Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brownies filled with toasted pecans are topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. These are seriously THE BOMB!
I am on a brownie streak for some reason. Other than loving them myself, I have several people I’m sending care packages to and brownies are always a good call. Not as difficult to deliver as cake and not as delicate as cookies and well, who doesn’t LOVE chocolate? So while I have several to share, today it ‘s all about these Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting!
While the notion of comfort food typically elicits thoughts of soup, casseroles and hearty stews, tell me one person who doesn’t feel comforted if given or sent a plate of delicious brownies. And these brownies are seriously delish! My daughter recently had a baby…she and hubs NEED brownies and my niece is getting some because I have something else packaged for her.
My children, both adults, never have the time to read my blog (WHAT?) which might be good because I can share family secrets and they’ll never know. Plus I feel like I can confess this to you. These were the brownies I craved the most when my girls were young and probably because they had toasted pecans in them, lots and lots of toasted pecans.
Being the good mom that I was, I dutifully made pan after pan of brownies over the years without nuts to appease my youngest daughter’s dislike of them, but I missed them each and every time. For me they are fundamental so it was just one of those many small ways that moms show love to their kids and I did without.
I do believe I had brownies on the brain after dropping her off at college, expecting to make a big tray of them and eat the whole thing myself, tons of nuts included. OK, maybe not the whole thing…but I could have. Funny about individual tastes, I always felt it was her loss because these are simply the best.
This is my favorite base too when making other brownies because without leavening, they are not cake-like brownies and an extra gooey component comes from the inclusion of chocolate chips in the dough. Plus they are absolutely chock full of toasted (absolutely critical) pecans and all of this chocolatey, nutty goodness is covered with a slightly tangy cream cheese frosting.
I would be craving some now just writing that sentence except that I made these last week but don’t cry for me; I finished German Chocolate Brownies yesterday and had one of those. I told you…I’m on a roll. Of course they are perfect for breakfast!
Inspired by a recipe in one of my vintage Junior League Cookbooks, they are so perfect that the ONLY thing I’ve done to edit the original is to add espresso powder to the brownie batter and garnish the frosting with shaved chocolate. So unlike me to not have to make a big change but they are that good.
I’ve had lots of wonderful brownies over the years, but this combination? One of the best. Are they better than my brownies made with a touch of red wine? Please don’t make me choose; I love them both too much.
I admit that when I still had kids at home I would keep the Ghirardelli Chocolate Brownie Mix in my pantry for those moments when I needed something quick, like a sleepover with friends. They were good for that, but nothing beats homemade brownies. And nothing beats making them with quality ingredients either.
A couple of my favorite tips to insure great results?
- Use Quality Chocolate – I used to keep Nestle Chocolate Chips on hand for everything. Today I prefer using the large chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s. If using chocolate chips, most grocery stores now carry Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips (affiliate link) and they are good too; well worth the few extra pennies.
- Dried Espresso – I always have a jar of Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee (affiliate link) on hand. Great for adding to chocolate to boost the flavor profile and love adding it to my favorite barbecue sauces too.
- Parchment Paper – Nothing and I mean nothing has helped me with baking issues like Parchment Paper (affiliate link). Where I once would occasionally read a recipe calling for its use; now I simply put it in the bottom of every cake and brownie pan; why take chances when this simple step will save a ton of potential heartache by assuring your baked goods NEVER stick!
They’re calling me from the kitchen; bet you want a bite too don’t you? Hurry over and you might be able to snag one for yourself. And I mean hurry before they are all gone!!!
PIN IT! ‘Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting’
- 1 cup butter
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 tsp dried espresso powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
- 6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Grated chocolate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To Make the Brownies
- Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the dried espresso and mix to combine. Cool to room temperature.
- Cream sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl; add chocolate mixture and mix well.
- Combine flour and salt with a whisk and add to chocolate mixture, mix well.
- Stir in pecans and chocolate chips and spread batter into a greased and floured 9X13 inch pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool.
To Make the Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese until soft. Add the butter, beating until smooth. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth; add milk a half teaspoon at a time if necessary until desired spreading consistency,.
- Spread over cooled brownies; garnish with chocolate if desired.
Amount Per Serving Calories 411Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 63mgSodium 122mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 2gSugar 37gProtein 4g