Max Brenner Brownies — 8 inch Pan

I was on the fence about whether to make Thanksgiving dinner this year, but we bought the turkey this weekend so I’m locked in. I should be focusing on prep work, but chocolate helps me focus so I made a quick batch of brownies. Inspired by Jennifer at Bake or Break, I used the Max Brenner recipe.

max brenner brownies cut

One issue with the Max Brenner recipe is that it’s for a 13×18 inch pan. Jennifer made the full batch, so I decided to try scaling it down to 1/3 of itself and baking it in an 8 inch pan. It worked perfectly. Like Jennifer, I used pecans instead of walnuts but I think these might have been better without the nuts or maybe with the nuts just on top. I usually love nuts, but in this case they seemed “in the way”. I also refrigerated the brownies before cutting. If you can’t tell from the ingredients list, these brownies are super rich – not overly sweet, but rich. At first I cut the pan into 9 squares, but wanting to fill people up on one single brownie, stomachache, I cut each square into 4 more squares to make 36 small brownies.

Small Batch Max Brenner Brownies

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
10 ½ ounces dark chocolate (approx. 70%), roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 generous teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (divided use)
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8 inch square pan with non-stick foil or line with parchment.

Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.

Place the butter and cream in a saucepan set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate and let sit about a minute or until chocolate begins to melt. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool. Note: If chocolate doesn’t melt completely, you can microwave the bowl for 20 second and continue to stir. That’s why I suggested a microwave-safe mixing bowl.

Add vanilla to cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Whisk in sugar and salt.

Sift 1/4 cup of the flour into the chocolate mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir gently until combined. Toss nuts with remaining flour. Stir into batter.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Allow brownies too cool. Wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Yields: As many as 36 brownies or as few as 8

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  1. Amanda says

    Wow they look fabulous! I’m on the fence about nuts in brownies. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I just don’t. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Louise says

    I look forward to making these when my new cookbook arrives. How do these compare to Baked Brownies? I notice less butter so maybe not as greasy. I’ve come to like the Baked ones as they hold up well. They even shipped well. 🙂

  3. says

    Those look really good, kinda like my faves, the Dorie’s Tribute to KH Brownies. But these are probably even chocolaty-er/fudgier because the Dorie ones just have cocoa. They look like some I need to try. Sigh.
    I’m in the same boat as you–taking way too long to get on the T-day dinner bandwagon. I’m kind of not that thrilled this year as it’s just us and I don’t want to slave away in the kitchen when the boys hardly eat anything. Boring old turkey and mashed potatoes anyone?
    I thought it sounded fun to just do food they’ll eat then have a big ol’ dessert bar! That’s more like it. 😉

  4. says

    Looks like another brownie winner with a heavy ratio of chocolate to the other ingredients! My favorite kind.I regret not making it to Max Brenner’s when in NYC this year — some of his sweets and pancakes shown on his website (with chocolate of course) looked completely over the top. This is a “must stop” next time along with Serendipity.

  5. says

    These were really dense and almost fudge-like. They were sturdy and firm so I know I didn’t underbake them, but they were quite chocolate-dense.

  6. Martha in KS says

    “chocolate helps me focus” You crack me up! I just licked my screen these looked so good. Tasted like Windex, not brownies.

  7. says

    There must have been something in the Texas air – I made über rich brownies (Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies) the other day and had the exact same thought when I cut them for a meeting… They ended up more of a brownie bite so we didn’t all go into a coma after lunch. I’ll have to try these! Thank you for reminding me that patience is rewarded – refrigerating a brownie like this is always well worth it.

  8. says

    Max Brenner’s is one of my favorite haunts in NYC. I’d never had make-your-own-smores at a restaurant before — and they serve them with peanut butter! They know me so well! 😉

    Blake — I guess I missed Texas brownie day, but I intend to take a rain check! 😉

  9. says

    Hi Ash,

    With chocolate chips, 10 oz is about 1 2/3 cup, so I supposed chopped chocolate is about the same volume. I normally weigh it, though. That’s just an estimate.

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