dutch cocoa brownies

It's been pretty busy around here for the last few days because some of my family is visiting.  It's been so great to see my parents, grandparents, aunt & uncle (my mom's brother & sister) here in the Netherlands.  Of course I miss everyone from home, so it's fantastic to see some familiar faces - also, they're all so funny and I've been in stitches laughing several times.  They hired a private tour guide, Gerard, who has been fantastic at showing them around and answering their millions of questions (seriously, they ask A LOT of questions).  They've got a busy itinerary planned so they can see a lot of the country and also see where my great-grandparents were from.

Other than spending time with my family and planning Trev and I's next weekend adventure, I recently made these brownies.  They turned out pretty good - especially the ones towards the center of the pan because they were fudgey and soft.  These brownies had a deep chocolatey taste, which I really enjoyed (especially with a glass of ice cold milk).  I cut up about half the pan and Trev took them in to work, where they quickly disappeared.  He was asked for the recipe several times, so I think this recipe is a keeper.

Dutch Cocoa Brownies

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish.  Melt the butter with the cocoa powder in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Mix the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the cocoa mixture (if your saucepan is large enough, you can make the batter in there, or transfer the cocoa mixture of a large bowl).  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt & walnuts together in a small bowl, then stir into the cocoa mixture until just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges of the brownie start to pull away from the pan and the center looks puffed up, but still jiggles a bit.

recipe adapted from Group Recipes

I tagged along with my family on Friday and one of the places we visited was Bergen aan Zee, a seaside town north of Amsterdam.  It was a cold blustery day, but we had a good time walking on the beach (then warming up with a hot drink at one of the little beach cafes).  We also visited Petten to see the large sand dike that holds the North Sea back from the farmland beyond.  It was pretty neat to stand on top and look at the sea on one side and the farmland (possibly even at a lower elevation) on the other side.  And being able to look out and see windmills in the distance is always neat too.