white and dark hearted brownies

White chocolate brownies have it tough. They share a name with a baked good that needs no improving on; their chocolate is rejected by self-titled “real” chocolate eaters for being a pale imitation of the rich, nutty and bittersweet awesomeness of darker chocolates; this same chocolate is so sweet that you must dial back the sugar in your brownies to adjust for it, removing moisture, risking leaving them cake-like and if it couldn’t get much worse, they’re barely white. More like, pale-yellowish-beige. Yum, right?

white chocolate brownies
brown brownies

I was one of those white chocolate rejectors for a long time but I finally made peace with it when I stopped judging it through the lens of chocolate — which is bitter and complex in ways that white chocolate cannot be — and accepted it for what it is, a buttery sweet confection that, when used carefully, plays exceptionally well with others, like mint, berries, nuts and, well, dark chocolate. And since I’d come full circle with my reasoning, I made a batch of white chocolate brownies and a batch of dark chocolate brownies and hadn’t figured out what I was going to do next, only that nothing bad could happen from there.

ready to trade parts

I don’t know what came over me next — maybe the extreme cuteness that has descended upon our apartment for the last 16 months has finally drained me of any remaining trace of sarcasm, eye-rolling or groans around treacly twee things, but suddenly I was digging out a tiny cookie cutter and making heart-shaped belly buttons in my brownies:


And swapping bellies:


And encouraging you to do the same:

nauseatingly cute

So, how long until I can start contributing to bake sales at the kid’s school? Because I think I’ve found my calling at last.

One year ago: Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Mint White Chocolate Cream
Two years ago: Alex’s Mom’s Stuffed Cabbage and Toasted Coconut Shortbread Hearts
Three years ago: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Four years ago: Mom’s Chocolate Chip Meringues

Elsewhere: There’s more cute on Bon Appetit, where I made Heart-Stuffed Shells in a Ricotta Sauce as part of a Valentine’s Menu. If you’re an artichoke fanatic like I am, you’re going to melt over these. Instead of being stuffed with 16 cheeses (okay, I’m exaggerating) and swimming in more cheese, as I remember shells from the 1980s, these are stuffed with a bright lemon-Parmesan-garlic-artichoke filling, and the ricotta is saved for a bechamel-like sauce.

White and Dark Heart Brownies

So about the light brownies: as I said above, white chocolate brownies are tough. I looked at every recipe that I could find for them and rejected each on different accounts. (Those that had reviews were never reviewed well.) I finally started reverse engineering my old fallback, the one-bowl brownies I’ve been making since grade school that despite their absence of browned butter, imported chocolate, Dutched cocoa and paragraphs of direction, are really spectacular. I increased the chocolate, knowing that the flavor of white chocolate is hard to find in confections, even in larger quantities and top qualities. I decreased the sugar. I increased the thickness, just a tad. But I left the important part there, that it’s a one-bowl brownie, something that’s doubly important because you’ll be making two batches. Two bowls; we can manage that, right?

I’m not going to call this the best brownie I’ve ever made — in fact, I was so convinced that it wouldn’t work, I didn’t even take photos of the process of making them — but it exceeded my expectations. They’re chewy, their sweetness is not completely out of control and they each taste enough like their primary ingredient to earn their titles. But? They’re so much better in the context (or as the belly button) of their darker brownie compatriots. Also, cuter. Once a year, you can make something just because it’s cutest thing to do.

This recipe makes 16 2-inch square white or dark chocolate brownies. To make a pan of each and reverse the middles, you’ll need double the ingredients listed below. You will end up with 32 reversed-center brownies.

3 ounces (85 grams) semisweet or good white chocolate*, coarsely chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 1/8 ounces or 175 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1/4 teaspoon table salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt (about 2 grams)
2/3 cup (83 grams) all-purpose flour

1-inch heart or other shaped cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over opposite sides of pan. Repeat with second piece of foil in opposite direction. Butter foil.

Melt white or dark chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over a simmering pot of water (or in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each) until it is 90% melted; remove from heat and stir the mixture until it is smooth. (I do this too keep things from getting too hot.) Whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add flour and salt together, stirring until just combined. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (for the dark chocolate version) and 30 to 35 minutes (for the white chocolate version).

Repeat this recipe with the other kind of chocolate and a second 8×8-inch square pan. If you don’t have two matching square pans (understandably) simply wait until you can remove your brownies from the pan as directed in the next step, and start again.

