Brown Butter Brownies
This treat should be listed under the definition of “decadent”. It is brownies kicked up a notch, the kind of stuff you eat when you celebrate a special occasion or wallow in a blue funk – not to be consumed too often, but when they are, ooh boy! Make sure you use the best ingredients to bring out the best flavours (no artificial vanilla or dollar store chocolate chips, you’ll regret it)
1-1/4 cup butter
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp water (you can substitute brewed coffee, it will deepen the chocolate flavours)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup top quality chocolate chips or pieces
Preheat oven to 350F/170C. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and then spraying it with non-stick spray or greasing with butter.
Combine sugar and cocoa in a large bowl (you can use your standing mixer if you want).
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat (it foams up, so you need room). Heat it until a nice light brown colour (it will foam up and then the foam will dissipate and the milk solids will brown. Take it off the heat and IMMEDIATELY add it to the sugar-cocoa mixture so it stops cooking. Beat this mixture until smooth and creamy.
Add the salt, water, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one.
Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix just until blended. Your batter will be stiff, don’t worry.
Using a sturdy tool, spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan. You can freeze it in the parchment if you wish – but who has the will power for that? Cut into squares and serve, ideally with chocolate ganache or caramel sauce drizzled over top. Maybe a scoop of ice cream if you’re feeling it (I won’t tell if you don’t).
If you’re a wine fan, a wee dram of Port with one of these brownies just might transport you to Nirvana.