Sinfully Delicious Cocoa Browned Butter Brownies

Brownies are true comfort food. Cakey, yet fudge-y, and completely decadent when topped with ice cream and served warm. When I got the newest issue of Bon Appetit magazine in the mail two weeks ago, I knew I would have to try the cover recipe, Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts. I love trying brownie recipes for some reason and these looked divine. And they did not disappoint. Gooey in the middle with a cake-like crust, these brownies may be some of the best I have tried.

Plus, they are so, so easy. Six ingredients (Claire Robinson would be soooo proud) and they come together in 30 minutes (not including baking time obviously). And all of the ingredients are probably in your pantry. I mean, how can you not make these?

I omitted the nuts because Andrew hates nuts in brownies and chocolate chip cookies. In his words “why mess with a good thing?” So nut-less brownies it was.  I certainly do not want to be the only one enjoying these treats and most importantly, I would also like to fit into my jeans this week. Even though BA lists these as low calorie (199 cals per brownie—not terrible?), I didn’t want to get too crazy. See ya nuts.

cocoa browned butter brownies

Cocoa Browned Butter Brownies
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2011

{Makes 16 squares}

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
Optional: 1 cup walnut pieces

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F.

Line 8×8 inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.

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 5-7 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).

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 if using. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Tip: I like to put these in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to harden slightly. This makes the brownies easier to cut to get clean edges.

Cut brownies into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. Now you have 16 brownies!

Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. These keep for several days’ enjoyment.

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