Chocolate is enchanting, isn’t it?
It takes your hard day, smooths out the rough edges, holds you in its arms, and promises to make everything all better . . . No, that’s wine. Oops, sorry.
But chocolate is a close second in its delightful, pure bliss sensation that comes from its sweet velvety melts-in-your-mouth essence.
If you love dark chocolate with a hint of mocha, the satisfying crunch of toasted walnuts, and the surprising heat of cayenne pepper, then these ultra-rich brownies will put you in a state of euphoria that only a good brownie can do.
Brown Butter Brownies with Toasted Walnuts & Cayenne
- 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c. natural cocoa powder
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 t. espresso powder*, dissolved in 2 t. water
- 1/4 t. cayenne pepper* (opt.)
- 2 lg. eggs
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1/3 c. 60% chocolate chips*
- 10 T. unsalted butter*
- 1 c. walnuts*, toasted (opt.)
Toast walnuts in a small skillet until small brown/black flecks are seen and you can smell the nutty aroma wafting up. (Mmm, yummy.) Slid walnuts onto a paper plate to cool.
In a small saucepan, heat butter on a medium-low flame.
For the first five minutes, the butter will foam, sizzle, and pop. Eventually, it becomes quieter and the foaming lessens and caramelized brown bits sink to the bottom.
Use a spatula to pull away the thin foam and see if the bits are a nice, dark brown (it may take up to 15 minutes; and if you notice they are black, no worries, it won’t hurt the flavor).
When the butter is ready, remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stirring until melted.
Measure dry ingredients (except walnuts) in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot butter/chocolate mixture and stir thoroughly.
In a small bowl, mix espresso powder with water and stir. Add vanilla. Mix into brownie batter.
Add one egg at a time, beating vigorously between each one, until batter becomes smooth and glossy.
Add flour and continue to mix thoroughly for another minute. With a large chef’s knife, rough-chop walnuts on the paper plate and fold them into the batter.
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper leaving generous edges. Scrape brownie batter into the pan smoothing the thick batter into the corners.
Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes. Lift parchment-lined brownies out of the hot pan and cool on a wire rack for ten minutes.
With a large knife, cut brownies into nine or sixteen pieces. (I vote for nine. The bigger, the better.)
Enjoy after a long, hard day (with your glass of wine, of course).
They freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap. (But, honestly, they won’t last that long.)
I normally make a double batch of my browned butter ghee for topping steamed vegetables, brown rice, baked potatoes, or spreading on toast. I love its versatility, health benefits, and the fact it doesn’t need refrigeration.
But making brown butter for this sweet recipe is quicker and if you use a medium pot instead of a smaller one to heat up the butter, you could actually mix all the ingredients in that pot and save yourself another dish to wash. : )
Brown Butter Brownies are rich, dense, and fudgy. I love how the spicy heat and deep chocolate flavors mingle together and complement each other and I think you will too.
If you prefer your brownies more cake-like, omit the chocolate chips and add 2-3 T. sugar to make up the difference the chips provided.
If you don’t have:
- espresso powder: use regular instant coffee, but it will be less richly flavored. If you must omit it, don’t worry, the brownies will still taste good.
- cayenne: You could try New Mexico chili powder but you will need to use more to taste the heat (approx. 3/4 – 1 teaspoon). Or try 1/2 teaspoon of crushed chili pepper flakes.
- 60% chocolate chips: go ahead and use what you have. Semi-sweet and ‘Special Dark’ chips have 42% and 45% cocoa respectively. If you use any of these, your brownies will be sweeter. I don’t recommend using milk chocolate chips for these brownies as they’re only 11% cocoa and mostly sugar.
- walnuts: pecans will work although their flavor is more delicate. I think walnuts lend themselves to dark chocolate better because of their stronger flavor which helps them stand out.
- unsalted butter: use salted, but omit the added salt in the recipe.
I hope you enjoy Brown Butter Brownies as much I do. Let me know how they turn out and if you have any questions.
See you next time for another Red Apron Recipe.
(If you missed the previous ones, you can find a list on my Red Apron Recipes page.)
I thank God for the opportunity to share my favorite family recipes with you.
IF YOU LIKED THIS AND WANT TO GET MORE GOOD-FOR-YOU-FOOD RECIPES WHILE MAKING DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ON HAND, PLEASE SIGN UP TO FOLLOW MY POSTS BY EMAIL BELOW.
I would LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN ME IN THE KITCHEN!
Abiding in the Vine,
The post “Brown Butter Brownies” was first published on Desert Rain.