Spicy Black Walnut Brownies

I love chocolate. I really, really do. And when I have a craving for it and there aren’t any candy bars or bon bons to hand, I often whip up a batch of brownies to satisfy it. This happened the other day, so I used my desire for some chocolate to also experiment more with the black walnuts from our tree.

Black walnuts are different from English walnuts, which are commonly sold in stores. The black kind has a strong flavor with an almost alcoholic, fermented quality. Friends of ours have a neighbor who makes a liqueur from the nuts of her tree, which makes sense, since there is already a liquor-like bite to them.

Because of their strong flavor, I think they need to be used in recipes that have other strong profiles, so that the black walnut taste doesn’t overpower everything else. I already like to spice up my brownies from the basic recipe that I use, with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coconut, and almond. All these flavors together with the black walnuts made for one exciting taste sensation, that I found delicious!

I also made another discovery when I baked this batch of brownies. My 8 x 8 inch glass baking pan busted a little while ago, and I had not replaced it, yet. So I used an aluminum pie tin that I had saved from a store-bought pie, purchased for Thanksgiving. Baking the brownies in this pan made the edges get a crisp sugary crust. Brownie pie!


(Spiced Brownie Pie — yum!)

This recipe would still be great with English walnuts and/or baked in a square pan, too. I’ve also discovered that stirring the ingredients all together at once, instead of one at a time, results in a more fudgy, less cakey brownie, which I prefer.

Spicy Black Walnut Brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter (plus more for greasing)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. flake salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 cup of dried coconut
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a pie plate or an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with some butter. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large microwave safe bowl in microwave (or melt butter in a pan on stovetop and pour into a large mixing bowl.) Add the rest of the ingredients, except for powdered sugar, then stir together. Pour into pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until firm. Dust with powdered sugar shaken through a sieve. Cut into 8 slices or 16 squares.



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