The Ultimate Browned-Butter Cocoa Walnut Brownies

by Kirsten on February 4, 2011 · 21 comments

in Desserts, Misc. Sweets

As soon as my son laid eyes on the cover picture of this February’s Bon Appétit magazine it was clear to him that the featured cocoa brownies with browned butter and walnuts had to be baked and eaten as soon as possible. Even I had to admit that they looked very irresistible (and I am not a big brownie fan at all, sorry).

The cold weather granted his wish with two snow days in a row, lots of free time and in the kitchen he was. He was a great help measuring, mixing and taste testing, while I was in charge of browning the butter. Don’t omit the browning since any recipe gets elevated to new height by its nutty tasting addition.

Our verdict:
Best brownies we have ever eaten. I think I got converted into a loyal brownie follower. They are just perfect; dense and chewy on the inside with a slight crisp touch on the outside.

Don’t wait. Hurry in the kitchen to bake some exceptional cocoa brownies with browned butter and walnuts for you and your family. I would advise to bake a double batch since they will vanish in a wink.


*  nonstick spray
*  10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) unsalted butter
*  1 1/4 cups sugar
*  3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into a cup to measure, then leveled)
*  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*  2 teaspoons water
*  1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
*  2 large eggs, chilled
*  1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
*  1 cup walnut pieces


Preheat your oven to 325 F.
Line a 8x8x2 inch baking pan with aluminum foil (with a bigger overhang, it will make it very easy afterward for the baked good to be lifted out of the pan) and grease with the nonstick spray. Make sure that the foil is tightly pressed into the pan.

Heat your butter in a smaller saucepan over medium heat until the cooking butter starts forming smaller brown pieces on the bottom. Watch the butter and stir it while cooking. Take the browned butter off the stove and mix with sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla and salt. Blend the mixture well (we did all the mixing with a simple whisk). Set the mixture aside to cool for 5 minutes and then stir in the eggs, one egg at a time, whisking very well after each addition. The mixture should look shiny and thick now. Mix in all the flour until well blended. Beat the batter vigorously for about 60 more strokes and stir in the nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake on the lower third of the oven for about 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. There should still be a few crumbs attached. Set the pan on a rack and let cool completely before lifting out the finished brownies. Cut into 16 equally sized pieces.

Place the pieces in an airtight container, hide it and enjoy the brownies all by yourself!

Adapted from Bon Appétit.

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Nicole February 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Hi! I bookmarked this recipe ages ago and i just made it tonight. They are fantastic!!! The brownies are melt in your mouth moist and oh so chocolatey! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

Nuts about food February 9, 2011 at 11:52 am

Oh. My. Goodness. Those look delicious. Of they converted you, not a brownie lover, what will they do to me, a real choc-a-holic?

Nina | Salt February 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I am so happy to have found your blog – it is fantastic. I have this issue of Bon Apetit and was wondering if they were really that good. Yours look wonderful! Cheers.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ February 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

Ur son was soo right , these are absolutely fantastic brownies , gosh i wish i could reach out to one now:-)

Anna Johnston February 7, 2011 at 5:04 am

So rich & yummy., love this picture, makes you feel like reaching into the screen & picking one up.

Die andere Seite February 7, 2011 at 3:29 am

Hallo liebe Kirsten,
ja, das war wirklich rasch und sehr ueberraschend, aber inzwischen freuen wir uns schon auf Deutschland, wenn nur nicht dieser ganze Stress noch vor uns liegen wuerde! Wohnung suchen, Auto kaufen und einen Job fuer mich wieder suchen, aber wir kommen zumindest wieder in unseren alten Wohnort zurueck und somit wieder in die Naehe von Freunden und Familie ist dann nur noch 4 Stunden entfernt und nicht mehr eine halbe Weltreise! ;0) Ich sehe es genauso wie Du, D ist einfach Heimat und wird es auch immer bleiben, auch wenn wir noch so sehr die Zeit hier in den USA genossen haben und mit einem weinenden Auge abreisen werden! Gern haetten wir noch das letzte vereinbarte Jahr genutzt, um noch die ganzen geplanten Highlights hier zu sehen, aber manchmal kommt unverhofft ja bekanntlich oft! Wir machen jetzt das Beste daraus, koennen eh nichts an der Situation aendern und im Endeffekt gibt es ja auch schlimmeres als das! Dein Angebot finde ich supernett von Dir und sage schon einmal vielen lieben Dank, ein paar Sachen werde ich ganz sicher arg hier aus den USA vermissen! Aber ich gebe auch dieses Angebot gerne zurueck, solltest Du mal etwas bestimmtes aus D haben wollen, dann meld Dich gern bei mir… aber wahrscheinlich laeuft da schon eine bestehende "Versorgungskette" mit Euren Freunden und Familie, oder!?;0)
Ich weiss gar nicht, warum ich mich bisher noch nicht als Leserin eingetragen hatte, hole ich gleich mal nach, schliesslich kommt hier ein traumhaftes Rezept nach dem naechsten und diese Brownies wird meine Freundin sicherlich lieben und ich ganz sicher auch, sie sehen wirklich fantastisch aus… saftig und himmlisch schokoladig!!!!!!
Liebe Gruesse

Debbie February 7, 2011 at 12:44 am

I have been avoiding making these because I just know I would try to eat the whole pan!

Adriana February 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm

kirsten, I love these brownies! but the previous recipe is even more of a killer! i love butternut squash and i love thai food! fantastic!

Karen Harris February 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Lovely photos! I totally agree, browned butter does elevate the flavors of a dish to new heights. Lucky children to have 2 snow days and a plate of your brownies.

Velva February 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm

That is so interesting that I saw your post. I have been staring at the cover of my Bon Appetit wondering if I should try my hand at these brownies too. Your post has inspired me. I am making them too. Thanks for sharing.


Christina February 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I love finding out what everyone has been baking with all these snow days we've been having. I bet these brownies are to die for. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I wish we could go to Costco more often too, but the closest one is 40 minutes away! Enjoy your weekend!

Paula February 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I can`t stop looking at this! It`s absolutely divine and I want to try this…

Have a great time,

Andrea the Kitchen Witch February 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Oh man, I just made brownies last night – wish I had this recipe then! They look really decadent!

George February 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

I will definitely try this one out! I'm always looking for a good brownie recipe.

Sage Trifle February 5, 2011 at 3:34 am

I have that magazine on my coffee table staring at me. I'm not really a brownie fan either, but my hubsand sure has been hinting. Your brownies look delicious, and I'm happy to hear a review of the recipe from someone else. I think I'll make him some this weekend. Thank you and your son.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window February 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm

The saliva in my mouth is working overtime. Wow, they look delicious. Pretty straight forward directions too. Thanks my daughter away at school will love these.

Lisa February 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Those brownies look fudgy and dense to the max. You must have enjoyed devouring these. I have a sweet treat linky party on my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your brownies up.

Chele February 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Oh my word! Bang goes my healthy eating plan lol

My Kitchen in the Rockies February 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm

@Carlos: I know, Carlos. Life isn't fair.

Carlos February 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

OK, it is 2:45pm. My coworkers are brewing fresh coffee and suddenly I got a picture of the most beautiful brownies in front of me. "Coincidence? I think not!"

highplainsdrifters February 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm

browned butter … walnuts … mmmmmm …

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