Chocolate and Valentine’s Day seem to go together. It is a sentimental holiday; deserving of a special valentine for those close to your heart. My mother sent homemade valentine cards to her young grandchildren for years. Now she has Alzheimer’s Disease and can no longer do this. So I’ll treasure this tattered valentine which she thoughtfully made years ago. Here are some delicious Walnut Toffee Brownies to go along with her valentine.
My mother liked to make homemade cards for her young grandchildren on special occasions and expressed her affection through these cards. She was great at hunting and finding clover with 4 leaves–a sign of luck–in the backyard and would dry the clover and add these to cards for birthdays. My 93-year-old mother always has had and still has a lively, positive spirit–even though her memory is failing. And so I treasure this valentine which she made years ago.
Walnut Toffee Brownies
For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m making Walnut Toffee Brownies. There are hundreds of brownie recipes and so many variations–some are fudge-like and chewy and others are cake-like. I’ve tried many, many brownie recipes. Here is one of my favorites.
The key to making brownies is getting the right combination of chocolate flavor and sweetness and then baking the brownies so they are still soft and/or chewy; not over cooked. This recipe comes close. It is a traditional cake-like brownie recipe with just a little baking powder so the brownies rise. It is rich–made with real butter–and includes both baking chocolate squares and cocoa powder. It uses brown sugar rather than granulated sugar.I added walnuts which give a nutty taste–don’t omit the nuts, this makes the brownies special. I located Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate baking squares in a drug store. The Ghirardelli cocoa came from a grocery store. The Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Toffee for the glaze also came from a drug store.
Making the Brownies
To make the brownies–cream the softened butter and brown sugar. Then beat in the eggs one at at time. (I’m down to one beater on my mixer which is too old to locate replacement parts.) Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl from time to time.
Then fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Add in toasted, chopped walnuts. Pour into oiled 8″ x 8″ baking pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.Don’t over bake; the edges of the brownie should pull away from sides of pan but it should still be soft in the center.
Walnut Toffee Brownies by MayleesKitchen
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 3.5 oz Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate squares
- 1 cup real butter, softened (Set at room temperature for an hour.)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3.3 oz Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Toffee squares
Method and Steps
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and set aside.
- Place walnuts on ungreased baking sheet. Toast for 7 minutes. Do not let the walnuts burn. Immediately remove from the baking sheet and chop with a knife or small food processor/chopper until coursely chopped. Set aside.
- Place the Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate squares into microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Heat on high heat for 30 seconds. If needed, heat an additional 30 seconds until chocolate begins to soften. (The chocolate does not need to completely melt.) Set aside.
- Add softened butter to large mixing bowl of electric mixer and beat at medium speed until soft.
- Add the brown sugar and cream the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat each egg until mixed in.
- Add the melted chocolate squares, cocoa powder and vanilla extract to the batter and mix on low speed until combined in.
- Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt together. On low speed, mix in until just combined.
- Stir the walnut pieces into batter by hand.
- Pour batter into oiled baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until edges of brownies pull away from edges of baking pan. Brownies will still be soft in the center but not runny.
- Cool brownies in pan.
- Melt the milk chocolate toffee in microwave in small microwave-safe cup or bowl for 30 seconds until soft. Microwave for 30 additional seconds, if needed. Spread over brownies as a glaze.
- Cool glazed brownies. Cut into 16 squares and serve.
Enjoy a sentimental Valentine’s Day dessert!