brownie love

Dearest Brownie,

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My chocolate soul can reach.
I love thee chewy, in all thy toothsome glory.
I love thee fudgy, intense, complex and surprising.
I love thee purely and neatly, as individual bites.
I love thee newly, nuanced with brown butter.
I love thee with the breath,
Smiles and tears of all my dessert life!

While sitting at the dentist's office, I was inspired to riff on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem. (Yes, the irony of dreaming about sweets while simultaneously fearing the number of cavities in my mouth.) The inspiration? Bon Appetit's cover photo of a gorgeous stack of brownies. Upon reading the recipe, I realized I'd already baked and blogged on a close approximation.  They are Alice Medrich's brownie; this iteration comes with the added step of browning the butter. I couldn't resist and had to bake a pan.

These are wonderfully gooey, chewy, moist, chocolatey... everything one hopes for in a superb brownie.

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts
from bon appétit, February 2011

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1¼ cups sugar
¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, chilled
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup walnut pieces

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325ºF. Line 8-inch square metal pan with foil, as shown here. Butter the foil.

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 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 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 the foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into squares and serve. (Alternatively, wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cut when ready to serve.)


  1. Lol. Made me laugh! Your brownies look super fudgy. Happy valentines day!

  2. With all these brownies recipes, which one is your fave? Trying to chose 1 to bake and leaning towards the Cook's Illustrated recipe.

  3. thanks uzma!

    sara, if you like chewy, these are definitely the best- they're most like a boxed brownie texture. the CI one is thicker, with a cakier texture, though it still is moist and slightly fudgy.

  4. Ur browniesss are sooo goooddd!
    Am gng to bookmark this recipe to try sometime:-)
    I jus baked some brownies too and made a mistake , instead of 6 , used 3 eggs:-(
    they were still fantastic but didn get that lightly colored crust but then i was using 70% chocolate buttons too:-)so its DARkkkk...
    U sure have lods of brownie posts here :-)))and all fantastic!

  5. My stomach just growled and it requested a brownie, no joke. Pinning these!

  6. HMMM, i love brownies, and the dentist would approve, you know, as long as you brush after.

  7. I JUST made these this morning. They are, hands down, the best brownie I have ever made. I used a generous amount of pecans and doubled the recipe to fit in my 9X12 pan. I have been on a quest for a fudgy brownie and have found it, plus I like the bonus of the browned butter taste undertones...the pecans kind of bring that out, too. Yum.


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