Sweet Indulgence: Chocolate Walnut Brownies You’ll Love

Chocolate Walnut Brownies Chenée Today

Hello, fellow baking enthusiasts! Today, we’ll be diving into the delightful world of chocolate walnut brownies – a classic treat that’s perfect for any occasion. Using quality ingredients and a foolproof recipe, you’ll be whipping up a batch of these scrumptious brownies in no time. Let’s get started!

A Brief History of Brownies

The origin of brownies can be traced back to the late 19th century in the United States. The first documented brownie recipe appeared in the 1896 edition of Fannie Merritt Farmer’s “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.” However, this early version was more like a chocolate-flavored cookie rather than the fudgy, cake-like treat we know today.

The modern brownie is said to have been developed in 1905 when the famous Sears, Roebuck, and Co. catalog published a recipe for “Bangor Brownies,” named after the city of Bangor, Maine. This recipe included chocolate and butter, creating a richer, more decadent dessert that resembled the brownies we’re familiar with today. As the recipe gained popularity, it began to appear in various cookbooks and publications.

There are several theories as to how the walnut variation came into existence. One popular story suggests that a baker added walnuts to the brownie batter to make it more filling and nutritious, while another theory claims that the addition of walnuts was simply a creative twist to add texture and flavor to the original recipe.

Walnuts have long been associated with brownies, and their inclusion has become a classic and beloved variation. The combination of rich chocolate and crunchy, flavorful walnuts has made chocolate walnut brownies a favorite among dessert lovers for over a century.

Throughout the years, brownies have evolved and diversified, with countless variations and flavors being developed. From different types of chocolate to various nuts, fruits, and other mix-ins, brownies have truly become a versatile and well-loved dessert around the world.

 

Choosing the Right Ingredients

The secret to truly amazing chocolate walnut brownies lies in the ingredients you use. Choose the best ingredients available for the best results.

Different types of chocolate and their impact on brownie flavor

When selecting chocolate for your brownies, it’s important to consider the different types available and how they can influence the overall taste. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids, making it less sweet and more intense in flavor. Using dark chocolate will give your brownies a rich, deep chocolate taste with a hint of bitterness.
  • Semisweet chocolate: Semisweet chocolate strikes a balance between sweetness and chocolate intensity, making it a popular choice for brownies. It provides a milder chocolate flavor compared to dark chocolate, which complements the walnuts without overpowering them.

  • Milk chocolate: Milk chocolate is sweeter and creamier than dark or semisweet chocolate, but its milder flavor may not hold up as well against the other ingredients in brownies. If you prefer a sweeter brownie, you can use milk chocolate, but be prepared for a less pronounced chocolate taste.

  • Bittersweet chocolate: Bittersweet chocolate is similar to dark chocolate, but with a slightly lower sugar content. It can be used interchangeably with dark chocolate for a more intense chocolate flavor.

Selecting fresh, flavorful walnuts

Choosing the best walnuts for your brownies is essential for achieving that delicious crunch and nutty flavor. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect walnuts:

  • Purchase from a reputable source: Buy walnuts from a grocery store or supplier with a good turnover rate to ensure they’re fresh.
  • Check the appearance: Look for walnuts with an even, light brown color and no signs of mold or damage. The shells should be intact and free of cracks or holes.
  • Smell for freshness: Fresh walnuts should have a mild, nutty aroma. If they smell rancid or musty, they’re likely past their prime and shouldn’t be used

  • Store properly: Keep walnuts in an airtight container in a cool, dark place or even in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness and prevent them from turning rancid.

 

The role of other ingredients like butter, sugar, and eggs in creating the perfect brownie:

  • Butter: Using unsalted butter allows you to control the saltiness of your brownies and provides a rich, creamy base that enhances the overall flavor. Butter also contributes to the brownie’s tender, moist texture.

 

  • Sugar: Granulated sugar not only sweetens the brownie but also plays a role in its texture. The sugar crystals create air pockets when beaten with the eggs, giving the brownies a lighter, more tender crumb. Using brown sugar can add a hint of molasses flavor and extra moisture to the brownie, while caster sugar will dissolve more easily, resulting in a smoother texture.
  • Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent in brownies, holding all the ingredients together and providing structure. They also contribute to the brownie’s richness and moistness. Room-temperature eggs incorporate more easily into the batter and create a more even texture.

Step-by-Step Chocolate Walnut Brownie Recipe

How to customize the recipe to suit personal preferences (e.g., vegan, gluten-free options)

There are plenty of ways to modify this chocolate walnut brownie recipe to fit your taste preferences or dietary requirements. Here are some suggestions:

  • Vegan option: To make vegan brownies, replace the butter with a plant-based alternative like vegan margarine or coconut oil. Substitute the eggs with a vegan egg replacement, such as flaxseed or chia seed ‘eggs’ (mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg), or use a commercial egg replacement product.
  • Gluten-free option: For a gluten-free version of this recipe, replace the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of gluten-free flour blend, ensuring it contains xanthan gum or another binding agent for optimal texture.

  • Nut-free option: If you’re not a fan of walnuts or have a nut allergy, you can omit the walnuts altogether or substitute them with an alternative like chopped pecans, almonds, or even chocolate chips for an extra chocolaty treat.

  • Flavor variations: Feel free to get creative with the flavors in your brownies by adding in spices, extracts, or other mix-ins. For example, you could add a teaspoon of instant coffee or espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor or mix in a teaspoon of cinnamon or a pinch of chili powder for a spiced twist. A splash of mint, orange, or almond extract can also add a unique flavor profile to your brownies.

