fudgy brownies with walnuts

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts


Barely Changed from Bon Appétit, February 2011
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I have to apologize now for this recipe.  It’s chocolately.  It’s gooey.  It has a shiny, crackly crust.  It has browned butter.  Basically, it is the most delicious and addictive thing ever.  As Chris said the first…second…and third time I made it in the last two weeks, it should be illegal.  I know, that sounds a little ridiculous and over the top, but, really, this recipe is a keeper — and I say that as someone who has pretty much never made the same brownie recipe twice.  You see, I have a confession to make: growing up, I loved box brownie mix.  Loved it.  And even though we are a nearly 100% scratch household, I do still think there is something undeniably fantastic about the chocolatey-fudgey-ness of a box brownie, and it’s something I’ve been comparing all brownie recipes to.  Up until now, I never had a recipe good enough to make more than a couple of times before I moved on in search of something better.  Apparently, I was missing the all-important step of browning butter.  Lots of it.  And adding a little salt.  And now that I know the secret, I’m hooked.


  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan (I like to use the wrapper from the butter).  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, 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 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.  Cut and enjoy.

If you have as much as little self control as we do, you might want to double it.

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2 responses

  1. Lovelorn Poets Avatar
    Lovelorn Poets

    Yeah…that does sound illegal! 🙂 Quick question, what kind of sugar (white, brown…) do you use and what brand of cocoa powder?

    1. Just regular granulated sugar. I recently switched to SACO cocoa powder, which is a blend of natural & Dutched cocoa. I’ll admit, I originally made the switch because it’s a little bit cheaper. But I have to say, I really like it. Dutched cocoa is more chocolaty.

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