I have never been a big fan of nuts in brownies. They’re usually included to provide a crunchy contrast to a fudgy, chocolaty treat. After eating many brownies that were more nuts than chocolate as a kid (before I wisely realized I should carefully inspect the brownie before eating it), I decided that a really good brownie is nice when it’s fudgy and doesn’t need a contrast besides a glass of milk. I almost never included nuts in brownies after that.
Lately, I’ve been looking for different twists for brownies, however. I loved the crunchy crust on the Caramel Oatmeal Brownies I tried and the fun flavors of my Peppermint Cookies and Cream Brownies. So I decided to set aside my bias and look into working with nuts. I immediately discarded the idea of walnuts (the go-to brownie nut) and opted instead for some toasted pistachios. They have a fantastic green color and a lovely nutty, buttery flavor that complements that of chocolate.
The double chocolate brownie base is very rich and made with both dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Melted dark chocolate (I used 65% Callebaut) is incorporated into a not-too-sweet batter and provides a surprisingly intense flavor to the brownies. Milk chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chunks, are mixed in alongside the pistachios to sweeten up the dessert a bit – and because I think that milk chocolate really goes well with pistachios in general. The brownies are moist and rich, but are not too fudgy. In fact, I would say that they almost melt into your mouth, neither cake-like nor gooey. The flavors and consistency balance exceptionally well here and these brownies will definitely be made by me again, even though they have nuts in them.
Extra brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. I actually like them cold and crumbling them up to use as an ice cream topping isn’t a half-bad idea either!
Double Chocolate Pistachio Brownies
1/2 cup butter
9-oz dark chocolate, chopped (60-72% cacao)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chunks
1/2 cup toasted pistachios
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a medium glass bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring regularly, until the two are melted together. Stir in brown sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, vanilla and salt. Pour in chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Stir in milk chocolate chunks (or chips) and pistachios. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only wet crumbs, not batter, attached.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then carefully lift foil and brownies out of pan and place on a wire rack to cool.
Cool completely before slicing into 25 small pieces with a sharp knife.
Makes 25 brownies.