Valrhona Chocolate Brownies with Pecans
Valrhona Chocolate Brownies use the best chocolate and are filled with toasted walnuts. Top with vanilla ice cream and raspberries for a special treat.
No matter if we’re Eight to Eighty…haven’t we all wondered what to give our Mom’s for Mother’s Day? Well I have the perfect idea for you. Don’t sweat what to buy but instead make her some of these Valrhona Chocolate Brownies with Pecans. And not just any brownies, mind you. They have to be very special ones and these fit the bill.
I’m always on the hunt for the ‘best’ of the best recipes but this one is tried and true and while I’ve fiddled with it over the years I can’t find anything better. Browned butter adds a wonderful warm note, the espresso doesn’t make them taste like coffee but just amplifies the chocolate and speaking of chocolate?
For these I only use Valrhona chocolate. That tin of chocolate is kept under lock and key for only the occasional special use and ‘The Best Brownies’ certainly qualify.
Now that both of my girls live out of town I guess I will have to be the one celebrating ME and these will be on the menu. They may be the only thing on the menu. They will also be chock full of lovely toasted nuts. Not used to toasting nuts first? Please try it; remember they are raw, toasting brings out a much richer flavor.
My younger daughter Lauren has never liked nuts in baked goods so while she was growing up our cookies and brownies were always sans nuts.
Heck, that girl thinks that any baked good I make should still be made in that fashion, you know, on the off chance she might show up! Now that she’s in California, I’ll have some notice and will un-nut foods for her if she visits but in the meantime, most days I’ll be able to ‘feel like a nut’ and we’ll both be happy.
While you can order the Valrhona Cocoa online, it’s also ‘sort of ‘available at Whole Foods. Just a heads up? My local Whole Foods had bars of Valrhona Chocolate on the shelves but none of the cocoa that I needed so I decided to ask for help and was glad I did.
While not in tins with the rest of the baking chocolate products, the cocoa is what they use in the store when mixing coffee drinks so a very sweet young woman opened a bag and scooped some into a container for me.
Even the color is amazing; such a deep rich brown, it evokes a bit of what can be expected from the finished baked good; deep, dark and delicious! The problem is that I can’t depend on that source so I usually do shop online.
Why not make a batch of these for Mom; add a bar of chocolate and a container of cocoa and I just know she will be delighted. Some fabulous dessert port would be nice too, you know, if you really want to make it a super special gift.
Of course the ice cream and raspberries are not required but they sure do make the Valrhona Chocolate Brownies with Pecans look and taste special.
NOTHING makes a mom happier than a gift from the heart; I know this for a fact. Most of us need less ‘stuff’ and more of that type of gift. And if you’re in Denver and need a mom to spoil next Sunday; come on over, I’m available!
Not Mother’s Day? No problem. Make them for any special day, for a holiday, for a friend or more importantly sometimes, just for YOU!
PIN IT! ‘Valrhona Chocolate Brownies’
Valrhona Chocolate Brownies
- 2 sticks 16 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder I used Valhrona but use any good cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tbsp instant/dried espresso
- 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 X 13" baking pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper so the parchment hangs over the sides (you can lift the brownies out of the pan). Spray the parchment paper.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet until it foams and continue to cook on medium, stirring constantly until it starts to brown. The butter will have foam on top so watch carefully to make sure the solid bits on the bottom do not burn; you should also notice a distinct scent as it starts to brown. An amazing one too!
- Let the butter cool before continuing.
- Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add cocoa powder to the bowl, mix on low speed until well blended.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and espresso in a bowl and whisk. Add them to the mixture in the mixing bowl and beat well.
- Stir in the toasted nuts and pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do NOT overbake.
- Let cool and cut into squares.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries.
I was provided with a gift card to purchase products for this post from Whole Foods however all commentary is my own.
What I love most at Whole Foods is the big barrel of ginger snaps – I can scoop out the amount I want and buy them by the pound – they taste amazing – thin, crispy and deliciously spiced w/ little bits of candied ginger – not only healthy and yummy for nibbling but also, wonderful to use for making dessert – can be food processed into fine crumbs for dessert bases and toppings.
I love Whole Foods’ 365 Fig Newton cookies (but didn’t find them on my last couple of trips there). And the Maplebrook Farms ricotta.
What a wonderful giveaway! I love everything about Whole Foods, especially their carrot cake 🙂
Those brownies sound amazing! I love to buy gluten-free products and organic produce from Whole Foods. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!
Wow, what service. That wouldn’t happen around here or in many places around the world that they’d scoop up enough for you to make a recipe.
Your brownies look like they were made by an angel. 🙂
Produce and french macaroons!
I love their imported cheeses and extra virgin olive oil.
I get my produce there – always kale, gingeroot, sprouts, etc.
I love buying fresh produce from Whole Foods!
Thanks for the chance to win!
wildorchid985 at gmail dot com
I love the selection of bulk foods, olive oil and other condiments you can get by packaging yourself.
I love to buy fresh fish at Whole Foods because the quality is always the best.
i love buying my almond butter and mixed nuts there!
Those look like perfect brownies. And I totally prefer nuts in them!
Favorite things at Whole Foods. Love their bulk section. Love the produce. And recently love their 365 brand lotions, body wash and shampoo, lavender.
How did that comment get in a cooking blog?????
Spammers…we find the good fight but every once in awhile one slips through. I get hundreds of those a day; most are caught by software so they never show up on a page. Thank goodness right? 🙂
I like to go to their bulk section for granola and stuff!
I love the produce, the fresh made sandwiches, specialty flours and pure tart cherry juice (I mix this in all kinds of drinks including a few cocktail concoctions!)