Cool pans on a wire rack in the freezer if you’re going to make cut-outs; frozen brownies are much easier to make clean cuts from. Once solid, transfer brownies in their foil “sling” to a large cutting board and cut each pan of brownies into 16 even squares, about 2×2 inches each. Still cold (and if they warm up and soften too quickly, pop them back in the freezer for 5 minutes), carefully, slowly, gently, press your cookie cutter into the center of each brownie and set the cut-out aside. Insert the dark cut-outs into the centers of the light brownies, and vice-versa. From here, you can let them warm up to room temperature or wrap them up in the freezer until you will need them.

* I generally dislike the qualifier “good” in recipes; it suggests that if you don’t use the very! best! olive oil, butter, wine, etc. your recipe will be terrible. Feh. But good white chocolate is a world apart from the cheap stuff. Namely, it is white chocolate, and not “white baking chips” which will melt into a yellow-oiled chunky… ugh, trust me. You’ll be glad you used something better.

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428 comments on white and dark hearted brownies

    1. Kathryn

      I made just the dark side, and these were so delicious! I loved the texture and 62 chocolate gave such a great taste, I can’t wait to make these again!

  1. i just found your website yesterday and am totally in love with everything here! I cant wait to try to convert the ones I saved to GF/DF. now I should start with these lovely brownies, too bad I canot have white chocolate :/

  2. kathy in St. Louis

    Also, I hope schools still allow kids to bring in homemade baked goods by the time Jacob gets there. If you’re not too busy with your second cookbook at that point, you might could pull a Yummy Mummy and cook with his classmates.

  3. These are so imaginative — it’s funny what having kids does to us! But see, you got amazingly cute (and delicious, I’m sure) brownies out of it. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to get your sarcasm back; they’re not babies forever.

  4. misseesippee

    OMG! I was going to make brownies today. I also wanted to make a Toll House pizza pan cookie, but now I think I’ll make it in a brownie pan and steal your idea. Thanks!

  5. Haha these are truly adorable. Maybe you could do blondies instead? I might try it that way, since white chocolate in brownies just doesn’t seem too appealing, sorry! By your pictures, they look really cakey, and brownies and cakey just don’t go together!

    1. deb

      Avanika — Blondies could definitely work. You’d want a recipe with the same height… The white chocolate brownies are actually not cakey. Like, not even a little. They’re very very chewy and moist without being gooey. I’m only mentioning this because I tested a white chocolate brownie that was very cakey before moving onto these which have a real classic brownie texture.

  6. Such a fun idea for any occasion! LOVE THIS!

    FYI, I made your frosted oatmeal cookies for my husband that has been heartbroken because he can’t find any Mother’s brand frosted oatmeal cookies – and he loved them! He requested for raisins next time.

    I will extent the link to my blog when I put up the photos!
    Thanks for inspiring me in the kitchen!

  7. Since I make baked goodies for Valentine’s Day, I asked DDIL yesterday what sweet would be in keeping with her WW points, since I never sabotage anybody’s work, and she wistfully said “Brownies?” I think these would be the ones—taste and quality well worth the points.

    Do you insert from top down or from the bottom, in order to alleviate the most crumbs?

    1. deb

      I inserted them from the top. It’s hard to cut and press the shapes out when it is frozen, but worth it because it won’t fall apart even if you angle it in wrong at first.

  8. Ashley

    These are super cute! White chocolate “brownies” sounds so delicious. Can I ask what brand of white chocolate you used or what would be acceptable? My mouth is watering, I can hardly wait to make them.

    1. deb

      As you guys know, I hate talking brands (because it becomes a magnet for other product mention comments), and especially in this case because I used Valrhona, which is one of the fanciest you can buy, because I have a surplus of it. Such problems!

      And so I will couch this in a relationship story: You know, in every couple there is the person who goes to the store for something they need, sees the price and is so horrified by it, they don’t buy it. Even though they need it. Then there’s the other person who says, “Oh well!” and buys it anyway. That latter person is my husband. I asked him if he could pick up some white chocolate for me, Valrhona if it wasn’t keel-over expensive, and he came home with a kilo of it. Because that was the smallest package he could find. I still haven’t looked at the receipt. Will white chocolate now show up in the cookbook? You betcha!

  9. Liz

    I’m excited you posted these! I experimented with making a white chocolate cookie dough – along the lines of the white chocolate brownie dough here – at Christmas, paired with a red-tinged mint dough for a take on the classic pinwheel cookies. Loved them! I’m sure these are to-die-for, too. Thanks!

