Thursday, May 12, 2011

Browniepalooza Day 4 - Browned Butter Brownies with Walnuts

We're celebrating Browniepalooza this week at Lethally Delicious. Yes, it's a made up holiday, but I believe brownies deserve their own week in the spotlight.

Today, I give you the brown butter brownie from the February 2011 cover of Bon Appetit. If you've done the rounds in the blogiverse you've probably seen them, and the feedback is wildly positive. The recipe is from Alice Medrich, whom I love love love, and the brownies have the taste of a classic brownie, but with a tiny, subtle twist. You can't figure out what it is, so you eat another, and another and another... Brownie bliss. No shame. No remorse. Make another batch and do it again. I won't judge.

These had several things to recommend them. Browned butter, chocolate and nuts, specifically walnuts. Walnuts aren't my favorite but I went with it.

Ever since I read the Cook's Illustrated tip for putting nuts ON the brownie batter (they toast in the oven and get crunchy rather than getting wet in the batter), that's how I've done it. But I made these exactly as the recipe stated, including the nuts, and was pleasantly surprised that the nuts retained their crunch.

Brown Butter Brownies with Walnuts (adapted from Bon Appetit)

20 tablespoons unsalted butter, in chunks (it's faster with room temperature butter)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
4 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, chilled
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups walnut pieces

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Lightly spray a 13x9" metal baking pan with cooking spray then line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang if possible. Melt butter in a deep medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula until butter stops foaming, browned bits form at bottom of pan, and butter smells nutty, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from the heat; immediately add the sugar, cocoa, 4 teaspoons water, the vanilla, and salt. Stir with your spatula until blended. Let cool for 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 a toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack. Using the parchment sling handle, lift brownies from pan and cut as desired.


Torviewtoronto said...

wonderful desserts delicious

natalia said...

Oh my Leslie ! I can't wait for the special one !

Pamela said...

Oh yes! I loved, loved, LOVED this one! I honestly think that I did indeed eat the whole pan myself. Sure, I was planning on sharing, and I even wrapped some up to keep
them safe for sharing. Never left the house...not that batch. I did share the second batch though!