The February 2011 copy of Bon Appetit Magazine arrived yesterday and pictured on the cover were these amazing Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts. Posted as "Best-Ever Brownies" and "Warning: You will eat the entire tray", I had a challenge on my hands. Eat the ENTIRE tray? These must be pretty good and probably a chocoholic delight.
The recipe was interesting as they have you brown the butter. The smell in the kitchen was amazing as I stirred the foam off the butter. When I added it to the cocoa and sugar it smelled like fudgy brownies. The rest was easy and before I knew it, 20 minutes and they were in the oven. Since I would be eating the tray of brownies, I tried some of the batter...DELICIOUS!
Once the brownies were slightly cooled, I cut into them having sat patiently while the house smelled like a chocolate factory. The brownies were dense, chewy and extremely fudgy. They reminded me of a flour less chocolate cake, but better. I loved the buttery taste which definitely came through with the browned butter. The walnuts were nice and chewy and completed that nutty brownie taste.
Sad to say, I didn't eat the whole tray (though I could have) but we fed 4 delighted people who all asked for seconds. We have a few left which I'm hoping to enjoy today probably warmed with some raspberry sorbet and chocolate sauce...Yum!
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 tablespoons of (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of walnut pieces
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-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.