|

Pecan Brownies

Pecan Brownies with Ice Cream, Pecan Brownies à la mode

I absolutely love these Pecan Brownies.  They remind me of a grown-up version of the boxed brownies my family and I ate frequently when I was growing up.  Freshly baked brownies were a classic Friday night dessert in my family and we only had one rule: brownies must be eaten with vanilla ice cream.  Needless to say, that was the easiest rule to follow and Friday nights were a favorite.  This recipe is also easy to make so it’s perfect to whip up at the last minute or if you have a brownie craving. 

***This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Click to see my full disclosure policy.***

Ingredients
Preparing Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and ensure the rack is in the middle of the oven. 

Place butter, eggs, and cream cheese on the counter to come to room temperature while preparing all other ingredients.

Break/cut pecans into small to medium-sized pieces.  Spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes (or until you begin to smell a strong pecan smell).  Stir every 2-3 minutes to ensure they don’t burn while toasting.  Remove the pecans from the pan and cool completely.  Keep the oven on while making the brownie batter.

Measure all other ingredients while pecans are toasting. 

Preparing Pan
Brownie Pan lined with Parchment Paper

Use an 8-inch square baking pan fitted with two crisscrossed strips of parchment paper that extend past the edges of the pan by a few inches (i.e., enough parchment paper to help you lift the baked brownies out of the pan).  Using a pan with straight sides will result in prettier corner brownies.  I don’t have a square pan with straight sides, so my corner brownies are more rounded.    

Making the Pecan Brownies

Place a large bowl on a double boiler2 over medium heat and melt the butter and chocolate.  Stir frequently with a silicone spatula and ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water (this will keep the chocolate from scorching). 

Remove the bowl from the heat and place it on a heat-safe surface.  Be careful because the bottom of the bowl will likely be hot. 

Whisk the sifted cocoa powder into the melted chocolate mixture until no clumps remain.  Then, add the sugar and combine.  The mixture will look a little grainy at this point.

Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until the mixture becomes thick and glossy. 

Add the pieces of cream cheese to the bowl and use a fork to mash it and incorporate it into the batter.  Continue this process until only small pieces of cream cheese are visible. 

Mix the salt into the flour in a separate bowl before pouring into the batter.  This will ensure the salt is evenly distributed throughout the brownies (no one wants a salty brownie).  Pour the flour mixture into the batter and stir until almost fully combined. 

Add pecans and fold into the batter until evenly incorporated and no flour streaks remain.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. 

Baking the Pecan Brownies

Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean.  If you have an instant-read thermometer, the center should register approximately 190°F/88°C.  It might seem like the middle is not cooked thoroughly, but this bake will result in a moist and fudgy brownie.  If you prefer a more cake-like brownie, continue baking the brownies until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean.  You never want to leave brownies in the oven until the toothpick comes out completely clean because the brownies will be over baked and dry (like a desert – not worth the calories).

Cooling and Cutting the Brownies
Pecan Brownies

Remove the brownies from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes3.  Carefully lift the parchment paper out of the pan and set on a cooling rack to cool completely.  To remove the parchment paper, invert the cooled brownies and peel the paper off the bottom.  You can remove the parchment paper before cooling completely by inverting the brownies onto a wire rack, immediately removing the parchment paper, and then using a second wire rack to return brownies to their original orientation (i.e., bottom of brownie resting on wire rack). 

Pecan Brownies, Cut

To cut the cooled brownies, move them to a cutting board and use a knife to cut 16 brownies.  Begin by cutting the square in half and then cut each of those halves in half (i.e., 4 columns).  This process will make it easier to get evenly sized brownies without measuring. 

Next, turn the cutting board 90° so the vertical columns are now horizontal rows and repeat the process a second time (i.e., cut in half and cut each half in half).  You should now have 16 brownie squares. 

