Tappan Hill Brownies

Granted, I need to get out more, but if you are like me, you have no idea what Tappan Hill is or where it’s at. Let me inform you (since I’m so knowledgeable now) that Tappan Hill is in New York and is a mansion located on the former estate of Mark Twain. You’ve heard of him, right? Phew! At least I passed that test. Anyway, apparently Tappan Hill is known for amazing food and these brownies are quite famous.

A sweet MKC reader, Victoria, sent this recipe to me because she kind of caught the drift that I like chocolate. And of course she’s perfectly, 100% correct.

I know I already have a lot of brownie recipes in the Recipe Index, but seriously, what would you do if you were sent a {new} brownie recipe that was said to be the best brownie recipe known to the world? And don’t even tell me you wouldn’t be at least half tempted to try it. I was fully tempted, I’ll admit. And so I made them.

And as promised, these really are to-die for. Let’s talk about how they are different from other brownie recipes because I can assure you, I have way too many recipes waiting in the wings to be introduced to you to be posting brownie recipes exactly like a few of my other favorites.

Tappan Hill Brownies

First off, the texture of these brownies is unlike any other brownie I’ve tried. They are decadent and rich but instead of being dense and fudgy they have this melt-in-your-mouth factor that is unstoppable. It’s like soft velvet ribbons of chocolate ensconced within the brownie. I don’t know. It’s crazy. Crazy good. It must be due in part to whipping up the eggs like there’s no tomorrow. Incorporating all that air and volume makes for an ethereally light and tender brownie. Secondly, the pan size matters here. I tried to resist and change the recipe to fit in a pan size I already have but it just didn’t work. It seems from all the reviews and reprints online and my own experience that you really do need an 8X11-inch cake pan. Clearly I don’t have that size of pan on hand in my kitchen but was easily able to find a disposable pan that size at the store for a dollar or two.

If you are looking to change things up from your regular brownie rotation, I’d say these are definitely worth it. And besides, can one really have too many brownie recipes in their life? I think not.

P.S. In case you missed the declaration in Wednesday’s post, I’m out in the wilderness at a family reunion taking pictures of buffalo and leading 19 children in a group cooking class during our family reunion. I might be a bit slow responding to questions and comments but I’ll be back on track next week. Love ya!

One Year Ago: Summer Couscous Salad
Two Years Ago: Grilled Sweet Potato Skewers
Three Years Ago: Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce

Amazing Tappan Hill Brownies

Yield: About 20 brownies

Amazing Tappan Hill Brownies

Pan size matters here. I know it might be annoying to have to buy an 8X11-inch baking pan (the disposable kind work just fine) but the brownie recipe won't bake as well in a larger (9X13) or smaller (8X8) inch pan.


  • 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (chocolate bar not chocolate chips)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat the baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Coarsely chop the semisweet and unsweetened baking chocolate. Melt the butter in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Add the chocolate, remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sugar and beat with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) until the mixture is very thick and forms ribbons when you lift the beaters away from the batter (5-6 minutes). Mix in the vanilla. Add the melted chocolate and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts (if using).
  6. Spread the batter in the greased baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted int he center comes out with a bit of gooey batter clinging to it (don't overbake!).
  7. Cool completely in the pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve (these are divine chilled or frozen!).

Recipe Source: from a recipe sent to me by Victoria (from the famed Tappan Hill Mansion in New York)

34 Responses to Tappan Hill Brownies

  1. Beverley says:

    I love following you on FB and getting your newsletters. I’ve made this many times and is a firm favorite. Going to share on my page xoxo

  2. Thuy says:

    I have actually tried all your chocolate brownie recipes and we agree that this one is our favourite! We never make the frosting and I find that it needs to be refrigerated to be at its best. Thanks for posting!

  3. Megan G says:

    I feel duty bound to return and report my experience. SO, when I commented above, I didn’t end up making this recipe because I accidentally grabbed only one bar of Ghiradelli’s semisweet baking chocolate, not realizing it was only 4 oz instead of the 8 oz called for. I was so bummed that I couldn’t make this recipe! But then I noticed the wrapper on the Ghiradelli bar had its own brownie recipe on it– calling for only one bar! I made that recipe for the sister missionaries, and Mel, ohmygoodness. SO AMAZING. I just had to come back and tell you. It was by far the best brownie I’ve ever made. And I am saying that after having made this Tappan Hill recipe last night. The Tappan Hill brownies are very, very good, it’s true, but the Ghiradelli recipe blew it away. You said one can never have too many brownie recipes, right? You should definitely try it!

  4. Megan G says:

    So glad one commenter mentioned making these in a 7×11 pan, because that’s the closest my store had to 8×11! I searched everywhere. So weird that they didn’t have that size. But hopefully these will turn out! So looking forward to the chocolately goodness. 🙂

  5. Bonnie says:

    I just made these with salted butter since that’s all I had and also put in the 1/2 tsp salt…and they are too salty! Dang it! The flavor and texture are amazing but I can tell that the salt is overpowering some of the chocolatey goodness. Boo 🙁 Definitely gonna use unsalted butter (or omit salt) next time!

