Nancy Silverton’s Walnut Brownies Are 'Decadent, Chocolatey and Easy to Make' for Valentine's Day

The fudgy treat is the "perfect dessert to show someone you care about them," says the chef

<p>Jennifer Causey</p> Nancy Silverton

Jennifer Causey

Nancy Silverton's Walnut Brownies

Nancy Silverton suggests elevating a classic brownie for Valentine's Day.

"By toasting the walnuts, you’re getting an extra punch of flavor and crunch, and the chocolate chunks really take it to the next level," says the chef-owner of L.A.’s Osteria Mozza, who includes this recipe in her cookbook, The Cookie That Changed My Life.

"People tend to have a strong preference when it comes to brownies: fudgy versus cakey. My recipe is definitely more fudgy," says Silverton. "They are deliciously decadent and chocolatey, but easy to make."

It's the "perfect dessert to show someone you care about them," she adds.

Related: Ina Garten Shares the Unconventional Way She Spends Valentine's Day with Husband Jeffrey

Nancy Silverton’s Walnut Brownies

2 cups walnut halves

1 (8-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking bar, cut into large chunks

1 cup (8 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cubed

1½ tsp. kosher salt

2½ cups granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

4 extra-large eggs

¾ cup (about 3¼ oz.) plus 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 (8-oz.) (70% cacao) bittersweet chocolate bar, coarsely chopped

1 tsp. flaky sea salt

1. Adjust an oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet; bake at 325° until toasted and fragrant, 16 to 20 minutes, shaking the sheet and rotating it halfway through. Remove from oven; set aside until walnuts are cool enough to touch, about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop toasted walnuts, and transfer to a bowl. Increase oven temperature to 400°.

3. Coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to 16x9-inches. Lay 1 sheet of paper in the pan so it travels up and over two of the sides. Lay the other sheet perpendicular so it travels up and over the remaining two sides of the pan. Coat parchment with cooking spray.

4. Fill a small saucepan with 1½ to 2 inches of water, and set a small stainless steel bowl on top to make a double boiler, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Combine unsweetened chocolate, butter and kosher salt in the bowl; cook, stirring often, until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth, 5 to 10 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Remove from heat; dry the bottom of the bowl.

5. Whisk sugar and vanilla into chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking until each egg is combined before adding the next egg. Add flour, and stir with a rubber spatula until no flour is visible. Fold in bittersweet chocolate chunks and chopped toasted walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth out the top of the batter.

6. Place pan in 400° oven, and reduce temperature immediately to 375°. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle flaky salt evenly over brownies, and rotate the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove brownies from oven; set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover pan with plastic wrap; refrigerate brownies until chilled, at least 2 hours.

7. Remove brownies from refrigerator. Uncover, and lift up on the parchment “handles” to lift brownies out of the pan; peel off paper. Cut into squares. Serve chilled or at room temperature

Makes: 16
Active time:
 30 minutes
Total time:
 3 hours

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