Brownie photo courtesy of Tim Morgan/Flickr
Whenever someone hands me a brownie exhibiting telltale signs of nuttage – those light brown flecks can only mean one thing – I want to throw the brownie on the floor, whack them upside the head and then kick them in the crotch.
Brownies. Don’t. Need. Nuts.
Brownies are special for their texture. A piece cut from the middle of the brownie pan should be sticky without being soggy, terrifically chocolatey, and have just a hint of crispness on the top and bottom. Corner and edge pieces are even better because, oh god, the chewiness (this is why I think that the Edge Brownie pan* is a serious stroke of genius. No, I don’t own one yet, but when I do rest assured I will be baking a shit-ton more brownies). And when all the brownies are gone and all that’s left in the pan are little scraps and edges, I am the person who gathers them together and smooshes them into one last fingerful of gooey brownie to eat. The grainy, moist, chewy, not-quite-fudge-but-denser-than-cake composition of a proper brownie is found nowhere else in the baking spectrum. Not in cookies. Not in cakes. Not in souffles, or mousses, or cheesecakes.
And a wayward walnut or peanut ruins everything. That crunch is an unwelcome distraction from an otherwise-blissful chewing experience. I start worrying about finding the next one and spend the rest of the brownie either waiting for another “Here I am! LOL!” nut** or dissecting the damn thing and picking every single one of them out.
Neither of these is ideal.
Especially annoying is the fact that we have a family friend who loves brownies that are absolutely chock full of nuts. She also insists on bringing them to every party, potluck or event and loudly announcing that she has made special batch for those crazies (me) who can’t seem to appreciate nuts in brownies. I suppose that this is nice of her, but I’ve been refusing to eat any of her brownies in protest for about 20 years, and it’s getting old.
*See a review of the edge brownie pan, and a yeti, here.
**In my mind, nuts in brownies are the equivalent of an obnoxious 13 year old girl who can’t write anything without LOLs and emoticons.