  • Toppings and add-ins: Customize your brownies by adding different toppings or mix-ins before baking. For example, you can sprinkle the top of the batter with sea salt for a salty-sweet contrast, or add a layer of caramel or peanut butter between two layers of brownie batter for an indulgent surprise.

  • Additionally, you can fold in other ingredients like marshmallows, pretzel pieces, or dried fruit to add texture and flavor variety.

  • By making these adjustments, you can create a unique chocolate walnut brownie recipe that suits your tastes and dietary preferences. Enjoy experimenting with these ideas to find your perfect brownie combination!

Serving Your Chocolate Walnut Brownies

Presentation is key when it comes to serving your freshly baked brownies. Here are some creative ideas to make your chocolate walnut brownies look as delicious as they taste:

  • Simple elegance: Cut the brownies into even squares and place them on a decorative platter or plate. Dust the tops with a light coating of powdered sugar for a touch of elegance.
  • A la mode: Elevate your brownie experience by serving each square with a scoop of your favorite ice cream, such as vanilla or salted caramel. Drizzle the brownie and ice cream with warm chocolate or caramel sauce for added indulgence.

  • Fruit pairing: Pair your brownies with fresh berries, like raspberries or strawberries, for a burst of fruity flavor that complements the richness of the chocolate and walnuts.

  • Whipped delight: Top each brownie square with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a spoonful of thick Greek yogurt, and garnish with a mint leaf or a sprinkle of cocoa powder for a visually appealing and delicious treat.

  • Brownie sundae: Create a decadent brownie sundae by layering a warm brownie square with scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, and a cherry on top.

Storing Your Chocolate Walnut Brownies

To ensure that your brownies remain fresh and delicious, proper storage is essential. Follow these tips to keep your brownies at their best:

  • Room temperature storage: Keep your brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Separate layers of brownies with parchment or wax paper to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Refrigeration: While not necessary for short-term storage, you can store brownies in the refrigerator for up to a week if you prefer a firmer texture. Be sure to keep them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out or absorbing odors from other foods.

  • Freezing: If you’d like to store your brownies for an extended period, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap each brownie individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a large zip-top bag or an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. When you’re ready to enjoy your brownies, simply remove them from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for a couple of hours.

  • By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your chocolate walnut brownies remain a delightful treat to be enjoyed at any time.

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Chocolate Walnut Brownie

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A rich, fudgy, classic treat with a crunchy twist!

·      

  • Author: Jeannie Jacobs
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz (225g) high-quality dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125g) chopped walnuts, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate large bowlwhisk together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the flour and salt to the mixture, stirring just until combined.
  6. Fold in the toasted walnuts.
  7. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  9. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan before cutting them into squares and serving.

Notes

Achieving the perfect brownie texture and consistency can be a bit tricky, but with these helpful tips, you’ll be able to bake brownies that are just the way you like them:

  • Choose the right chocolate: As mentioned earlier, the type of chocolate you use will have a significant impact on the flavor and texture of your brownies. Dark or semisweet chocolate will result in a more intense, fudgy brownie, while milk chocolate will yield a sweeter, softer texture.
  • Mix gently: Over mixing the brownie batter can cause the gluten in the flour to develop, resulting in a tough, chewy brownie. To prevent this, mix the batter gently and only until the ingredients are just combined. It’s also a good idea to fold in the walnuts by hand rather than using an electric mixer.
  • Use room-temperature ingredients: Using room-temperature eggs and butter will help ensure that your brownie batter mixes more evenly, creating a uniform texture. Cold ingredients can cause the melted chocolate to seize and form lumps in the batter.
  • Test for doneness: To determine if your brownies are done, insert a toothpick into the center of the pan. Perfectly baked brownies will have a few moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick but should not be wet or undercooked. It’s better to err on the side of slightly underbaking your brownies, as they will continue to set as they cool, ensuring a fudgy and moist texture.
  • Adjust baking time for your desired texture: If you prefer a cakier brownie, increase the baking time by a few minutes, while if you prefer a gooey, fudgy brownie, decrease the baking time slightly. Keep in mind that every oven is different, so you may need to experiment to find the perfect baking time for your specific oven.
  • Allow to cool completely: One of the hardest parts of making brownies is waiting for them to cool! However, it’s essential to let your brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving, as this will help them set and achieve the desired texture. Cutting them too soon can result in a crumbly, messy brownie.

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In this blog post, we’ve explored the delightful world of chocolate walnut brownies, from their rich history to tips for achieving the perfect texture and consistency. By choosing the right ingredients, following the step-by-step recipe, and customizing the brownies to suit your preferences, you can create a delectable dessert that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

As you embark on your chocolate walnut brownie baking journey, remember that the key to success lies in the quality of your ingredients, the care with which you mix and bake your brownies, and the creativity you bring to the serving and presentation.

Take the time to experiment with different types of chocolate, try various flavor combinations, and explore new ways to serve and enjoy your brownies. You might just discover a new family favorite or create a cherished memory in the process.

If you’re on the hunt for more chic and unique home decor ideas, dive into a world of elegance and inspiration with Just Jeannie’s collection of posts and tutorials by clicking here.

 

Embrace your creativity and when you bring a touch of Just Jeannie into your home, don’t forget to snap a photo and tag @JustJeannie on Instagram. We love celebrating your exquisite spaces and might even feature your decor flair in our stories!


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