Brownies. With Nuts.

Mmmm brownies

These are always a hit. A long time ago these started out as the cocoa brownies in  Betty Crocker’s Best of Baking, slowly evolving with some grown-up touches like Kahlua and some salt on top.  These are a quick and easy rich treat to be munched in a little over half an hour.  Just remember the Alton Brown sling when preparing the pan! (You remember that one, right? Where he uses parchment to line the bottom and go up the sides?)


You can almost make out the sugar and salt on top
Extreme close up to see the sugar and salt on top


Chocolate Orgasm Brownies
Serves 16
Rich, dense brownie with chunks of dark chocolate and a salty/sweet nut topping.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
177 calories
22 g
39 g
9 g
2 g
4 g
44 g
195 g
16 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177
Calories from Fat 79
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 39mg
Sodium 195mg
Total Carbohydrates 22g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 16g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the batter
  1. 1 c. sugar
  2. 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 c. Kahlua
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 2/3 c. AP flour
  7. 1/2 c. dutch-process cocoa
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/4 tsp. salt
For the topping
  1. 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  2. 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chunks
  3. 2 Tbsp. raw sugar
  4. 1 tsp. kosher or flake salt
  1. Mix the topping in a small bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350*. Coat inside of 9x9x2 square pan with cooking spray. Take a sheet of parchment paper 9" wide, and make an Alton Brown-style brownie sling.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients. Mix the wet in the mixer, add in the dry. Mix just until combined. Place batter in the prepared pan. Smooth surface. Sprinkle with the topping.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tester comes out clean. You will see the brownies pulling a little from the edge. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Cool 10 minutes, loosed the non-parchment side and *gently* lift the brownies from the pan for slicing.
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Best of Baking
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Best of Baking
Bucket of Yum

Baklava, and why not!

I usually go nuts with the cookies for Christmas. Make dozens and dozens. Ship them off to friends and family. But this year, I just wasn’t feeling the cookie love. We tried some candied orange peel (delicious!), and then when I was at Caravan the Force of the Baklava was too strong to resist.  Of course, the problem with that is that there is now half a tray of baklava in the house…..




This is just AB’s recipe, basically. Except I skip the almonds and use 9oz ea pistachios and walnuts. Oh, and use orange blossom water instead of rose. This is one of those things like cheesecake – people ooh and aah, and it’s really a simple simple thing to make. It just has a lot of steps, but they’re not impossible complicated ones. 

Thaw the fillo:



Whiz the nuts, spices and sugar in the robot:



 Brush the layers with butter, and put in some of the nut mix every few layers:


 Remembering to bless each layer with some orange blossom water

Score the tops, bake:

baklava7Make the syrup


Pour it over the cooked pastry, garnish with more chopped nuts and let it soak up the syrup for 8+ hours




God, I love this stuff. Crunchy, nutty, buttery, sweet, exotic with orange blossom. Yum.


 Alton Brown’s recipes are always awesome – give it a try. You will become very popular.