Now you all know me. I am not prone to rhapsodizing foods as the “best ever” (suddenly hopes that there are no posts I’m forgetting that say something is the best ever). That of course doesn’t count Cheetos and Twinkies *has a moment of silence for Twinkies…as I do each day*
But these brownies really are the best ever. At least the best I’VE had. And c’mon folks, I’m 48 years old… that’s a lot of brownie eating years to cover. I’ve had boxed prepackaged brownies, Little Debbie brownies (to which I admit having a soft spot for even though I am fairly sure that there is not even ONE real food in them), mix brownies, so called gourmet brownies, burned to a crisp brownies (don’t ask… it wasn’t pretty.) brownies made with chopped chocolate, brownies made with cocoa, blondies, brownies red headed step child and so on and so forth. I’ve eaten a lot of brownies.
I was always convinced that I preferred ones made with unsweetened chocolate blocks or something like that as opposed to ones made with cocoa. I’m not sure why really; just that the one seemed richer than the other I guess and in my mind, that equated to better brownies. So when I first saw this recipe, I wasn’t sure about them since they use cocoa powder. But the idea of using browned butter intrigued me and man oh man, am I ever glad I did. These are hands down my favorite brownie now. And my husband agrees with me. I don’t count the kids because they’re kids… they would eat chocolate flavored cat littler if I served it. But yes, they liked these too. The ones here count as the third time I’ve made them since before Christmas. Point there being that this time, I was ready to experiment a bit beyond the regular recipe. Not much however. Just added about 1/3 of a cup of raspberry preserves to them (swirled on) before baking and I didn’t use the walnuts this time. But I would seriously suggest making these plain and as per the recipe the first time. One, just to get the hang of it, two, to enjoy these in all their pure chocolatey goodness. After that though, this recipes would lend itself to many variations… and I plan on trying them many ways hehe
Another wonderful thing about this recipe? You don’t need a bowl. This all gets mixed right in the saucepan. Can’t beat that… amazing taste AND easy.
Cocoa Brownies With Browned Butter And A Raspberry Swirl
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened powder (NOT drink mix)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee (optional; my addition. You can’t taste it, it just rounds out the chocolate flavor)
- 2 teaspoons water
- 2 large eggs, cold from the fridge
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1/3 cup raspberry preserves or jam (optional)
- Position oven rack in the bottom third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
- Lightly butter an 8×8 square baking pan and then line with parchment paper. Lightly butter the paper or spray with cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter isn’t foaming anymore and there are browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir often and keep an eye on this. It can go from lovely browned butter to a smelly burned mess in no time flat. This will probably take about 5 minutes or so.
- Remove from the heat and immediately add in the cocoa, sugar, water, vanilla and salt. Stir well.
- Let cool five minutes. Add the cold eggs to the hot mixture, one at a time, beating well (by hand) after each addition. When the mixture is thick and glossy, add in the flour. Beat for 60 strokes. I won’t tell anyone however if you do it 61 or even 59. It’s ok. We’re a flexible crowd.
- Stir in nuts if using. Spread batter into the prepared pan. This would be the time to swirl in jam if you wanted to do that.
- Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out almost, but not quite, clean. Cool the pan on a rack then lift out by the edges of the paper. Cut into 16 squares. Or just leave it in the pan, ladle whipped cream on top, get a spoon and get gloriously ill. Your choice.