February 13, 2011

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter & Pecans

Thank you, Bon Appetit, for these amazing brownies! By far, the best homemade brownies I've ever tasted. The original recipe calls for walnuts, but I didn't have any on hand so I subbed in pecans. Browning the butter beforehand gives these brownies a deep & rich flavor. And my favorite part? The thin, crackly crust that forms on top. To. Die. For.

These are super simple to make. The hardest part is probably trying to line the baking dish correctly. So if you haven't planned anything for V-day, make a batch of these and call it a day. He/she can't help but be impressed.

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter & Pecans

(makes 16)

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, leveled
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp water
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup pecan/walnut pieces
  • Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325F. Line 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil (I used two separate pieces), pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang on all four sides. 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 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cocoa, salt, vanilla and water. Once butter has browned, immediately add to this mix and stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition. Add flour and stir until just blended. Beat vigorously for 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to pan and spread out evenly.
  • Bake brownies until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean (a few moist crumbs is OK), about 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack, about 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan and cut into 16 pieces.

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