Sunday, July 18, 2010

SMS: Chocolate Walnut Brownies

First off, I must admit I was somewhat distracted this week by something even better than brownies. "What", you say, "could possibly be better than brownies?" My adorable, super-cute, 4 day old nephew! He is the squishiest, most cuddly baby ever! So, instead of stressing about this post and getting it done early, I procrastinated and cuddled instead.
That being said, it is funny how nervous I was for my week to host. I don't know how everyone else feels when their time comes but, for me, so much thought gets put into the whole process. I wanted to pick a "good" recipe and I wanted to make it enough times that I would have really cool tips or tricks to share. Alas, I have no tips or tricks. Luckily, I found the recipe to be pretty straightforward and in my opinion, it makes a really good brownie. Now I do realize what makes a good brownie seems to be a really individualized thing. Some like fudgy, some like cakey, etc. I don't like mine to taste undercooked. These were just about perfect for me. They were moist but still tasted cooked all the way through. I also found this recipe to be pretty customizable. I added mint chips to one batch and they were just great.Instead of using cocoa in this recipe, you use unsweetened chocolate and melt it in a double boiler. ( I just used a metal bowl over a pot.)
Next, you mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla, until the batter is a pale yellow.Incorporate the chocolate into batter. Now is the time to get creative and throw in any add-ins that you have a hankering for, in this case, walnuts.Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 - 5o minutes. Then comes the best part-Cut and eat.

Before I post the recipe, I just want to say thanks to the great women in this group. I am inspired every time I check one of your blogs! Be sure to check out the amazing bakers who joined me this week.
You can find this week's recipe on pages 82-83 of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, or posted below.
Chocolate Walnut Brownies

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces best-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 sup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Before you start
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a 9 x 9 x 2-inch square cake pan.

  1. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering, not boiling, water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from the heat but keep warm.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in 3 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the nuts by hand.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until sides begin to pull away from the pan and center is moist but not runny and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  6. When cool, loosen the edges of the pan with a knife and invert the brownies onto the cutting board. Cut into 12 brownies, measuring 3 inches by 2 1/4 inches, or serve straight from the pan.
The brownies keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting.


  1. Your brownies look delicious and the photos are great. Thnks for hosting.

    My 9 month old nephew is visiting so I can totally relate to the joy. Happy Cuddling!

  2. It was so nice to click here and see a baby, an adorable baby, much better than brownies.

    Love your photos, especially your nephew. The inside of your brownies look gushy to me. I love them that way. Mine were a bit drier than that, if I remember correctly.

    Thanks for hosting.

  3. Your nephew is a little angel. A wonderful distraction!

    Great post Tiffany! I know what you mean about stressing out. I felt exactly the same way a few weeks ago. ;) But this is such a great group with good feedback there's really no reason to stress.

    Your brownies look great! Mint chips sound yummy! I was looking for more chocolate flavor in my brownies. I might try the addition of some chocolate chips for next time. Everyone had such good luck with these that I think I need to give them another shot.

    Thanks for hosting!

  4. What a cutie! I agree with Chaya, I'd rather look at a cute baby than brownies!

    I'm glad you liked these. They look so much better than mine did. Thanks for hosting this week!

  5. what a cute little baby! thanks for a simple and easy recipe :) i goofed up but look fwd to trying it again soon :)

  6. The baby is adorable! Sorry I didn't bake along with you this week. I made a very similar recipe last weekend and wasn't up for another brownie this week.

    Your brownies look delicious!

  7. Beautiful little Nephew and only 4 days old in the photo? How precious is that?! I would be distracted too.

    Your brownie selection was phenomenal! One of the best brownies my family has tried and when I found out the recipe was based off of Julia Child's brownie recipe. . . I was hooked! Your series of photos and final brownie pic is perfect too. You did a wonderful job and thank you for hosting this week's Sweet Melissa Sunday.

  8. Excellent choice.

    And congrats on the new addition to your family. Your nephew is adorable :)

    Katie xox

  9. those brownies look ooey gooey and chocolately!! and congrats on your nephew!

  10. Your nephew is a cutie! So sorry I could not join you this week. I have been baking for so many different events this past week I could not fit another recipe in. The brownies look really good!

  11. What a precious baby! Thanks for hosting this week. Your brownies look delicious.

  12. adorable nephew! my first week with sweet melissa sundays so thanks for hosting with an awesome recipe : )

  13. Wonderful pick on the brownies. My entire family really enjoyed them! I, like most of the others, can't blame you for being distracted by your nephew. He looks adorable in your photo!

  14. Great selection, these were a big hit here! Your new nephew is adorable, congratulations to your family!

  15. Congratulations on your new nephew! He is so precious :) That would definitely distract me from brownies too.

    Thanks for hosting this week! We really liked the brownies here. I thought the baking time was a little off, but luckily I checked mine early so it was all good!

  16. Thanks for hosting. They were great!

    I got the vanilla bean sea salt from

  17. Thanks for hosting last week! I'm so sorry I didn't read your blog until now, but the brownies looks amazing!

  18. Tiff,

    If you are interested…
    Don't forget to stop by my blog.
    Baking is my Zen will be having a COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY
    from August 8 through August 14, 2010.

    The giveaway will be the ‘not yet released’ cookbook,
    Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented
    By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito


  19. Brownies look awesome and seeing the picture of that beautiful made me smile. Congrats Aunt.

    Plan B

  20. Wonderful brownies. And what a cute little nephew!