I confess that I've never been much of a sports fan.
I mean, as a student at The University of Michigan, it was kind of hard not to get caught up in it all - particularly when, my freshman year in college, the Wolverines won both the Rose Bowl and the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. But since my college days, I can't recall ever getting very fired up about any sports event.
This year, though, my entire office got Saints fever, and we got it bad. If you don't know me personally, you can probably figure out why if you check out the name of my law firm...Drew Brees' dad is in da house! Needless to say, we were all pretty excited about our second degree of separation from such an incredibly talented and inspiring athlete and person.
Unfortunately, our lobbying for a firm retreat to the Superbowl was unsuccessful, so while two of our partners were in Miami, the rest of us gathered to cheer the Saints on together in Austin. It was a low-key affair, with pizza and queso and king cake and quite a few enthusiastic Saints fans (and one Colts fan...whatever was he thinking?!?).
In honor of the great city of New Orleans, I thought I'd whip up a batch of these double-frosted pecan bourbon brownies to bring along.
I swapped out the walnuts in favor of pecans and tweaked the frosting recipe a little, so I'm reprinting the recipe here for posterity.
Double Frosted Pecan Bourbon Brownies
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
• 2 Tbsp water
• 1 cup chocolate chips (I prefer a high quality bittersweet or dark)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup flour
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1-1/2 cups pecan pieces
• 4 Tbsp bourbon
Vanilla Frosting Ingredients
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 1-1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (note that the original recipe used two cups of powdered sugar; I reduced it significantly as I don't like things super sweet.)
• IF NEEDED: 1-2 Tbsp cream (I did not need this, probably because I used so much less sugar than the recipe called for)
Chocolate Glaze Ingredients
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 3 Tbsp butter
First, make the brownies -
Pre-heat oven to 325˚F.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the butter, water and sugar from the brownie ingredient list and bring just to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with a whisk after each egg.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing thoroughly.
Add the pecans to the dry mix and stir to coat them.
Add the flour/nut mixture to the chocolate mixture in the saucepan and stir just until the flour is mixed in.
Pour the batter into a 9" X 13" pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Immediately after removing the brownies from the oven, gently poke holes all over the sheet of brownies with a fork. Don't try to push the fork all the way down to the bottom of the pan; it will catch on the pecans and pull up chunks of brownie. Just gently pierce the top crust every couple of inches or so.
This is the fun part...then drizzle the bourbon all over the brownies.
Be sure to test the bourbon first to make sure it's still good.
The scent that comes out of these hot brownies as the bourbon is evaporating is yummmm.
Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature.
Then, make the vanilla frosting layer:
Put all the vanilla frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. If the mixture is too thick to be spreadable, you can add small amounts of cream or milk until it is the right consistency (I significantly reduced the amount of sugar in mine, so didn't need any cream).
I like the patterns electric beaters make in frosting.
The cake is a little sensitive and some crumbs will probably break off as you're spreading the frosting. Don't worry about it; the chocolate glaze will cover this right up.
If you want the two frosting layers to be very distinct from one another, you need to chill this layer until it is pretty firm before adding the glaze. I was pressed for time, so I didn't chill the first layer very long - you can see the results of this in the finished brownie photo below.
To make the chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate chips and butter in a double-boiler or heat them in a microwave until they are melted. Mix thoroughly.
Then pour over the top and spread.
Allow the glaze to set before cutting. A very sharp knife is best unless you don't mind lots of crumbly bits.
And...voilà! A super moist, super rich, bourbon-y brownie that's almost as good as being on Bourbon Street tonight.