Chocolate Bourbon Brownies

By Chef Megan Joy / April 2, 2012

My liquor of choice: bourbon. My chocolate fix of choice: brownies. I think you can see where this is going.

This brownie adaptation comes from the brilliant guys at “Baked”, with locations both in Brooklyn, NY and Charleston, SC.

I have a couple of different brownie recipes I reach for depending on the need. This particular recipe is an all-around good pick because the brownies have an intense chocolate flavor that is perfectly complimented with a melt-in-your-mouth texture, due to a generous proportion of butter and eggs.

Most brownie recipes call for (or benefit from) a little bit of pure vanilla extract. In this case, I decided to use bourbon instead. Like vanilla extract, it’s very subtle in this recipe, but it rounds out the chocolate flavor nicely. Rum or kahlua would also work nicely. And you can always use vanilla extract as well.

Many of my mountain friends have tried making brownies up here and been unsuccessful, and frustrated. Please allow this recipe to make you a believer of happy high altitude baking outcomes!

How to make this high altitude recipe:

Chocolate Bourbon Brownies (adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz dark chocolate (60-72% cacao), coarsely chopped
2 sticks (8 oz) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 eggs
2 tablespoons bourbon

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with aluminum foil and coat generously with butter or baking spray.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. In a pot over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring the whole time to distribute the heat and prevent burning. Chocolate burns very easily, so use care. Remove from the heat once the mixture is smooth.

To the melted butter and chocolate, add the sugar and brown sugar. Whisk in three of the eggs until combined. Add the remaining two eggs and whisk until combined. Add the bourbon and stir to combine. Do not overbeat the batter at the this stage or you will get cakey brownies, rather than the fudgy kind this recipe seeks to achieve.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the batter and use a spatula to fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a tiny trace of flour mixture is still visible.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the brownies are just set. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely.

About the author

Chef Megan Joy

Marcia - May 7, 2013

Sounds wonderful. Every pan of brownies I’ve made since moving to 7000′ has been dreadful. Can’t wait to make this for a party this weekend.
Question: Want to add nuts …. would the bourbon make a difference on choice of walnuts v. pecans?
Will at 9 x 13 batch take a full cup of nuts?

    Chef Megan Joy - May 7, 2013

    These are delicious, I hope you like them! The bourbon will go great with both pecans and walnuts. Add whatever amount of nuts you wish, the great thing about brownies is that you can custom tailor them to your taste/texture preferences 🙂

      Marcia - May 13, 2013

      Oooooh, at last! Thanks so much, b/c they were THE BEST brownies ….ever!
      Used Nielsen=Massey vanilla cause I was out of bourbon and lots of toasted pecans.
      Just delicious. Next time, bourbon!!

Lauren - July 6, 2013

Oh my goodness! These really were perfect! Thank you! It’s so hard to find a good brownie recipe that actually works at 8,000ft! I’m sticking with this=)

Kate K - September 15, 2013

Hi! I just found your website a few days ago and have saved at least 10 recipes to try… looks like this is one of them!! 😀 I’m very grateful for your work.

Just moved to the Boulder County area a few months ago, and I’m still getting the hang of this altering-recipes thing. Would I need to add a smidge of baking soda or baking powder to this recipe in order for it to work at 5,210 ft? Or do you think it would be fine as-is? Let me know what you think!

    Chef Megan Joy - September 17, 2013

    Hi Kate, welcome to Colorado! You do not need to any chemical leavener to this recipe, regardless of altitude. The eggs do all the work 🙂

Jennifer - January 20, 2014

Just moved to Colorado from SO Cal and was making the most of my unemployment by teaching myself to bake. I came across this recipe and I’m so glad I tried it. This is the recipe I’ll use forever for brownies. They we’re thick, fudgy and so rich. I didn’t have bourbon but I used 1 tblsp of vanilla extract. They came out better than any brownie I’ve ever had….ever. Thanks Megan!

Elizabeth - March 21, 2014

Another great recipe. Not to quote your own words back to you, but the bourbon is a subtle but really interesting change. Thanks!

Melinda Murphy - March 21, 2014

I am super impressed, and I’m a tough critic when it comes to baked goods. Finally a brownie recipe that works at high altitude! These are better than any brownie I’ve had a sea level, for that matter. I used Scharffen Berger chocolate and they were to die for!

Pat - March 23, 2014

Hi Megan, I enjoy reading your blog and trying your recipes at sea level. You are really great about giving adaptations for those of us not living at high altitude. I don’t see these on the brownie recipe. Would you please include them because I am dying to give these a try. Thank you.

    Chef Megan Joy - March 23, 2014

    Hi Pam, there are no adjustments necessary for this recipe 🙂 The baking time may vary slightly, but that’s about it. Happy baking!

Caro - July 26, 2014

Thank you so much for sharing your recipes, these turned out great!.

Cranberry Fudge Brownies — High Altitude Bakes - November 20, 2014

[…] you from enjoying new ones. I recently discovered this. You see, for a long time I was all about this brownie recipe. It’s like I rejected the notion of baking anything resembling brownies, […]

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