Every year, January rolls around and I remember that it’s the saddest time of the year 👎. For me at least, it’s the downer after the holiday high 🎄. Luckily, brownies exist for occasions such as these 🙌, and there are about a billion recipes thanks to this technicolored world we live in. It’s truly amazing how many variations on the simple brownie there are. Of course, there is the classic distinction between cakey and fudgy brownies. Beyond that, there are endless combinations of add-ins, toppings, frostings and so on.
While variety is great for those times when you need to switch things up, I’m currently in a “back to basics” sort of mood. Brownies that elicit the nostalgia of a young girl with the best after school snack of all 💁. In my experience, that means a super dense, very fudge-like hunk of chocolate with a thin crusty top. You may remember me mentioning that I’m not crazy about chocolate; how I love chocolate chip cookies, but usually pick around the chocolate chips. In this, I make an exception for brownies. Something about the texture and density makes me week in the knees, and my principles go out the window 😻.
While we’re on the subject of things going out the window, I did just say I was in a “back to basics” mood. But once I started, I couldn’t just stop at a classic brownie. This is the kitchen adventurer after all! I wanted to complement the dense richness of the brownie with something light and fresh. Sweet hazelnut whipped cream seemed like a fun blend of light and fresh, with a dash of sweetness.
These might be the best brownies I’ve ever had. And they might be the best you’ve ever had, but the only way you’ll ever know is if you try them yourself 😋. So go on, have an adventure in your kitchen. You won’t regret it!
- 3/4 c butter melted
- 2 c sugar
- 1/2 c cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 c flour
- 1 c chocolate chips (I used a combination of semi-sweet, milk, and dark chocolate, and it was goooooooood!)
- 1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 t cream of tarter
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1 t hazelnut extract
- chopped hazelnuts for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the butter and sugar, then add in the cocoa powder and mix until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs, then mix in the flour until completely combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Chill a medium sized bowl and beaters/whisk.
- Pour heavy whipping cream and cream of tarter into the chilled bowl and whisk/beat until frothy.
- Add in the powdered sugar and hazelnut extract and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Generously top your brownie and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts to taste (totally optional, but adds a nice little crunch).