Épicerie Brownies – All You Need is What You Have
Thursday March 19, 2020

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Chocolate is always a simple pleasure in my home, however, I tend not to gravitate toward cakes or brownies. But, when I saw David Lebovitz’s recipe for unsweetened chocolate brownies (also known and named as Dave and Kate’s brownies – that’s Katherine Hepburn, be sure to read how he grew up next to Katherine’s family in California), I wanted to try my hand at something similar.

Taking a look at what I had in my épicerie, and having just realized two days ago I had an entire bag full of mixed “fancy” nuts from Trader Joe’s that needed to be used, I thought to myself I could put them to good use for brownies and a simple pleasure to be enjoyed during this first week of staying-at-home due to the CoVid-19 epidemic.

Not having unsweetened quality chocolate in my house, I did have Scharffen Berger’s dark chocolate which is something I love to make chocolat chaud and wrap in my Pain au Chocolat. So using this instead, I reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe, added the nuts I had in my pantry, and crossed my fingers.

Pleasantly pleased I was as they were not too sweet, not too decadent and had so much subtle crunch sprinkled within each bite, my tastebuds danced.

Simple and delicious and perfect for making the most of staples in your épicerie that may not have been used, enjoy a bit of chocolate without a bit of guilt. Have a look at the recipe below.


Épicerie Brownie - All You Need is What You Have

Simply LuxuriousSimply Luxurious
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 16 brownies


  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter top quality
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sol
  • 3/4 cup roasted and chopped assorted nuts or whatever nuts you have in your pantry. I highly recommend they be roasted before you chop them.


  • Preheat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit and allow to preheat while you are make the batter.
  • Melt the butter over low heat with the chocolate. Stir consistently until incorporated and glossy and lovely.
  • Remove the butter and chocolate (once melted together) off the stove, and add the sugar (stir as you add), the two eggs and the vanilla. Stir until combined.
  • Add the flour, salt and nuts. Stir until combined.
  • Prepare a 8-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, and pour in the batter. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes (each oven will be unique). Bake until softly firm in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven. Leave in the pan until the brownies have cooled. Cut into small or large squares and enjoy with a lovely hot cup of something wonderfully cozy.

24 thoughts on “Épicerie Brownies – All You Need is What You Have

  1. This very simple, but wonderful recipe was also my mother’s. Brownie recipe. What I love most about the recipe is that it isn’t too sweet tasting. It was one of the first cookie recipes she taught me to make. Have the recipe I copied from her cookbook, which I wrote out when I was eight or nine. We usually made it in the fall using walnuts from the tree in our backyard.

    1. Exactly – not too sweet, but still offering the wonderful, quality chocolate we crave when we think of brownies. What lovely memories.Thank you for sharing Beth. A walnut tree! Wow!

  2. Yum! You had me hooked at “not too sweet, not too decadent” and some dancing taste buds! I have a bag of walnuts that would be perfect with these. I’ve never included roasted nuts in a brownie batter, so this will be a fun experiment. Now, what’s your secret for eating just one at a sitting?! 😉

  3. Yum, Shannon, what a lovely treat!
    And as one of the cats just this morning broke my husband’s favorite coffee mug, might I ask the brand of the lovely blue and white mug shown next to those delectable brownies?

    1. Good morning Rona. ? I do love this mug. It is from Gien, and the thumb rest makes is so comfortable in the hand. Sorry to hear about your husband’s mug. I think you will enjoy these brownies, as well as how easy they are to make.?

      1. Thanks, Shannon! And he’ll survive without the mug. Plus it gives me an excuse to do a wee bit of shopping, eh??

    1. It would absolutely work. If it’s unsweetened, I would increase your sugar to the regular amount, about a cup. For the best quality flavor (in the future, as I know are using what we have due to the circumstances), a quality bar would bring the best flavor. But this will taste just fine. 🙂

      1. Thank you, Shannon. I look forward to baking these this afternoon (and will begin to keep some baking chocolate bars in the house from now on!).

  4. One thing I do look forward to in this uncertain time of being at home more is to take time to try more TSLL ideas that I’ve noted and never quiete gotten to – these brownies shall be one!

  5. Shannon, I love a good brownie and yours look so delicious! ? So I can use a chocolate bar like Lindt 85% chocolate? What can I use as a substitute for the fluer de sol? Kosher salt? Thank you for the recipe!

  6. Hi Shannon – I just wanted to make sure it is 8 ounces vs tablespoons of butter? Basically 1 cup of butter? Thanks – looking forward to trying these!

      1. Ahhh thank you! We made it last night with 8 ounces and can I just say WHOA, that was a lotta butter ?

        1. Thank you for catching this. I should have not made that mistake. I errantly wrote ounces, envisioning in my mind one stick of butter. Thank you for helping others. 🙂 my apologies again. ?

  7. These are delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe, I always like to cook from scratch and I love that these ingredients are all readily available.

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