I had a deep desire to make some brownies for my “I Am Not Having A Superbowl Party” Party.
I did not have the energy to throw an all-out event like we usually do (every. single. year.). Instead, I waited until the day of the game and told my husband to tell whoever wanted to come over to come. But…he had strict instructions to inform them that this was, in fact, most definitely, NOT a Superbowl Party. In other words? He was informing them to not expect much. I think the word he used was LowKey.
Please tell me that some of you had a party like this too.
In my mind, when you do not call it a party, you do not have the responsibility of having to be “on”. I took this to heart – I left my guests to fend for themselves and I was able to watch the entire game, including all of the commercials, and that awesome half-time show. A rare and unusual treat.
But, even though I did not whip up my usual SuperBowl spread, I had an intense craving for chocolate. In my female mind, no football game is complete without chocolate.
These brownies have been taunting me ever since I saw them grace the cover of my February issue of Bon Appetit Magazine with the teaser title “BEST-EVER BROWNIES”. I am a sucker for a challenge like that. I had to see for myself if these were, indeed, the Best-Ever. But with browned butter (or Browned Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread for my Dairy-Free version) in this recipe, I had a sneaking suspicion that they would be right.
The original recipe is written by Alice Medrich – chocolate expert, cookbook author, and cooking teacher. Her most recent book is Chewy Gooey Crispy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies. And according to the recipe testers at Bon Appetit: “These are some of the best brownies we’ve ever had-fudgy in the middle and chewy on the outside with a shiny, crackly top. The browned butter adds a rich nutty flavor.”
All I know is that with a few simple substitutions, these brownies can be easily adapted to be gluten-free and grain-free. And with a few more substitutions, they can be transformed even farther into a dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free indulgence as well. Even with the substitutions, these brownies are spot-on with Bon Appetit’s review of them. Fudgy. Chewy. Crackly. Nutty. Unbelievable (okay, this last word is mine).
Perfect for your next “Not Really a Party” party. Or, just the right Valentine treat for the love(s) in your life. I know that my husband and boys will be getting another batch of these on this upcoming day of Love.
Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter: Gluten-Free and Grain-Free
Easily Adapted to be Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, and Nut-Free
Non-stick Vegetable Oil Spray
10 Tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (For Dairy-Free: use equal amount Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread-this browns in it’s own way, still producing a slightly nutty flavor)
1 1/4 cups Coconut Palm Sugar (original recipe calls for sugar) – the Coconut Palm Sugar added a superior nutty flavor
3/4 cup Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Rapunzel Organic Cocoa Powder)-spooned into cup to measure, then leveled
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs, chilled (For Egg-Free: use 2 Tablespoons Ground Chia Seeds mixed with 6 Tablespoons HOT water-let sit for 5 minutes to gel)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Almond Flour, such as Honeyville (For Nut-Free: Use equal amount of your favorite Gluten-Free Flour Blend)
1 cup Walnut Pieces (I did not use any Walnuts in the recipe)
1. Position rack in the bottom third of oven. Preheat to 325 degrees. Line 8x8x2 inch metal pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against sides and leaving 2 inch overhang. Coat foil with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Melt Butter (or, for Dairy-Free, Earth Balance Buttery Spread) over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form on bottom of pan. STIR OFTEN. About 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Immediate stir in: sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons of water, vanilla, and 1/4 heaping teaspoon of fine sea salt. Stir well to blend. Let sit 5 minutes. Mixture will be very hot.
4. After 5 minutes, add eggs (or chia mixture) to hot mixture, 1 at a time (or half of chia mixture at a time). Beat vigorously to blend after each addition.
5. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add your flour choice and stir until blended. 60 vigorous strokes. Stir in nuts, if using. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
6. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with few moist crumbs attached), about 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Then lift out using foil overhang. Cut into 16 squares. Store airtight at room temperature.
I walked away from these brownies for just a few minutes and my boys decided to have a little photo staging fun of their own. These are their Brownie Soldiers, in line, ready to be devoured.
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