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

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!

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. 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 RecipeBoy.com.


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12 Responses to “Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 2, 2013 @ 5:05 am

    I am a subscriber as well and when I saw those pancakes I was SO EXCITED to try them…til I read the recipe and b/c I don’t have to be GF, I took a pass b/c it seemed like a lot of trouble and possibly pan-stickage, as can happen with rice flours, etc. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. 2

    sara — May 2, 2013 @ 1:28 pm

    These are really pretty, and glad to see your recommendation of how to make them less fragile! They look really yummy…I am also a huge buckwheat and cornmeal fan…they both make great pancakes and so cool to see them combined into one recipe!

  3. 3

    Lindsey Johnson // Cafe Johnsonia — May 2, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    I made these again this morning for breakfast and tweaked them a bit more! I ended up using the following for the dry ingredients:

    3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
    2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
    1/3 cup brown rice flour
    1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buckwheat flour
    1/4 cup tapioca starch
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

    They turned out even better than the other times. Hooray for multigrain pancakes! I’ve missed them. :)

  4. 4

    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — May 3, 2013 @ 7:53 am

    So glad you made these! I’ve been intrigued ever since I received that copy of BA. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to the trouble with the flours (since I’m not GF and don’t have brown rice flour on hand). BUT they sounded like they would taste great. Love your recommendations.

    I’ve heard wonderful things about Blackberry Farm, so it was neat seeing them highlighted on the cover.

  5. 5

    Haley Williams — May 3, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    Blackberry Farm also sells their gluten free pancake mix, so that might be an easier way to get the flours and mix of ingredients!

  6. 6

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 4, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    I’m actually excited about the variation that you posted in the comments! My mom is Gluten-Free, and I know she misses good pancakes. I’ll have to try your version for her!

  7. 7

    Joanne — May 9, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    It seems like Bon Appetit should hire you for gluten-free recipe testing! I can’t wait to try your take on them.

  8. 8

    Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons — May 19, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

    Wow, you had such a beautiful photo for Cook The Cover! I also really loved the flavor of these pancakes. I didn’t have much trouble with them sticking to my nonstick griddle. However, I only had 3/4 of the gluten-free flours, and I don’t eat GF, so I substituted AP flour for the oat flour. Maybe that helped with the not sticking part?

    http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/2013/05/whole-grain-pancakes-with-pineapple.html

  9. 9

    marla — August 19, 2013 @ 5:45 am

    These look great to me …. even with a bit of stick!

  10. 10

    Susan Frost — August 19, 2013 @ 5:53 am

    I love these pancakes. I have made them twice now and have not had trouble with them sticking or crumbling at all. Not sure what the difference is but the as-is recipe worked great for me. They are awesome and in fact, I’ve just gotten a couple out of the freezer to heat for breakfast with some fresh blueberry sauce! Can’t wait!

  11. 11

    TJ — January 5, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

    The recipe converted pretty well to no-egg/no-dairy (I’m cooking for multiple allergies). I used soy milk + 2 T vinegar and chia seed egg, and added a teaspoon of psyllium instead of the xanthan gum.
    Gotta say–this is a pretty robust recipe to put up with all these modifications!

  12. 12

    TJ — January 5, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Also, re: sticking: These seemed to need a bit cooler pan than wheat pancakes. My stuck badly at first but held together when I turned the heat lower.

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