Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dreamy Coconut Pecan Brownies

Have you ever stopped to think what life would be like without chocolate?

Wait...who am kidding??  That thought is just too unbearable, and I don't want to even think of that sort of craziness.  Craziness!  After all, then we wouldn't be able to indulge in the wonderfulness that are these brownies!
I mean, straight up perfectly fudgy, nutty, chocolate-coma-inducing, chocolatey goodness on a plate, folks. 

I've tried quite a few brownie recipes in the past...What can I say, they are my weakness.  Thomas Keller's Brownies from the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook are quite incredible and are among one of my favorites that I've made.  And now, ladies and gentlemen, this recipe from Dorie Greenspan has found a special place in my recipe collection as another HUGE favorite.

I adapted the recipe just a bit in order to add my own little flair.  See, I have this thing for anything that involves chocolate and coconut together.  They are a match made in culinary heaven, and I just can't help but add a little coconut extract here and there to chocolate desserts any chance that I get.  Can you blame me?  If coconut just isn't your thing, simply substitute vanilla extract instead.

These brownies are fudgy and dense, without being too heavy.  They are rich and decadent and would of course be wonderful with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream melting over the top.  
Bon Appetit, my friends!

Dreamy Coconut Pecan Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Classic Brownies in  Baking: From my Home to Yours

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Semisweet instead)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract (OR vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional, but really good)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (according to taste)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (OR walnuts)

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted - you don't want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

With a whisk, stir in the sugar. Don't be concerned when your smooth mixture turns grainy. One by one, whisk in the eggs. Add the vanilla and give the ingredients a vigorous whisking before gently stirring the espresso, if you are using it, salt and flour; stir only until incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the chopped walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the spatula.

Bake the brownies for 30 to 33 minutes, or until the top is dull and a thin knife inserted into the center come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the brownies to room temperature.
When the brownies are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares, each a scant 2 inches on a side.

Serving: Like all great brownies, these are good eaten out of hang without a bit of embellishment or topped off with whipped or ice cream (coffee ice cream is really good with these), offered either way at room temperature or a bit chilled.

Storing recommendations: These are best served within 2 days of baking. If you're going to keep them at room temperature, just cut what you need and keep the remainder wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. To freeze for up to 2 months, wrap the brownies airtight. 

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Jenni said...

These look amazing! I love chocolate and coconut together, its such a great match!

Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

What an amazing recipe, these look so delicious! Fabulous blog you have, so glad to be your newest follower! xoxo

Celeste said...

I agree, Jenni! It's hard to beat! :)

Tia said...

i love these! they look decadent beyond belief!

The Three Little Piglets said...

I haven't tried those ones yet. I'm a huge fan of the ones from the Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook myself!

Celeste said...

Thanks Tia!!

Jen - I'll have to check that cookbook out too!

Kerry said...

Oh yummy, they look lovely. Great blog :o)

sportsglutton said...

There is no life without chocolates, especially because there would be no brownies!! Tasty looking recipe. :-)