Let’s just start off by saying I’m channeling my inner Paula Deen in this recipe. Not only that, this was the first time making brownies from scratch. Can you believe that? This takes me back to when my mom would make Duncan Hines chewy fudge brownies for us. I haven’t had those in forever.
So I had leftover unsweetened cocoa sitting in the pantry from cookies I made awhile back, and it was calling me to make something. Well, really my husband was leaving for Italy and wanted some treats to take with him, and brownies were perfect for traveling.
The first time I had brown butter was at a restaurant in Brooklyn. I had the butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage. The ravioli was homemade and were little pillows of heaven in the brown butter sauce. I was instantly hooked.
Brown butter has a nutty flavor which compliments the walnuts. You will see brown bits form at the bottom of the pot when it starts to brown.
I used Ghirardelli’s unsweetened cocoa, but you can use any unsweetened cocoa that you prefer.
Everything is made right in this pot. No need for any mixing bowls which makes washing dishes that much easier.
The parchment paper makes it so easy to pull the brownies right out of the pan and cut them into squares.
Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Walnuts
adapted (just slightly) from Bon Appetit
makes 16 squares
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough paper hanging over the edges to easily remove the brownies from the pan.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Continue cooking the butter, stirring often, until the butter starts to turn brown about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and salt. Whisk together until blended. Let cool 5 minutes. After the mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs one at a time until blended. Add the flour and continue mixing with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts with a spoon. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake brownies for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Using the parchment paper overhang, lift brownies from the pan and transfer them to a flat surface. Cut brownies into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container.
Note: If using salted butter, omit adding the 1/4 teaspoon salt.