These decadent, one-bowl Hawaiian brownies with macadamia nuts and a glorious fudge topping are absolutely amazing (and completely dangerous, if you know what I mean)!
Considering I’ve spent the last couple decades of my life insisting that nuts do not belong in brownies, I am sufficiently humbled. Maybe it’s just macadamia nuts (which I love wholeheartedly), but holy cow, these brownies have made me rethink life.
Why would I even entertain the thought of making such a brownie given my strong feelings about nuts + brownies? That’s a great question.
I originally figured I would make them without nuts. But when I spied a bag of macadamia nuts that had been languishing in the pantry for ages, I thought “what the heck, I’ll live on the edge.”
Plus, this brownie recipe had been calling to me for months from a cookbook I bought at Disneyland earlier this year (no surprise the souvenir I sought out at the happiest place on earth was a cookbook).
Figuring I’d probably be lukewarm about the finished brownies, I made them for a playgroup-type lunch I had at my house a few weeks ago. And basically, the ladies that attended probably have no idea how close they were to never even seeing a single one of these brownies.
They are so good. So, so good. I took that bite (in the picture below) – you know, taking one for the team since I needed that quintessential photo of a brownie with a bite taken out. And the rest is history.
Actually, the brownies were nearly history. The thinner, decadent brownie base with that silky fudge topping and the crunch of lightly salted macadamia nuts throughout was nearly my undoing.
Completely and utterly uncomplicated, these brownies are outstandingly delicious. I cut them into smallish squares, which seemed to compliment the somewhat delicate appearance of them (they aren’t really delicate but appear that way since this recipe makes a delightfully thinner brownie than more classic, thick, fudgy brownies).
Serve them chilled, and be prepared for some of the most ridiculously delicious brownies ever (if you need more convincing, I’m pretty sure I can get written statements from my friends who experienced, luckily, the yumminess that day at my house).
If you are tempted, like me, to leave nuts out of brownies because of pure preference (and not allergies), I urge you to dig deep and make them just like this. Fudge + macadamia nuts + brownies = heaven.
I have a hard time finding unsalted, dry roasted macadamia nuts unless I seek out specialty markets or online shopping. I've found that I really like the flavor of the lightly salted dry roasted macadamia nuts in this recipe. Try to find "lightly salted" so the salt flavor isn't too strong.
I prefer bittersweet chocolate in this recipe but you could substitute semisweet, I am sure if you don't mind a slightly sweeter brownie (milk chocolate will be too sweet, I think).
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) butter, cubed
- 1 1/4 cups (9.25 ounces) granulated sugar
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (a heaping 1/2 cup)
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped dry roasted macadamia nuts (see note above)
- 6 ounces (1 cup) chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup half and half or cream
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan (I've only tested this recipe with a metal pan; you might want to decrease the oven temp to 325 if using glass). Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and 4 ounces chocolate. Melt over low heat (or microwave) until smooth, stirring often; don't let the mixture overheat. Let cool for a bit (lukewarm is fine, hot is not).
- Whisk in the eggs, salt and vanilla.
- Stir in the flour and macadamia nuts together until just combined.
- Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs (add time as necessary if they take longer to bake).
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool completely.
- For the fudge topping, combine the 6 ounces chocolate and half and half (or cream) in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted, smooth, and glossy.
- Set aside for the topping to cool completely, stirring often if you want to speed up the process and avoid a skin forming on the surface.
- When cool but still spreadable, use an offset spatula or knife to spread the topping evenly over the cooled brownies.
- Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top.
- Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Source: adapted from Chef Mickey Disney cookbook (a cookbook I picked up at Disneyland earlier this year)