  10. This may be the cutest recipe you have ever made on SK. Your story of your husband is hilarious. My dad does the same thing. I asked him to buy cranberries one time, thinking he’d bring home a small bag, and he came back with two 2-pound bags of cranberries. I froze half of them but, man, we ate a lot of cranberries for a while.

  11. What a great recipe. I will definitely have to try the white brownies. Yay for chewy not cakey white brownies!

    Oh and I love the story about your husband getting a kilo of the Valrhona – I’d say just throw away the receipt and enjoy (although I probably could NEVER do that!).

  12. So charming! I’d also love to do these with milk and dark chocolate instead of white and dark chocolate for a subtler contrast. Do you think that would work? Or maybe make two batches of dark chocolate fudge, one with crushed mint candies on top and one without.

  13. So charming! I’d also love to do these with milk and dark chocolate instead of white and dark chocolate for a subtler contrast. Do you think that would work? Or maybe make two batches of dark chocolate fudge, one with crushed mint candies on top and one without.

    1. deb

      The centers won’t fall out when you pick up the brownies. Because you’re inserting the same exact shape that you removed, it’s a good fit. But it’s not glued in there. If someone takes a bite that opens up the center, it could drop out. But I don’t think it should be a huge problem because I imagine that anyone eating a brownie keeps a white-knuckled grip on it. Brownie thieves lurk around every bend! At least in my apartment, they do.

  14. Deb I love your writing, so full of humor and satire (even if you state otherwise). These are about the cutest little brownies ever. My two little girls would agree wholeheartedly:)

  15. So cute! I am definitely a fan of occasional cuteness for cuteness sake, especially when said cuteness is also yummy. Thanks for the frozen tip for cutting and swapping – I”m definitely going to try this sometime.

    Also, even though we don’t have children just yet, I’m also excited for bake sales and room mother duties!! :o)

  16. These are adorable, and surely taste divine. I hate to burst your bubble, but be prepared for school parties where you may bring “a healthy snack”, and schools where bake sales may not be allowed because they don’t fit in with the nutritional policy. You may be able to slip a sweet in occasionally, but it’s not the same system we grew up in! ;o)

  17. If you need a suggestion for using up all that leftover white chocolate, try pairing it with citrus. My fiance and I had a dessert last week that was a white chocolate mousse with some pieces of white chocolate pavlova topped with a citrus sorbet (I think it was yuzu, but I’m pretty sure lime/grapefruit/etc would work just fine). The citrus cut the sweetness of the white chocolate, making for a really great (and unexpected, at least to me) pairing.

    Also, these are adorable. Thank you!

  18. Melissa

    Darn you Deb! I got on the site this morning to see what I needed at the grocery store to make the olive oil and blood orange cake from earlier this week for a party on Sunday. And I saw the brownies! And now am thinking “would it be so wrong to make both?”

  19. Sarah

    Love this idea, I think I might make these for valentines day. Except, I’m thinking of making one batch of white/dark swirl brownies and one batch of red velvet brownies.

  20. sillyLN

    I love this – though I’m thinking of other shapes (for other occasions) and am also thinking food coloring could be used to tint the white chocolate brownies. Even for the heart shape, which could become pink.

  21. Susan

    These are the cutest darn things I’ve seen in a long while. The future bakesale organizers are going to love you. I’ve tried so many brownie recipes and I too keep going back to my standby Deep Dish Brownies recipe that are mixed right in the sauce pan where I blend the butter and cocoa. I’ve never gotten any recipe for brownies out of the oven without raised edges (which are actually my very favorite part). Did you have to trim edges for these?

  22. Rachel

    I don’t even LIKE brownies (much to the chagrin of my boyfriend, for whom brownies occupy the apex of the dessert hierarchy. Yes, there is a dessert hierarchy, and we discuss it often), but these might just make a believer out of me. My problem with brownies is that they’re too intensely chocolatey, so I liek the idea of breaking that up with some white chocolate.

  23. Jenny

    These look perfect for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to do something different from the traditional red velvet recipes that show up this time of the year. I’m excited to give these a try. Will these freeze well? The recipe will make more than we can eat in a few days.

  24. Adorable. I will admit I am not a white chocolate fan, but I love what you’ve done with the heart technique. It occurs to me that you could do all kinds of creations with this that would be absolutely yummy.

