Fudgy Brownies + Caramelized Pecan Brittle

fudgy brownies with caramelized pecan brittle | recipe via DisplacedHousewife

fudgy brownies + caramelized pecan brittle

I learned a lot of things on this fudgy brownies journey. First, there’s a brownie for every occasion. Kind of like finding the perfect dress: what’s the mood and occasion? Looking for stability? Sometimes a cakey brownie is just right. Feeling like a hot mess? You want it dripping in caramel sauce. Don’t want to get out of bed? Ooey and gooey is the only way to go. In my quest for this latter LBB (little black brownie), I travelled down a road awash with cocoa powder and brown sugar for fudginess. Granulated sugar and melted semi-sweet chocolate pave the way with a shiny crust and a sprinkle of flour provides infrastructure. What I’m really saying is that this is an ooey, gooey, holy shit brownie moment. Prepare yourselves.

At her essence, she’s a fudgy brownie that you can throw together with the basics from the cupboard. Have an immediate sweet craving? Great, forget about the brittle. Have a little extra time on your hands? Want to dazzle your dinner guests? Want to give your mouth the experience of a lifetime? Then take the time to make the pecan brittle. Which, by the way, isn’t much time at all.

We’ll have this fudgy brownie done in under an hour and whilst everything cools, you can take a bath and read the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Let’s bake, betches.

fudgy brownies with caramelized pecan brittle | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

fudgy brownie with caramelized pecan brittle | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

fudgy brownie + caramelized pecan brittle | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

fudgy brownies + caramelized pecan brittle

Makes 9 Delicious Fudgy Brownies

INGREDIENTS

For the Brownies

  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ cup sunflower seed oil (or other neutral veggie oil)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups pecan brittle (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes to sprinkle on top
  • OPTIONAL: I highly recommend (insist on?) vanilla ice cream to serve

*I tested this with both bread and all-purpose flour and found that both worked great with little (if any) noticeable differences.

For the Caramelized Pecan Brittle

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter (separated into two tablespoons and 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 3/4 oz raw pecans, coarsely chopped (just shy of a 1 ¼ cups)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Fudgy Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure you have a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Butter or use nonstick spray on a 8X8 pan. If you’re feeling it, put parchment paper in there…you’ll need to cut it so that it fits nicely. Using parchment paper will make it easier to pull the brownies out of the pan when done.
  3. In a large, microwave-safe bowl add your chopped semi-sweet chocolate, butter and sunflower seed oil. Microwave on high for 1 minute. You could also use a double boiler for this step…I find that the microwave is quicker with less clean up. Do not overheat your chocolate. Stir the chocolate-butter mixture until smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla to the chocolate and stir until completely blended.
  5. Add the three eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir until well blended.
  6. Now you have two options at this point. You can either whisk your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder) in a separate bowl or you can sprinkle directly on top of the chocolate mixture. I do the latter which is totally baking sacriledge. But I have seriously tested this so many times and it works just fine. I do like to make sure that I sprinkle the baking powder all over so it’s not just dumped in one spot. Let your conscience be your guide. You have to admit the idea of dirtying just one bowl is pretty exciting?
  7. Mix the brownie batter until it is JUST combined. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared 8X8 dish. Use the back of your spoon to even the top a bit. Additionally tap the dish on the counter a couple of times to release any air bubbles from the batter.
  9. Put the dish with the brownies in the oven for 25 minutes. They will have a bit of jiggle in the middle and if you test with a toothpick some batter will coat it. This is a good thing.
  10. Now here is the most challenging part of brownie making…letting them sit there for 1-2 hours (or more) to cool. It’s brutal. And beyond my capabilities. Which is why my fudgy brownies are never cut perfectly. In fact I read that if you put your brownies in the fridge to cool they will be extra chewy and fudgy. I’ve never been able to wait long enough to try that. Let me know how that works out for you.
  11. When it’s time to cut the fudgy brownies, use a very sharp knife (a bread knife works great), cut straight up and down and use a wet paper towel to clean off the knife and get as clean of a cut as possible. These are UBER fudgy…the longer you wait to cut them, the better they will look.
  12. Top with vanilla ice cream and the bad-ass caramelized pecan brittle from below.

For the Caramelized Pecan Brittle

  1. Generously rub 1 tablespoon of butter all over a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Rub some oil over a spatula and set aside. You’re going to use this to help spread the brittle in a minute.
  3. Have your vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of butter next to the sauce pan, measured and waiting.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, toast the pecans for several minutes until they start to give off a delicious nutty smell. Be careful not to burn them. Pour the nuts into a bowl and wipe down the saucepan (carefully!) with a wet paper towel. Make sure to get all of the nut debris out of there. #nutdebris
  5. Add the brown sugar, water and salt to the saucepan and put it over high heat. Periodically stir. The sugar will melt completely and it will start to bubble and foam and froth. Perfect. I use a candy thermometer here and I would recommend you do too…or you can use your instinct and eyeball things. You want this mixture to reach about 290 degrees F. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Once it has reached this temperature, add the butter and the vanilla extract, and continue to keep it over high heat. Adding these two ingredients will drop the heat and it takes about 5 more minutes to bring the temperature all the way up to 300 degrees F. I stir quite a bit at this point because I don’t want things to burn. Add the pecans, stirring to coat.
  7. Immediately take the pot off of the stove and pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Use the oil spatula to help spread things out. Lift and tip the baking sheet to get the brittle to spread as thin as possible. That’s what you want: thin brittle. It will be nice and crispy this way. It’s going to be hot as hell (warning), but you can use your fingers (if you can handle it) to pull on the edges to get it to thin out a bit. Stretch it out as much as possible. Are you getting the gist? Thin is better. Ugh, such is life.
  8. Once it’s as thin as you can stretch it, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then break it into chards. You’re done. Easy, right?

fudgy brownies + caramelized pecan brittle | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

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9 Comments

  • Joshua 2017/11/23 at 5:37 AM

    These look great! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  • DisplacedHousewife 2016/01/29 at 2:49 AM

    MB, thank you so much! I appreciate it. I hope you do make these brownies and I’d love to hear how you like them!! xoxo

    Reply
  • MB@Bourbon and Brown Sugar 2016/01/28 at 1:12 PM

    As always, love the post… I’m off to make brownies for breakfast, thank you very much. And nomination done for the BHG blogger awards – your blog rocks, hope you win!

    Reply
  • Amanda Paa 2016/01/28 at 3:49 AM

    Yes, there are different brownies for different days. Although I’d say fudgy is most often for me. Like these! And I can’t say I’ve ever seen a brittle on a brownie, but I like your style. Glad to hear I can read my Vanity Fair while I “try” to let them cool. :) xo

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2016/01/28 at 3:55 AM

      You’ve got to do something to keep yourself occupied!! I don’t know if I can commit to one style, but current mood is definitely fudgy brownies!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Victoria 2016/01/27 at 6:09 PM

    Hi! What kind of cocoa powder did you use? I love how dark your brownies look.

    Reply
    • DisplacedHousewife 2016/01/27 at 6:25 PM

      Hi Victoria!
      I used regular unsweetened cocoa. I also tested it with dark unsweetened cocoa. I think the darkness comes from the combination of cocoa + the semi-sweet chocolate chips. It didn’t seem to matter which cocoa I used (dark or regular), they came out pretty dark regardless. Can I say dark one more time? Let me know if you make them! xoxo

      Reply
  • Lily 2016/01/27 at 5:26 PM

    This site is amazing! With the beautiful recipe and pictures, how do you not already have your own show? I’m definitely making these over the weekend.

    Reply

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