Friday, March 18, 2011

Brownies with Browned Butter Frosting--A Link That Will Change Your Life

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch our family of 6 eat (or try to) on $6/day.

What? You think I'm being dramatic? You think brownies are good and all, but that they don't really change one's life? Well that shows how much you know. The first thing Kip ever gave me were brownies--wonderful, perfect, homemade brownies.

Of course, they weren't these brownies. If they'd been these brownies, I would have married him on the spot instead of dragging things out in bothering to think about the hugely life-changing event that marriage is. Some people get drunk in Vegas. Some people give brownies with browned butter frosting. So I suppose it's for the best that Kip and I discovered browned butter frosting after we were married and several children into it. Because some things are worth thinking through.

And now onto the recipe.

I wanted to steal this recipe. I really did. I wanted to post it and claim it all as my own. I wanted the glory. Because, truly, it is glorious. I tried to think of ways I could alter it so as to improve it or change it just a bit so I could say I had adapted it. But I didn't want to touch it. It is too perfect as is.

Here is the link. It's from a now defunct parenting magazine called Wondertime. And below you'll find the recipe written out. Because the link is very very hard to see.

A few notes:

This recipe is not your throw it together because you're in the mood kind of recipe. It's not hard, but there are three steps and between them you must cool the part before, so it's the kind of thing you start in the morning. I'm okay with that. It keeps me from making these so often that I gain 7 trillion pounds in 3 weeks.

Also, if you have excellent eyesight and read the link, you'll note that she recommends eating these cold for two reasons: one is that you'll be forced to savor them and the second is that they're better. I disagree on both points.

These brownies are awesome and if cold brownies are your thing, so be it, but I like them best at room temperature. The layers hang together better instead of getting so firm that they try (somewhat) to separate from the brownie, they are totally savorable (who says something has to be cold to slow you down) and I just really love the texture when they're soft with a supple frosting. (Boy, I think I need a cold shower just thinking about it. Maybe things do need to be cold to slow you down.)

Brownies with Browned Butter Frosting
from Wondertime
makes 24
Prep time: 20 minutes spread out over several hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: too much, but worth every penny: $4.76
(this is for brownies and toppings: butter: 1.25, unsweetened chocolate: 2.00, eggs: .40, flour: .09, sugar: .32, powdered sugar: .45, vanilla: .05, cream: .20)

The brownie:

1/2 C butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 C sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 C flour
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 300.  Butter a 9x13 pan and line it with buttered parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. (I didn't; I only lightly greased mine and all was quite well.)
Melt the butter and chocolate on low heat.  (Did mine in the microwave.) Remove and cool.  Beat eggs with sugar and salt for 8 minutes. (I did mine for 8 minutes, but felt that at 5 or 6 they were as fluffy and thick as they ever got, so you can probably cut this time down a bit.)

Fold in the chocolate, then flour and vanilla.

Pour into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes. (Mine went 32-33 minutes.) Cool about and hour and a half.

The frosting:

1/2 C butter
2 C powdered sugar
1/4 C heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

Melt the butter on low heat until it browns. The original recipe said to do it for 25 minutes on low. I did this and had to turn it up at the end to get it to brown. You can probably do it faster on medium heat, but it will need your attention so you don't burn your butter. For those who haven't browned butter: The butter will melt; it will reduce; it may foam; it will begin to change color. You will want it to be a nice caramel color. There may well be some solids (dark fleck like things) at the bottom of the pan; this is fine. It will begin to smell nutty. You'll want to swirl your pan or stir it so parts don't burn. When it's caramel colored with a nutty smell, take it off. Give it a minute to cool and pour it into a bowl. If you leave it in the pan, it will continue to cook and may burn.

Remove from heat and beat in the sugar, cream and vanilla.

Frost the brownie layer while it's still a tad warm.

Let cool at least 15 minutes. (I left mine much longer and all was well.)

The glaze:

Note: I know it takes a teeny bit of faith to use the unsweetened chocolate on the top. DO IT. It's the perfect contrast to the sweet brownie. It will not seem you are eating unsweetened chocolate at all. It will merely seem very chocolate-y and very browned butter-y.

3 Tbsp butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pan on very low heat.  (I did mine in brief--20-30 second--intervals as I always do when melting chocolate.) Pour over the icing layer and gently spread it by tipping the pan back and forth.

Let the whole thing cool for about an hour then cut the brownies into squares.

Refrigerate it if that's your thing.



  1. Holy moly! Those look delicious! I have to say I like room temperature brownies as well. Cold brownies? I don't think so.

  2. They are soooo good, Cathy. You must make them.

  3. Super delicious! My husband said they just might be his favorite brownie, EVER. That's huge, coming from Mr. Chocoholic, who never met a brownie he didn't like. :)

    1. They're my favorite too--possibly my favorite dessert ever.



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