At the time of my birthday (and since you ask, it was a few weeks ago ), I was kind of caked out. I just happened to have made lots of cakes leading up to it, so we instead decided to celebrate with something different for dessert: brownies. And while its not my birthday any more, in case you’re in the mood to celebrate anything with someone special (setting the mood for Valentine’s day perhaps?), these will score you…wait for it…brownie points (rimshot!).
Now all that being said, there’s something to be said about these brownies. Calling anything a “brownie” commands certain expectations that vary person to person. In all likelihood, these won’t meet them. Does that mean you’ll be disappointed? Absolutely not–these are incredible and you’ll devour the whole batch as quickly as you would any other brownie. They’re just different–more like a cake than the dark fudgey squares I was used to (so much for my break from cakes, right?). They were light, airy, and delicate in texture with a distinctly tangy honeyed taste, accentuated by chocolate and a mix of nuts. This is a great place for you to use your best quality honey because it will really come through in a big way while still letting you enjoy the crisp, buttery edges and soft chocolatey insides that define a brownie.
These brownies came from one of my favorite baking-oriented books, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (and worth mentioning, its one of a big variety of brownie recipes in there).
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup honey
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used a mix of walnuts and pecans)
Begin by preheating the oven to 325°F. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with tinfoil (makes for easy brownie removal) and buttering it up.
Over a gently simmering double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring until silky smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and salt on medium high speed until foamy and fluffed up a good bit. Add the honey, sugar, and vanilla, continuing to beat (with the paddle attachment, not the whisk) for another 2 minutes.
Drop to low speed and pour in the melted chocolate, mixing only as much as is necessary to incorporate it into the egg mixture. Finally, add the flour, mixing only as little as is required. Fold in the crushed nuts and then evenly spread the batter in your baking pan.
Bake the brownies for 45-50 minutes. They should rise nicely and a tester should come out clean. Remove from the oven, fish the brownies out of the pan (using your handy dandy tinfoil) and let them cool on a rack right-side up before you cut them into squares.
If you care to dust them with confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder, go for it, but I personally would rather just dig in. Enjoy!