  6. Beth says:

    I didn’t really get the appeal of an un-iced brownie until this recipe. I’ve made it twice now, and they really are amazing. I think it may have something to do with the high butter-chocolate to square inch ratio, but I’m not complaining. I like them best from the fridge.

  7. Adele says:

    To Shellie asking about salt- the original recipe (or at least the one from 2007) calls for 8 oz sweet butter (2 sticks), which is unsalted. If you use salted butter, leave out the 1/2 tsp salt .
    I’ve been making these since 2007, and they are in my top 3 for brownies. I don’t use nuts, but have added dried sour cherries chopped up and white chocolate in addition to the 1-1/2 cups semisweet .

    This is a really nice blog, I now have it bookmarked, thanks Mel!

  8. Oh. my.
    I made these today. The flavor is divine. They are *almost* too rich for me. My six year old raised his eyebrow at the first bite, which is a huge compliment, and my hubby just moaned through the whole brownie. Yes, it’s that good.

  9. Shellie W. says:

    Does it matter if you use salted or unsalted butter?

    • Mel says:

      Shellie – I almost always use salted butter (my recipe will specifically specify if it is unsalted). If you use unsalted in this recipe you probably want to add another pinch of salt.

  10. ash t says:

    Hmmm, I didn’t think so but maybe I did. They are staying together better now that they are cold from being in the fridge. Don’t worry, I will still eat them all;) Love, love, love you and your site by the way!

  11. ash t says:

    I just made these tonight and the flavor is amazing but mine turned out really crumbly, not fudgy at all:( Any thoughts as to what I may have done wrong?

  12. Julia says:

    I took these to a get together last night and got so many compliments on them. I have never received more compliments on anything else I’ve made before. Thanks, Mel, for another great recipe. 🙂

  13. You can never have too many brownie recipes! 🙂

  14. Lori says:

    I’ve tried making brownies before, but have never been impressed. These looked so awesome that I had to try. I’m so happy I did! Boy are they delicious. My whole family agrees it’s the best brownie they’ve ever eaten. 🙂 So now to add more chocolate to my grocery list so I can make them again soon! Thanks for the recipe!
    P.S. – I made them in a 7 x 11 pan.

  15. Rebecca Roe Hale says:

    I have an 11.75 by 7.5 inch pan. Not quite as called for, but maybe close enough. I’ll give it a try before running out to buy a new pan.

  16. lisa says:

    I’m totally trying these! I LOVE me some decadent brownies 🙂

  17. Monae says:

    Will the altitude matter when making these? We are at high altitude and I still haven’t figured out how to bake here!

  18. Alisha says:

    Hmmm … we moved to Connecticut two years ago and have to cross the Tappan Zee bridge to go visit family. I’m sure there’s a connection there somewhere.

  19. There is no such thing for too many brownie recipes! There can be one for each mood you’re in!

  20. Tahnycooks says:

    Seriously, I just bumped this brownie recipe in front of all the other brownie recipes to try first!

  21. Jennifer says:

    Amazing, and yummy 😀 Gonna try it soon 😀

  22. Kathy says:

    These brownies look incredible! And you are right, one can never have too many brownie recipes!

  23. Caitlin says:

    I’ve have been following your website for a while now and love checking to see what new deliciousness you come up with every week. Imagine my surprise today when I see Tappan Hill Mansion mentioned..I was recently married 4 months ago and that was where our reception was held! It is an absolutely beautiful venue and the food definitely lives up to its reputation. I am so excited to try these!

  24. Karly says:

    I really don’t need another brownie recipe. I really, really don’t. But Imma try this one anyway. 🙂

  25. Nicole Hunn says:

    Hey, I don’t live too far from Tappan Hill (Abigail Kirsch is the caterer and she has a few other exclusive gigs in Manhattan, too) and I have even been to a wedding there (many, many years ago)—but I know nothing about these brownies! Why do I feel so cheated?! I will have to try my hand at making them GF, Mel. They sound perfecto.

    xo N

  26. Brownies are my favorite dessert. You can’t go wrong with brownies, right? Thanks for a new one to try!

  27. Teresa R. says:

    I know what I’ll be making this weekend! Luckily I have the correct size pan and all I need to buy is the semi sweet chocolate bar.

  28. Renee says:

    If you double this recipe it is almost exactly like Ina Garten’s recipe (Barefoot Contessa) for outrageous brownies. Hers’ calls for coffee too which is divine with the chocolate. I make them in a 18 x 12 pan and it works really well so if someone didn’t have a 8 x 11 they could double it and use a bigger one. She also has a peanut butter version too that is heavenly.

  29. These DO look amazing! Love this recipe!

  30. Kim in MD says:

    Wow…your description of these brownies makes we want to make them NOW! I am off to see if I have an 8 x 11″ pan. If not, I am running out to buy a disposable pan. Have fun on vacation. Watch out for those buffalo, Mel! 🙂

  31. Julie says:

    Hey Mel…what size baking pan did you use??

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