Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brown Butter Brownies


These brownies are the cover recipe in the current issue of Bon Appétit magazine. I've had this issue in the kitchen, on the top of my stack of cooking mags, just staring at me.
We had back to back snow days {again!} this week & I really wanted to make something fun with the kids. Keeping them busy when they can't go outside to play in the snow, due to sleet & rain...has been a challenge to say the least.
So, I decided it was high time we made a batch of these brownies.
The recipe is written by the amazing Alice Medrich...who knows a thing, or two, about baking & chocolate. A few of her recipes are already in my dessert repertoire.
In the magazine, the editors deem this recipe, "the best brownies they've ever tasted".
When you give anything a "best of" title, it automatically has a lot to live up to. I poured over the reviews...both at Bon Appétit's website & Epicurious...just to see if they lived up to the hype. While reading, I discovered that it was pretty much a split vote. Some agreed that they were indeed the best ever...while some thought they were just "pretty good". One common complaint in the reviews was that the brownies came out way too thin. So, about halfway through making them, I decided to double the recipe, hoping for some fatter results. It worked out perfectly! Unfortunately, I decided this after I had already shot half my pics...so, you will see below that some of the pictures do not match up with the quantities listed.
Everyone's tastes are different. What is fabulously delicious to one person, might just be OK to another. But, in my opinion, these brownies really are all that. The browned butter gives them a flavor unlike any brownies I've ever had. They are rich...with a nice nutty, caramel flavor...and, we love caramel! The outside...not just the edges, like in some brownies...is chewy. The inside is soft & gooey. These will definitely be saved as my go-to brownie recipe!

Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9" x 9" baking pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang on two sides & spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt 2 1/2 sticks of butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, until the butter begins to turn golden brown {about 5 minutes}. Stir the butter occasionally & keep a close eye on it, as it will burn quickly!


Remove the pan from the heat & stir in 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, a 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt...

2 teaspoons vanilla extract & 4 teaspoons water. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Then, add 4 large eggs, whisking constantly as you add them.

Beat until the mixture is shiny & smooth.

Finally, stir in 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons flour & beat for 1 minute.

Pour the mixture into your prepared pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack.

When cooled, use the foil overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Remove the foil, slice into 16 squares & serve.

Brown Butter Brownies

Adapted from a recipe by Alice Medrich, via Bon Appétit {February 2011}
Makes 16 brownies
Another fabulous recipe, involving chocolate, by the great Alice Medrich. The original recipe, as written, is perfect. I did, however, change up a few things...namely, adjusting some of the steps, doubling the recipe {for bigger, fatter brownies} & omitting the walnuts {as, my kids + walnuts do not mix}. I also used regular salted butter {that's what I had on hand} & did not reduce the salt in the recipe to make up for it. If you are not using kosher salt, I would recommend reducing the salt slightly.

non-sticking cooking spray
2 1/2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

special equipment: a 9" x 9" x 2" deep brownie/cake pan

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line your baking pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang on two sides & spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, until the butter begins to turn golden brown {about 5 minutes}. Stir the butter occasionally & keep a close eye on it, as it will burn quickly!
Remove the pan from the heat & stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, water & salt. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, whisking constantly as you add them & beat until the mixture is shiny & smooth. Stir in the flour & beat for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. When cooled {or still warm, depending on how you like to eat your brownies} use the foil overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Remove the foil, slice into 16 squares & serve.
Note: The brownies can be made up to 2 days ahead & stored in an airtight container, at room temperature.
Click here for the printable recipe.

19 comments:

Joanne said...

I've been sleeping with that issue of bon appetit next to my bed. The brownies are haunting me. Calling to me. IN my dreams. Literally.

I'm so glad to hear that you really liked them! I'm always wary of "best of" too! But I trust your opinion. Implicitly.

Lisa said...

Wow, those close ups of your brownies are amazing. I've definitely got to try that brown butter method one day. I have a sweet treat linky on my blog every week called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your brownies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com

Lisa FDZ said...

I got this issue and immediately made them, GLUTEN FREE! They turned out amazing!!! Love this recipe.

The Food Hound said...

I'm printing and trying these! I have my "best" brownie recipe from Fine Cooking, but these may usurp it! I will let you know the results!

Eftychia said...

These brownies look so delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing. htt://www.dreamofcakes.net

Christina of Form V Artisan said...

The look lovely. Were they greasy at all? I find many cocoa (as opposed to chocolate) brownies can be greasy due to the lack of emulsifier.

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

Love the idea up amping up the caramel flavor in brownies - what a great idea. They look fantastic in your photos!

Elizabeth said...

These look so, so good. Suddenly I really need to make brownies!

Laurie @simplyscratch said...

OOOH I saw this recipe in the mag too! I plan on making the chocolate pecan cookies for valentines day:)!

Your photos are beautiful and I love how crackly the tops of your brownie are! Can't wait to try these!

Ashlea Taylor said...

I love a great brownie in this frigid weather. Looks perfect for Valentine's day!

Paula said...

I can`t stop looking at this! It`s absolutely divine and I want to try this...

Have a great time,
Paula

Brilynn said...

Those look awesome! I love browned butter.

foodies at home said...

Your photos alone are enough to persuade me to make these! Beautiful work and a beautiful blog!

kate said...

Christina-Sorry for the delay in responding. These were definitely moist & buttery tasting...but, with a chewy outside {just the way I like brownies to be}...I didn't find them oily at all.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Kate. These are a.maz.ing. Funny how we met in a "healthy" setting, and yet I most often make your super sweet stuff! :) ~Rox

Anonymous said...

Under the picture of the eggs, you need to change the quantity from 2 eggs to 4 eggs.

Thanks!

Lauren at KeepItSweet said...

Wow, I can see why this was a cover recipe!

Marie said...

These were absolutely DELICIOUS! I must say that I've never been able to make homemade brownies before that taste better than boxed ones. I was so happy with the results of these, I will never buy box-o-brownie again! Thank you!

jen said...

This recipe has been on my to-make list for awhile, but because of dieting, I've been putting it on hold. I made it yesterday and it was definitely worthwhile, and worth the calories haha.

I added some walnuts (not the full cup that the magazine suggested), Trader Joe's caramel sauce drizzled on top, Guittard's semi-sweet choco chips (found them for around $3 a package), and mini marshmallows on top (just to a small section as a taste-test). I left it in for maybe 30 mins instead of the 25 (didn't double the batch). The texture was chewy on the edges with a fudgy, dense, non-cakey middle. It kinda reminded me of boxed brownie mixes (in a good way lol). For the cocoa powder, I used Trader Joe's. The marshmallows puffed a bit but collapsed later after taking the pan out of the oven into very thin discs - very yummy to scoop them out individually to eat. Next time, I'll be adding more marshmallows than the handful.

TLDR - This is my favorite brownie recipe now because of its satisfying beyond-chocolate taste, and chewy, fudgy texture (love the edge pieces hehe). So glad to have made this recipe, and thanks for blogging it with the lovely, accurate photos and descriptions :)

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