To make a dessert fancier and sophisticated there are a few tricks you can employ: brown butter, extra sea salt, toasted nuts, and/or unique/raw ingredients. These brownies have all of the above!
These are not the brownies to make for a picnic or random group event, these are brownies meant to be savored by your food loving friends. And if you're anything like me, all of your friends are food-loving! Is there really any other kind?
The brownie base is my favorite: moist, plenty of chocolate, tender, and made in one pot. Cacao nibs were purchased months ago without a purpose, but their bitter flavor needed a sweet counterpart. Salty pistachios round out the sweet-salty-bitter flavor profile. The best part is the toasted, crunchy bits on top of the soft brownies. Good eating my friends!
Brownies with Cacao Nibs and Pistachios
Or... Fancy-pants grown up brownies
Adapted from My favorite brownie recipe
Yield - 9-16 servings
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon espresso powder
10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F. Grease an 8x8” pan and lay parchment paper along the bottom and hanging over two sides. Grease the parchment paper.
Brown the butter in a medium saucepan until golden brown and nutty. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar, water, and espresso powder. Add the chocolate chips and allow them to melt completely.
Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes and then stir in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pistachios and cacao nibs on top and gently press into the top. Sprinkle with finishing salt.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Please don’t over bake!
Let cool completely before cutting, brownies cut best when cool.