheese”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 13, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    Thanks for your review!

    “spicy sweet flavor of the pimiento” — mmm that sounds so good! But I can see what you mean, that this is not at all classic mac n cheese. But a fun twist!

  2. 2

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 13, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    So I have to admit… I was like, “Wait… where are the pimientos in the recipe??” I guess I didn’t know what Pimientos were, but I’m guessing they’re the same as the red peppers listed in the recipe? I’m excited to try this out, especially since it’s touted by the magazine as being the tastiest version of mac they’ve had!” Glad you enjoyed it too!

  3. 3

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — May 13, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    I’ll eat mac and cheese in just about any form. Box or otherwise. And I love adding new flavors. I can’t wait to try this one out.

  4. 4

    Kathryn — May 14, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    I’ve been keeping this issue of Bon Appetit since March 2011 meaning to make this recipe and never quite got round to it. It sounds pretty great although I completely take your point around comfort food – I sometimes crave that wonderful blandness of mac and cheese!

  5. 5

    Beth — May 14, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    Love it – and if anyone can change his mind, it’ll be you!

  6. 6

    Tracey — May 14, 2013 @ 8:21 am

    I have never had pimiento cheese, and I keep telling myself I’m going to try it and then promptly forget. This looks like the perfect introduction!!

  7. 7

    sandra — May 14, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    That boyfriend is one tough customer. But I see his point. You like what you’re used to. He likes his out of the box the same way you like it homemade – it is the nostalgia you are both looking for and not the culinary expertise.

  8. 8

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — May 14, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    I grew up eating pimiento cheese by the spoonfull and I would be all over this dish, especially with my love for any kind of mac and cheese. Great job!

  9. 9

    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily — May 14, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    Say What?!?! Poor, poor boy! You must remedy that ;)
    This looks fantastical!

  10. 10

    Faith — May 15, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    I’m always up for trying a new version of mac and cheese! I’d love to test this one out to see if it could make a mac and cheese lover out of my hubby. :)

  11. 11

    Reeni — May 16, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    I grew up on homemade too and am always looking for new versions to try! This looks utterly delicious!

  12. 12

    Chris — May 21, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    I’m a big fan of homemade pimento cheese so I know I’d like this version of mac and cheese.

  13. 13

    Tieghan — May 21, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    I am with you, homemade mac and cheese is the way to go. Always! I can not wait to try this fun pimento version! YUM!

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