Hazelnut-Brown-Butter Brownies

People. These are the fudgiest brownies that I’ve ever had. Delicious, chocolatey, fudgy, nutty, rich brownies. This may seem crazy to some, but ever since I was a kid I haven’t liked brownies with nuts in them. As these are made with hazelnut flour (ground up hazelnuts) they impart a nice nutty flavor without chunks of nuts. This is nice for another reason as well. Nut flour is gluten-free, so I can gladly eat them up with no resulting unhappy digestive issues. Everyone who tried these brownies raved about them and especially loved how rich & fudgy they were. I’m not sure if I can convey how happy I am to have found this recipe, these will be MY brownies from now on. Next time I make them I will be sure to serve them with ice cream. Hmm. I think I’m going to go eat one right now…

slightly adapted from: Food + Wine
makes: a 9-x-13 pan of brownies

7 ounces hazelnuts (I used chopped hazelnuts)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon instant espresso dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment (foil stuck to the brownies for me, even with the spray), pressing it into the corners and leaving overhang on the 2 short sides.

Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for 15 minutes, until fragrant and the skins blister; transfer to a kitchen towel to cool slightly, then rub off the skins (if the skins haven’t already been removed). Let cool completely.

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Transfer the nuts to a food processor and add the cocoa, salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar and pulse until finely ground.

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In a large saucepan, cook the butter over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until nutty smelling and golden and the foam subsides, about 5 minutes (the butter will bubble quite a bit, so make sure the heat is not too high, adjust as necessary). Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate; let stand until melted, about 2 minutes. Whisk the butter and chocolate until smooth, scraping up any browned butter solids from the bottom of the pan. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar and the espresso until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Beat in the chocolate-butter mixture. Add the cocoa-hazelnut mixture and beat to combine, scraping down the bowl. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is glossy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the brownies cool completely on a rack, then refrigerate until chilled.

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Lift the brownies out of the pan and peel off the parchment. Cut into pieces and serve.

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