Recipe: Nigella’s Snow-Flecked Brownies

by Maggie Battista on December 19, 2007

in Desserts, Featured, Holiday

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As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a baker. In fact, I’ve never really baked all that much until this December. I used to marvel at friends and family who would whip up cookies and pies at Christmas’ past, thinking, “How do they find the time? It all seems so complicated; how do they understand how to do it all?”

This December, I’ve finally had the time on my hands to do it all in the ideal way. I bake several times a week, if not daily. I find following the exact steps of a cookie recipe very relaxing actually, as opposed to creating something on the fly when cooking dinner. I’ve really started to come into my own as a baker and have identified my favorite recipes – recipes I will return to for years to come for holidays, birthdays and other special events.

Yesterday, I made the most amazing brownies I have ever tasted. The recipe belongs to one of my favorites, Nigella Lawson, and her book Feast: Food to Celebrate Life. She makes these speckled brownies for New Year’s Eve, arranging them as a tower and lighting them ablaze with candles. They are the most moist, gooey brownies I have ever encountered, and, as Martha would say, that’s a good thing; I absolutely hate dry brownies. I guess it helped that I used more than 3 sticks of butter and 13 ounces of the best chocolate I could afford.

I happened to forget to add the white chocolate until after I had already placed the pan in the oven. But I didn’t worry; I simply sprinkled some on top of the loose mixture and continued to let them bake. I also got a little over-zealous with the powdered sugar, but it was all due to the excitement of wanting to get it just right. I plan on making these for New Year’s Eve myself, and topping them with powdered sugar, edible silver baubles and sparkling candles. The recipe follows after the next photo.

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Snow-Flecked Brownies

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 13 oz best quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 oz white chocolate buttons, or good white chocolate, chopped
  • About 2 teaspoons confectioners sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the sides and base of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or baking parchment. (I used a glass dish and parchment, using a bit of butter to get the parchment to stick to the pan.)

Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a large heavy-based pan over low heat. (I used a double boiler.)

In a bowl, beat the eggs together with the sugar and vanilla extract. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little, then add the egg and sugar mixture and beat well. Fold in the flour and salt. Then stir in the white chocolate buttons (I used chips). Beat to combine then scrape and pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 25 minutes. You can see when the brownies are ready because the top dried to a slightly paler brown speckle, while the middle remains dark, dense and gooey. Even with such a big batch you do need to keep checking on it; the difference between gungey brownies and dry ones is only a few minutes. Remember, too, that they will continue to cook as they cool.

To serve, cut into squares while still warm and pile up on a large plate, sprinkling with confectioners sugar pushed with a teaspoon through a small sieve, and dotting with candles as you go. Set alight and enjoy the festive scene.

Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's writing her first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in fall 2015.


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  • Jen B

    Yummy! They look so pretty and delicious! I’ll definitely have to make them soon!

  • RobertLMach

    Handlebars are adjustable for height? You stay in control of your best snow blower at any time at the helm will help you move the corners.

  • http://comfycook.wordpress.com/ Chaya

    I have debated making these but all tht butter turned me away. It is all your fault that I think I am going to make them. You make them sound like the very best. How can I not bake these?

    Just tell me to take responsibility for my own decisions.

  • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

    They are so good. You won't be sorry!

  • http://comfycook.wordpress.com/ Chaya

    I have debated making these but all tht butter turned me away. It is all your fault that I think I am going to make them. You make them sound like the very best. How can I not bake these?

    Just tell me to take responsibility for my own decisions.

  • http://www.eatboutique.com Maggie

    They are so good. You won't be sorry!

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