The Convert

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Have you ever noticed how recent converts are often the most enthusiastic?  For example, my friends and I like to talk about the kindle and other e-readers, and what it means for the future of the book.  The people who have just bought an e-reader are the ones whose eyes shine the brightest when they talk about it. 

That’s how I am with browned butter.  Having just discovered this technique a couple of weeks ago, I feel like my life has been forevermore enhanced.  It’s hard to describe the nutty undertone that browning butter brings to a recipe.  Remember how magical it was the first time you watched a 3D movie?  How you felt that if you extended your arm, you could touch everything that you were seeing?  That’s what browned butter will do to your recipes.

I’ve been scouring my books for recipes that use melted butter, knowing that this method will bring them to an unimagined level of perfection.  So what an amazing coincidence it was when I saw the February Bon Appetit cover promising the “Best-Ever Brownies”.  And when I flipped open the magazine to read the recipe, it featured browned butter.

These brownies, developed by the amazing Alice Medrich, were truly wonderful.  And although I didn’t eat the entire tray, as the subtitle promised I would, I was very grateful that my hungry friends and family kept me from doing so.

The original recipe calls for walnuts.  My kids don’t love most nuts, so I substituted an equal amount of chocolate chips. Next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll try toffee bits instead.  I think they’d set off the browned butter perfectly.

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter
(adapted from the February 2011 issue of Bon Appetit)
  
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips, toffee bits or walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang.

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 five minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When the mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in your choice of chocolate chips, toffee bits or walnuts. 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 completely in pan, about four hours. When cool, use the parchment paper to lift brownies out of the pan. Cut into sixteen brownies.  Try to share them.

39 comments:

Ruth said...

Although I don't like 3D movies and am pretty sure I will never buy an e-Reader, I am definitely going to try the recipe for Blondies that you posted with your original "browned butter" post!

Brenda said...

I'm one of those e-reader enthusiasts, lol. I've had it since October, but I still gush over it (guilty as charged). I saw these same brownies on another blog and they were raved about also. I have to try these and I would definitely be putting chocolate chips (or toffee bits) in instead of nuts. I'm not a fan of nuts in brownies. You've convinced me to try these, thanks!

Belinda said...

You're so right...OK...maybe I need to get on this....

laxsupermom said...

Yum! Love that nutty complexity that browned butter adds! Can't wait to try my own (gf) version of these. Thanks for sharing.

Joanne said...

I have heard SUCH good things about these brownies and I really need to make them soon! Browned butter does beautiful things to baked goods, so true!

Jess said...

Yummmmmm...those brownies look SO good! And I love the way you presented this post~ it got me giddy about browned butter too :)

Jennifurla said...

Delish....I have yet to see a 3D movie!

Velva said...

These brownies were the best ever! I threw away my brownie recipe and replaced it with this one too. I loved them. You are right, the browned butter added a nutty depth that was amazing.

Velva

Katerina said...

I've learned the browned butter technique only recently and I want to try it because it sounds really intriguing. These brownies are the perfect opportunity to do so!

The Words Crafter said...

MMmmmmm, this sounds delicious!!!!

Heather said...

These look delicious. I'm afraid that when it comes to brownies, I take the easy route...Ghiradelli brownie mix. I could never get homemade brownies to taste as good as Ghiradelli ones, so I am anxious to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing. Also looking forward to brown butter!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Your brownies have the most beautiful, shiny crust! I was turned onto browned butter in baked goods awhile back when I forgot I was melting butter on the stove, and it browned. Hooray for happy accidents!

Janet Johnson said...

Wishing I had toffee bits since I'm alergic to Walnuts, but I think I'll be making this recipe later today.

Thank you for sharing!

Barbara Kloss said...

What a great idea! I simply LOVE brown butter.

theresalwaysthyme said...

I saw that recipe in Bon Appetit and folded the page! Yours look fantastic, I definitely have to try this recipe.

Valerie said...

Be careful Beth, next thing you know you'll start having dreams about brown butter waterfalls flowing into caramel rivers. :D

I love Alice Medrich (even her name makes me hungry for desserts). These brownies look spectacular! Congrats on not eating the entire pan.

Sue said...

I've only made one (cookie) recipe using browned butter and I must admit, they were amazing! I'm sure these brownies are no exception.

Sue said...

P.S. I visited your website, and all of your books sound great. Just reading the synopsis of "The Next Step" almost made me cry.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow sounds like a good technique will any of your children's books be on ipad?

rebecca

Medeia Sharif said...

Hmmm, can you come bake for me, pretty please. :)

Angela Felsted said...

Man, your blog makes me hungry! I wonder if it's like flan, where you cook the sugar until it's almost burned and that's what makes the topping so good.

LDH said...

I just might have trouble refraining from eating too many of these brownies too. They look and sound heavenly! I feel a conversion coming on! :)

Barbara said...

So true, Beth. I've been trying browned butter here and there and what a difference! Am about to try it for my grandkids in rice krispy treats. Smitten Kitchen raved about it in that recipe.

It looks like a winner in your brownie recipe as well. (Love the double chocolate in these too!)

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Brownies with browned butter? Yum. Sounds delicious.

Beth said...

Sue, thank you for your kind comment about my books. Writing "The Next Step" was really hard, because I was always in the mind of a child who had suffered a big loss. It's not a coincidence that the next book I wrote was a comedy.

Rebecca, my latest book ("The Witch of Bloor Street") is available on e-reader. I don't know if they're going to do my back titles too. I must admit that I'm curious to see what my books would look like in e-book format!

Jen Chandler said...

Oh yum! This sounds fabulous. Just the words "browned butter" has my mouth watering!
Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

Happy Monday,
Jen

Angie's Recipes said...

Who wouldn't love this! Browned butter brownies...writing it has already made my mouth water....irresistible!

Raina said...

I just recently discovered how delicious baking with brown butter is too. Although, I burnt the butter on the first attempt..lol But I agree it really brings out a prominent nutty, buttery flavor. These brownies must be great. Thanks for sharing them:)

Reeni said...

Browned butter is indeed magical! I never tried it in brownies! Sounds heavenly.

Zoe said...

Burnt butter is my favorite too. Got to try this with brownies...

shaz said...

Ahh, the joys of browned butter. I really need to get me an Alice Medrich book, I love all the recipes of hers that I've seen around the blogosphere. Hmmm, now I'm craving brownies :)

5 Star Foodie said...

The brownies sound so good made with brown butter, yum!

Kristen said...

As one convert to another, let me just say Yeah for Browned Butter!! I use it in cookies and savory sauces. Brownies are definitely next.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

ha ha! love this comparison! clever. and sounds delicious!

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

I am most definitely familiar with the food rut and with needing friends and family to save me from myself when I'm confronted with something particularly delicious :)

Jeanne said...

I recently discovered brown butter as well. Isn't it fun to discover a new flavor? :) Guess I'll have to make these brownies now!

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh gah, yum, hurry up kitchen renovation!

I'm still a little unsure that I won't just end up with 'burned butter', but I'm prepared to give it a shot. Hurry up stove delivery man!

Diana's Cocina said...

My husband adores brownies ~ These sound incredible!

Christine Tyler said...

Nice! I'll have to try this!

Post a Comment