I love buying seeds nd nuts at Whole Foods.
I love buying cheese at Whole Foods! email@example.com
I love brownies, but I never thought of using browned butter in them. I think I’m gonna have to give that a try. Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day.
I love to buy fresh produce at Whole Foods. They have such a great selection of organic items.
I love the salad bar and the local produce the best
I LOVE their guacamole! I have to get a container of it every time I go.
I love to get organic fruits and veggies, chia seeds and almond butter at whole foods!
I love to buy fish at Whole Foods. They always have the best selection. But right now, i’d rather have a brownie!
I love shopping for breads, fresh seafood, (I actually have purchased Valhrona chocolate there), and anything not sold in my neighborhood grocer.
Barbara, this recipe and your photos look amazing! My mouth is watering, I should make these in honor of my mom and my mother-in-law. And, I love nuts, walnuts, in my brownies. 🙂
I love the fresh produce at Whole Foods!
My favorite thing about Whole Foods shopping is the bountiful colors and smells! From the moment you drive in the parking lot, you can see the beautiful array of colors in the doorway of flowers and herbs and plants…then when you walk in, the place just overwhelms your senses! Bright, flavorful, abundant array of fruits and veggies! And the fresh food flying out of every corner for whatever suits your appetite on the other side… nothing like it! Simply magnificent! I wish there were a Whole Foods in Parker!!!! My husband gets high just walking onto the Apple Store, I get my high going in to Whole Foods!….
They have the best produce!
What’s more perfect than brownies with ice cream and berries? Nothing! Best Mother’s Day treat ever.
I agree with you Barbara… baking brownies for mum, or cooking her a meal, beats any razzle dazzle gift. Happy mother’s day!
Dried papaya spears — Unlike at other stores, Whole Foods version is not overloaded with added sugar
Whole Foods has some wonderful things in their bulk food sections, such as a variety of whole coffee beans and dried fruit
I almost always end up with a few things from the meat counter – they have such great quality products!
I would love to buy their wild caught fresh atlantic salmon!
I love their meat selection
Barb, these look scrumptious!!! I think they may even come close to being as good as those brownies you shared with me a while back– I think those had pinot noir in them? Oh my gosh they were beyond good. I am baking treats to send to my grandmothers today for Mother’s Day packages. I wonder if brownies would last for the 2 day postal journey? that is, if I don’t eat them all before packaging them up!
I recently discovered Valrhona Chocolate at Whole Foods! I love so many foods there, and I have yet to try so many! I would say at this point, I love the organic juices – My fav is Columbia Gorge Carrot Juice – fresh! It is soo sweet. I would like to try more organic fruits and veggies, I often buy from the bulk bins. Whole Foods is the best thing to happen to my area! I don’t buy much, but I like going to their classes and learning about healthy choices.
I’m a little different in my love for Whole Foods. While I love the integrity with which they source products by traveling to sites and checking on their seafood producers and ranchers. I love that they support the Certified Cheese Professional program, soon they will have Certified Cheese Professionals in every store.
But what I love best about Whole Foods is what they do for their employees. The company has phenomenal training for their employees, their employees are probably the most knowledgeable folks in retail. But the whipped cream on top of the sundae for me is Whole Foods pays their employees a living wage, provides them with benefits, and promotes from within. An employee can make a good career from working at Whole Foods.
Probably more than anyone wanted to know….but it is a good company….and I am not employed by them.
The good thing about making your own Mother’s Day gift is you get exactly what you want! These brownies looks terrific. Any mother – or mother’s son! – would love them. 😉
I make trips clear across town to get nutritional yeast from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. (and maybe vegan candy bars)
I love everything about Whole Foods Market. The favorite items I would add to my basket are cheeses, breads and a few pounds of their variety shrimp marinated!
I love to buy produce at Whole Foods
I love to buy the cheeses from there wonderful selections! They carry so many great options!
What I love most to buy at Whole Foods is a meal. Just thinking about their awesome salad and juice bar, international deli including both hot and cold foods, huge selection of olives, cheese and crackers, beautiful fruits and produce and amazing bakery and desserts items makes me look forward to going there again – any time of the year it is such a treat to go with my husband or meet friends there to enjoy a meal together and then shop !
I forgot to mention earlier why I like Whole foods…Love their salads and was sooooo glad when they finally opened a whole Foods here in Wilmington!!!
I love their bakery and usually buy a loaf of Italian bread.
Whole Foods has these lemon bars. They are so good. I have tried to copy them and can’t!
I love their Deli …and also their cheese and salami selections.
I love to buy dairy and cheese at whole foods.
I’m a mother…so I think I will make these for myself!!! Yummm
These brownies look incredible! What I love most about Whole Foods is finding produce I can’t find anywhere else and their cheese counter is amazing. I recently picked up fresh turmeric and an incredibly yummy aged raw cheese.
I like to buy there fruit. It always tastes like it was just picked. It is super sweet and juicy and when they cut it up, it is cut professionally and without skin left on the pieces.
I love Whole Foods. My Mom has been bedridden for 6 yrs. and loves their brioche. I buy them often for her and the family.
Hi Pat!!! Good to see you here!!!!
If I won this nice gift card, I’d buy some good quality beef. Ordinarily, I don’t shop at Whole Foods. Too expensive for us little people 🙂 Thanks!
Those brownies look ah-mazing! As for Whole Foods, I love their sushi and the family loves their fresh pizza. And I always treat myself to one of their tofu salads when I’m there too.
Whole Foods always has the best fresh flowers. I’d love some tulips for my diningroom table.