Brown Butter Brownies are my latest attempt to make an old recipe from Bon Appetit called Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Walnuts. When I originally made the Bon Appetit brownies, I thought they were tasty but a little too fudgy. Yes, there is such a thing. They were also much thinner than the brownies in the magazine's photo, and if you read the old comments you'll see other bakers had the same issue.
Still, it's hard to resist the idea of brown butter in brownies, so I finally made the brownies again and had better results. Here's the new recipe plus some tips.
Brown Butter Brownies Tips
- Make sure your 8 inch square pan measures no more than 8 inches across the top and 7 inches across the bottom surface.
- I've been testing in a metal pan and will update when I test with glass.
- The original version of this recipe calls for 1 ¼ cups of sugar. The brownies were much better with 1 cup of sugar, so I've revised the recipe to call for 1 cup.
- I like it when brownies have a bit of a crust and a fudgy center. Baking at a higher temperature usually gives you a thicker crust, so I baked the most recent batch at 350 rather than 325. The original time of 25 minutes was perfect with the higher temperature.
- Natural and Dutch process are both excellent, but the natural cocoa flavors were excellent with the brown butter and walnuts.
- If you like walnuts, they really add to the overall recipe. Toasting not required.
- For small batch Brown Butter Brownies, you can halve this recipe and make it in an 8x4 inch loaf pan. If using an 8x4 inch loaf pan, make sure it's one with a bottom surface that is 3 ½ inches wide and 7 inches long. Loaf pan sizes can vary depending on the way the sides slope.
Brown Butter Brownies
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- ¾ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder natural or Dutch okay
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 large eggs cold
- ⅓ cup plus a tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, spray it with cooking spray.
- In a saucepan, heat the butter over medium until it starts to melt, stirring often. Continue heating the butter, keeping an eye on it and swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter just starts to turn brown.
- Remove saucepan from heat and immediately stir in the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir until smooth, then stir in the salt, water and vanilla extract. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add one of the eggs and whisk or stir until blended, then add the second egg.
- Add the ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon of flour and stir until blended, then add your walnuts.
- Transfer to the pan. Sprinkle chips (and more walnuts) over the top if desired.
- Bake brownies at 350 F. for 25 minutes or until they are fragrant and appear set. Let cool completely before cutting.