Let me start with an apology. My last post was from mid-March. Pitiful. It’s not that I haven’t been baking these past few month; I have. I’ve just been so consumed with school that I haven’t had time to tell you about it. Will you forgive me? I’d love to tell you that I’ll be baking for you all summer…but I can’t. You see, I’m going to New Jersey for the summer for an internship. I’ll be staying in an extended stay hotel. There’s no oven. That’s right, no oven. This is a sad post so far, isn’t it?
Well the good news is, I will be doing plenty of cooking so you’re likely to see a lot more “real food” around here over the next few months. I’ll also be experimenting with stove-top and no-bake desserts so you (and I) won’t be completely deprived for the summer. Do you feel better now? I do. To make you feel even better (or to make myself feel better, I haven’t decided yet), I made brownies. This is a recipe I saw on the cover of Bon Appetit magazine months ago and have been dreaming about since. I love brownies (who doesn’t?) and I was actually surprised when I realized I haven’t posted a brownie recipe here!
I’ve tried many, many brownie recipes, but haven’t found one I truly love. I think the problem is the chocolate I use. To be honest, it’s hard for me to drop 4 times as much money for the fancy chocolate than I would for the regular (read: cheap) stuff. Is it worth it? Yes, I’m sure it is, but I just can’t do it. What’s good about this recipe is that is uses cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate. Of course, you can buy fancy cocoa powder too, but I find that the difference between fancy and cheap cocoa powder is much smaller than the difference between fancy and cheap baking chocolate. So here we have it! Cocoa brownies with walnuts. They also have browned butter. I can’t decide yet if it makes a difference, but I think the smell of browned butter alone makes it worth it. You can leave the walnuts out if you’d like. I know some people are weird about nuts in their brownies. But you could add in anything you want. Have fun!
*Bonus fact: these are made in one bowl! I refuse to ever make brownies that require more than one bowl.
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
- 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, chilled
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat to 325°F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan (or 7 x 11) with non-stick foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. You can also use foil coated 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. Be sure to watch closely as it can go from brown to burnt very quickly. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, salt, water, and vanilla. 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 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.