The Best Ever Brownies

a few years ago while i eating lunch in the closet (aka break room. it was super small.), i spotted a Bon Appetite magazine with a gorgeous photo of brownies on the cover, Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts.

the article claimed the brownies were the best ever, no turning back kind of brownies.  so i made a batch.

yup, they were super yummy.

plus they were super easy to make.

i usually have the ingredients on hand.  so i make this quite a bit, when we are craving something sweet.

so this month’s treat:  Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts.

Cocoa Brownies 

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 heaping tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 heaping cup of chopped walnuts

Tip One:  I measure the ingredients in advance before I start, except for the eggs.  The eggs need to remain chilled.

Browning butter is easy.  Once you see those yellow bits forming at the bottom of the pan, stir often until just golden brown, then remove the pan from heat.
i have tried various types of unsweetened cocoa, but in the end i stick to Hershey’s.  i tried a more expensive brand once, but something was just off in the taste, probably not enough sugar? and some noticed.  gasp.

anyway here is Bon Appetite’s recipe, tweaked just a smidgeon.

Preheat oven to 325 and move the rack to the bottom third of the oven.

Line an 8×8 inch metal pan with foil, pressing the foil against the sides leaving a bit of an overhang on two sides.  helps lift the brownies out of the pan.

Spray foil with a no stick baking spray.  Set pan aside.

In a pan over low heat melt butter.  Butter will begin to foam.  Using a wooden spoon, stir often until yellow bits form at the bottom of the pan.  When bits turn a golden brown remove pan from heat to avoid burning the bits.  The golden brown turns darker quickly at this point.

Immediately add sugar, cocoa, salt, water and vanilla (see tip below).  Mix until blended.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.  Mixture will be thick and shiny.

Tip Two:  I mix the sugar, cocoa and salt in a small bowl and the water and vanilla in a shot glass before hand so I am ready at that immediately step. Too much pressure.

Add flour and stir until blended.  Beat batter by hand, 60 strokes.  Stir in nuts.

Transfer to prepared pan.  Tap on counter to smooth out batter, if needed.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out almost clean (few crumbs attached, no batter).

Tip Three:  I set the time for the minimum amount and check every 3-5 minutes after until done to avoid burning or under baked brownies.

Cool pan on a wire rack.  Lift brownies from pan, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Can be made 2 days in advance.

This batch was a mixture of Ghiardelli and Hershey’s cocoa.


I love walnuts in my brownies so I add a heaping cup.
not halved for two, because the recipe makes 16 – 2 inch brownies in an 8×8 pan.  why halve that?  looks like about 200 calories a brownie, eh, just run two miles per brownie and the calories are a wash.  😉

and they can be made two days ahead.  just store them in an airtight container.

i am all about making something ahead.

i think once you make a batch, you will never go back to the boxed version.

if you make a batch, let me know your thoughts! bleh, eh or woa.  i am taking a poll.

I vote woa.

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