Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter. And also, hello.

When I was younger, my mother was constantly making from-the-box brownies.  I would come home from school and very often there would be a pan of brownies sitting on the counter, with perhaps a sliver of a corner cut out of them.  I came to be something of a brownie mix connoisseur as a child.  Duncan Hines was my preferred brand for their texture, which almost resembled homemade fudge.  And while my mother made plenty of food from scratch, one thing she left alone were brownies.  Boxed brownies sufficed, mainly because covered in a layer of frosting and sprinkles, anything tastes miraculous.

I have been getting over a terrible head cold this week.  To celebrate my first official day waking up and feeling almost human, I made Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter.  I had never attempted brownies from scratch before, but these were nothing short of a revelation.  They are fudgy without sticking like paste  to the roof of your mouth, and though they lack the addition of any actual chocolate, the taste is intense. That, coupled with the fact that they are made in one pan (for all of us college students out there without access to a fully stocked kitchen), means that I will be repeating this success for celebrations (or simply, for any given Thursday) in the future.

And they don’t even need frosting.

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Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter (via Bon Appetit)

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

Directions

  • Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. 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, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. 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 in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature
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