Pecan Pie Brownies
March 21, 2022
I made these brownies last week. It was a journey filled with many trials and tribulations and I ended up having to make them twice, but at the end of it I had some damn good brownies. This was adapted from a recipe on NYT; I modified the proportions of some ingredients and changed some things in the preparation.
115g unsalted butter
115g unsweeted baking chocolate
100g granulated sugar
130g all-purpose flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
2tsp vanilla extract
Salt to taste
200g toasted pecan pieces
85g melted unsalted butter
10g brown sugar
Salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/77C and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pot on low heat, stirring as needed to avoid burning. Once everything has melted, move the mixture into a large bowl and add the sugar. Let the mixture cool until it's lukewarm.
3. Whisk the eggs into the chocolate, then add the dry ingredients and vanilla extract. Scrape the batter into the pan.
4. Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes.
5. Shortly before the brownies are finished baking, mix together the butter, honey, brown sugar, cream, and salt, then add the pecans and mix to coat. Take the brownies out of the oven and spread the pecans in an even layer on top. Top with more salt if desired.
6. Put the brownies back in the oven for 20-30 more minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.
I used an 8 inch square brownie pan and that gave me 9 brownies that were 3/4-ish of an inch thick. I would say the brownie-to-pecan ratio was about 2/3 to 1/3.
The original recipe calls for 250g sugar in the brownies and 55g sugar in the pecans. My sweetness tolerance is incredibly low, ergo me cutting the sugar so much. On my first attempt, I put 25g sugar into the pecans and that was horribly, headache-inducingly sweet, so I cut it even further on the second attempt and it was great. (I really could have just gone without the brown sugar completely, but the color it added was nice, so I had to put that tiny bit in there.) All that being said, you can taste the chocolate and pecan coating while you're adding sugar, so I would err on the side of less to begin with and gradually add and taste until you're happy with the sweetness level.
These brownies are very dense (otherwise, the pecans would just sink in there and you'd have boring old pecan brownies instead of a cool sedimentary rock dessert). The "batter" is more like wet cookie dough than batter. I don't think prebaking the brownies is necessary because of how dense they are (the original recipe doesn't require it), but I like a nice crust on my brownies and I wanted to make sure they were cooked throughly.
It is a very good idea to exercise restraint and let these things cool all the way before you cut them. You risk the pecan layer not setting completely if you try to cut them while they're hot.