Tuesdays with Dorie: Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia

individual brownie

I followed the chosen recipe precisely this week.  Only one exception.

Nostalgia compels me to put chopped pecans on top of all brownies baked in my kitchen.

You see, I have salivated over the pecan-topped brownies at Neiman-Marcus for most of my adult life.

My first job out of college (for minimum wage, sorry Mom and Dad) was working in the men’s department in the original downtown Dallas store. The  deli bar used to be located next to men’s furnishings underneath the escalator.

Nut-topped brownies, cheesecake and other delicacies were displayed on the bar under glass. They called my name as I walked by multiple times a day.   The brownies were awesome–at least in my memory.  And I still scheme about how I might reproduce the coffee angel food cake balls.

But I think I may have found the secret recipe this week.  These brownies are rich with a delicate, crackly top and a moist, fudgy middle.  A quick warm-up in the microwave makes them the perfect partner for vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. 

brownie with paper sling 

I’ve learned from past struggles to use a parchment paper sling for any kind of bar cookie.  Makes getting them out of the pan a breeze.

cut brownie 

 I’ve also learned to let bar cookies cool to get a pretty slice–especially if they are moist in the middle.

brownie on pedestal

Stack them up pretty.  (Presentation is everything.)

brownie with hand

Then stand back as greedy claws move in …..

flying brownie

and watch your brownies fly off the plate.

To make your own flying brownies, visit Chocolatechic for the recipe.

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Jill February 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

They look wonderful! I like your idea of putting nuts on top – my husband doesn’t like them, but if i put them on top, I could just sprinkle some on part of the pan. Hmmm!

Margaret February 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Love pecans on my brownies. Mine didn’t last long. Glad they were a hit with y’all, too. They look yummy!

chocolatechic February 11, 2010 at 8:00 am

I should have made a parchment sling.

Cakelaw February 11, 2010 at 1:10 am

Love the pecans on top. I had to cut mine before they set up for a function – oh well, they tasted good.

Margot February 10, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I don’t usually like nuts in brownies, but your photos are making me rethink that – they look divine. I also let mine cool before slicing and did not have the gooeyness problem a lot of bakers had.

Madam Chow February 10, 2010 at 11:17 am

Yep, I hear you about the nuts – walnuts went into mine! These were a massive hit hereabouts.

steph (whisk/spoon) February 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

those baked up perfectly! i’m a lover of walnuts in my brownies, but i didn’t think the fragile batter would support the weight….should have chopped them small and sprinkled them on top like you did with the pecans. next time!

Michelle February 10, 2010 at 8:11 am

Your brownies look so good. I messed up on the directions..but my brownies came out tasting very good!

Susan February 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm

What a great post! Pictures, review, loved it all! Thanks for the tip about a parchment paper sling! Great one!
I left something for you on my latest post. 🙂

Clivia February 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Romaine, those brownies look delicious! That might be my fingers snatching one. Beautifully done!

Mimi February 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

These are the best looking brownies I have seen all day. the pecans are just the perfect topping.
Mimi

Hornedfroggy of My Baking Heart February 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I added pecans, too – love them! Beautiful pictures!! 🙂

tia February 9, 2010 at 10:58 am

pecans are always welcome with chocolate in my opinion 🙂

Megan February 9, 2010 at 10:48 am

I agree, these brownies were really good – and I’ll bet they were spectacular with the pecans.

Becky O. February 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

great addition of nuts. i love your flying brownies!

Valerina February 9, 2010 at 8:51 am

Nuts on these brownies must have been almost too good! I love your pictures, especially that first one.

Great job!!

Kayte February 9, 2010 at 7:40 am

They look lovely on their little pedestal with their nutty tops! Fun to hear your memories about chocolate and pecans!

pamela February 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

Your pictures are so great. I love that last shot of the fleeting hand and brownie! These were a delicious treat and they look even more tasty with the pecans on top.

Nina February 9, 2010 at 5:44 am

Yum, pecans!! Yours look so delicious!! These were a real hit over here as well!

mike February 9, 2010 at 2:08 am

Pecans are my favorite nut. And these are my favorite brownies – I’ll have to add the nuts next time! What a great recollection of past brownie-history! That’s a great story – and judging by the hand, these DID fly off your cake stand. Nicely done this week!

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