2.09.2011

Recipe Box: Browned Butter Brazil Nut Brownies

recipeboxheader

bbb brownies

I know two things: 
1. Browned butter makes everything better. 
2. Heart-shaped food is generally irresistible.

Here is a fantastic brownie recipe that embraces both of these notions. They are the best brownies I've ever made, with a shiny, crisp outer crust and chewy, chocolaty center spiked with the richness of browned butter. Make these for your sweethearts for Valentines Day. If they don't already love you, they certainly will post brownie. It's a lock.

browned butter brazil nut brownies

Browned Butter Brazil Nut Brownies
Adapted from February 2011 issue of Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar. See note.*) 
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder 
  • 4 tsp water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Brazil nuts, chopped
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 
  • confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Method: 
1. Line 13x9x2 baking pan with foil, leaving a 2" overhang around the pan's edges. Lightly coat the foil with oil. 
2. 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. Keep an eye on it, because it will burn quickly.
3. Remove from heat. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer (or mixing bowl if you're using an electric beater). Immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and salt. 
4. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed to blend. Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until combined. Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir in nuts and chocolate. 
5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. (This is a new trick I learned. Totally optional, but I've found that a quick cold spell makes for a shiny, crispy outer shell and a fudgy, chewy inside.) While you wait, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool. 
7. When the bottom of the pan has cooled to room temperature, lift brownies from pan. If you want, dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares, or do like me and cut them into hearts using a cookie cutter.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a week. 

*Note: I used raw turbinado sugar because that was all I had on hand. The sugar is coarser with a slight hint of molasses. It added a faintly caramelized flavor. Delicious! 

6 comments:

  1. I like the almost included pic of the coffee mug cozy. :)

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  2. these look sooo yummy. and brownies are always better when in the shape of a heart :)

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  3. ahh I wish I wasn't allergic to nuts! These look so good!

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  4. Cathy, that was so deliberate. Haha! I'm proud!

    Rachel, it's true! All brownies should be heart shaped.

    Celeste! Omit the nuts. I'm sure they're just as fantastic without them. The browned butter really makes them special. The nuts are just a supporting role.

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  5. Those sound so, so good. And look at you, casually sneaking that cozy in there. hehe. It looks great! Love the button.

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  6. i'm going to try these without the nuts as i'm not a big fan of nuts in brownies. a lot of people look at me in horror when i say that, like i've just suggested i like kittens in my brownies instead.

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