Eating the Pecan Brownies
Pecan Brownies with Ice Cream, Pecan Brownies à la mode

These brownies are fantastic on their own, but my favorite way to eat brownies, regardless of the recipe, is à la mode.  The vanilla ice cream (or whipped cream if you prefer) cuts the richness of the chocolate brownie and provides a creamy textural component that pairs perfectly with the fudgy, chewy brownie, and crunchy toasted pecans.  I also just happened to have strawberries and bananas (not pictured) in my apartment, so I added those into my bowl.  Brownies, ice cream, and fruit = a perfect dessert. 

Pecan Brownies, stacked

These brownies are best the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week, but I don’t think they’ve ever lasted that long in my house.

Enjoy making these homemade pecan brownies in your own home and share your pictures or thoughts about the brownies in the comment section below!  Let me know if there are any other recipes that you’d like me to make.  I’m currently in the process of creating some requested posts for later this month and I would love to keep making posts that people are interested in. 

More Chocolate Recipes:

Pecan Brownies

Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Servings: 16

Equipment

  • 8-inch square baking pan

Ingredients

  • 14 Tbsp (200g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large (150g) eggs, room temperature
  • cup (85g) cream cheese, room temperature and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (113g) pecan pieces
  • 3 oz (85g) semi-sweet chocolate, approximately 60% cacao, cut into small pieces
  • cup (50g) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (8.5g) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp (76g) all-purpose flour
  • tsp (0.7g) fine sea salt

Instructions

Preparing Ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and ensure the rack is in the middle of the oven.
  • Place butter, eggs, and cream cheese on the counter to come to room temperature while preparing all other ingredients.
  • Break/cut pecans into small to medium-sized pieces. Spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes (or until you begin to smell a strong pecan smell). Stir every 2-3 minutes to ensure they don’t burn while toasting. Remove the pecans from the pan and cool completely. Keep the oven on while making the brownie batter.
  • Measure all other ingredients while pecans are toasting.

Preparing Pan

  • Use an 8-inch square baking pan fitted with two crisscrossed strips of parchment paper that extend past the edges of the pan by a few inches (i.e., enough parchment paper to help you lift the baked brownies out of the pan). Using a pan with straight sides will result in prettier corner brownies.

Making the Pecan Brownies

  • Place a large bowl on a double boiler over medium heat and melt the butter and chocolate. Stir frequently with a silicone spatula and ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water (this will avoid the chocolate scorching).
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and place it on a heat-safe surface. Be careful because the bottom of the bowl will likely be hot.
  • Whisk the sifted cocoa powder into the melted chocolate mixture until no clumps remain. Then, add the sugar and combine.
  • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until the mixture becomes thick and glossy.
  • Add the pieces of cream cheese to the bowl and use a fork to mash it and incorporate it into the batter. Continue this process until only small pieces of cream cheese are visible.
  • Mix the salt into the flour in a separate bowl before pouring into the batter. This will ensure the salt is evenly distributed throughout the brownies. Pour the flour mixture into the batter and stir until almost fully combined.
  • Add pecans and fold into the batter until evenly incorporated and no flour streaks remain.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Baking the Pecan Brownies

  • Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the center should register approximately 190°F/88°C.

Cooling and Cutting the Brownies

  • Remove the brownies from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the parchment paper out of the pan and set on a cooling rack to cool completely. To remove the parchment paper, invert the cooled brownies and peel the paper off the bottom.
  • To cut the cooled brownies, move them to a cutting board and use a knife to cut 16 brownies.
  • These brownies are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. You can replace pecans with any other mix-ins you prefer (e.g., walnuts, peanuts, chocolate chips) OR you can leave them out if you don’t want nuts in your brownie.  (Back to “Ingredients” section)
  2. To create a double boiler, fill a small saucepan with about an inch of water and place a bowl on top of the filled saucepan.  Make sure the water is not high enough that it will touch the bottom of the bowl.  This could cook the ingredients in the double boiler too quickly.  Typically, a double boiler is used to cook ingredients over a gentle heat, which is not as easy when cooking directly on the stovetop. (Back to “Making Brownies” section) 
  3. If you remove the brownies from the pan before they have time to partially cool, the brownies will be too delicate and will fall apart.  (Back to “Cooling and Cutting Brownies” section)
  4. This recipe was adapted from the “My Best Brownies” Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “Baking Basics” Cookbook

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating