I have been a long time subscriber to Bon Appetit and often months will go by without anything particularly catching my fancy, but then an issue will arrive and I want to cook everything! The February 2011 issue is just one of those issues….starting with the cover recipe for these delectable brownies.
As soon as my husband saw the cover photo, he put in his request so I decided to give them a try. I was a bit skeptical because, in my opinion, most brownie recipes don’t measure up, that is until I tried this one. Browning the butter adds an incredible depth and “nuttiness” to the brownies that takes these over the top. They are fudgy, chewy and have a wonderful cracked topping.
The two keys to success with this recipe, take your time browning the butter to achieve the depth of flavor without risk of burning and use the best quality cocoa powder you can find such as Guittard.
Brown Butter & Cocoa Brownies
Bon Appetit – February 2011
- 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) – use a high quality such as Guittard
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, chilled
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup walnut pieces
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8 x 8 x 2-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 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. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
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.