  25. chrisy

    Wow,like everyone’s been saying, these are adorable! The great thing is you’re not getting a hit of too much cocoa, or dark chocolate or white. It’s a prefect match, that allows you to appreciate the different flavours.

    …Guess I have to by a cookie cutter now!

  26. Ashley

    I’m sorry I made you discuss brands. I should have know better, as I read SK nearly everyday. I’m just so iffy with baking things with white chocolate, I usually just stray away from it.

  27. And here I am wondering why I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a white chocolate brownie. Your kilo of chocolate story reminds me of this gourmet grocery chain in Texas that’s having a chocolate fest right now and how they have 11 lb (why?!) bars of chocolate. I don’t even want to know how many cute brownies that would make.

    1. deb

      I had read about NYC bake sales. I was hoping the world would be a better place by the time Jacob started school. Ah, the bright outlook of new parents!

      Oh Ashley — Don’t feel bad! So not a big deal. I answered because I’ll always answer if someone asks. What I’d never do is say “Oh, well you must use Valrhona Ivore at $xx per kilo plus international shipping or the brownies will be terrible!” Or something equally ick.

      Jenny — Brownies freeze great. Mine (uh, most of them!) are in there right now, waiting for a party on Saturday night.

      Jessica — Much as I joke around, I’m thrilled about the push for nutritional snacks. But, I believe with almost a religious fervor that when it is time for junk food, it better be homemade.

  28. Marie M.C.

    Deb — I just learned a new expression: “Pure Dead Brilliant”. That’s you!

    I just read the above link on #91 Brooklyner’s comment re no bake sales. What idiocy. You can sell Kellogg’s Pop Tarts but not homemade cookies? Huh? Give me a break.

  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you for linking to your shells recipe on Bon Appetit. I’ve been trying to figure out what to make for Valentine’s Day for 2 couples (we’re vegetarian, they’re not), and this is perfect! Those brownies don’t look bad, either. :)

  30. Adorable! I’ve been wracking my head trying to think of some kind of cooked/baked thing I could surprise my husband with… and this might just do the trick. Though how I’m going to sneak in the time to get these made without him seeing, I’m not sure ;) Maybe it won’t be a surprise, but it’ll be yummy

  31. These in some ways remind me of one of my favorite recipes for chocolate peanut butter swirl brownies, where you start the brownie batter then divide in half, and chocolate goes in half while peanut butter goes in the other. These could be brilliant that way, especially if the white chocolate isn’t intense enough for one’s tastes.

    I already have Valentine’s dessert planned out (orange crush cake!) but these may have to make an appearance soon with a different shape cutout. Bunnies? Perhaps.

  32. Brandi from Colorado

    I just made this and was surprised by how good the white chocolate brownies were!! I have three kids under 6 and love the idea of a one bowl brownie!! Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I will be using again!!

  33. Uh, err… yep… didn’t take me long to solve that dilemma. Brownies are in the oven now, the evidence discretely scrubbed and placed back into the cabinets. “Work from home for today” just turned into “Work from home for part of today” :)

    1. deb

      Rachael — Time to dust off “Ought to be working”… :)

      Tara — Any cake, or muffin, or even cookie. Bruising the zest with the sugar granules helps release the oils.

  34. Stephanie

    These look so cute! I have a bag of butterscotch chips lying around and am looking for a way to get rid of them – do you think they would work as a substitute for the white chocolate?

  35. Hillary

    Deb, these are SO cute and I greatly appreciate the recipe – perfect for Valentines Day! Just curious what is your FAVORITE chocolate brownie recipe? I looked around on your site and found a few, but was wondering if you have a favorite brownie recipe. I feel the itch to make brownies this weekend!

  36. I am so in. Totally. And my hips won’t thank you but my heart will. Also, it is okay to be a food snob when it makes a difference in the recipe. And when we are talking chocolate, it is important to be specific. So don’t apologize. The right chocolate and knowing exactly what cut of meat to buy are important things…especially around Valentine’s Day! Thanks for passing this love along!

  37. Arthur

    So how come so many of your blop posts show up on a day or two before yours? Are you affiliated with them? Or just lacking original ideas?



    1. deb

      Arthur — I actually hadn’t seen it. I’d say if I have. I’ve never shied away from giving credit to others when they’re the source of inspiration behind something I make; I’ve been doing so exactingly (as in, even when the final recipe bears no resemblance to the source, thus if I had any desire to “get away” with not mentioning it, I could) for almost 5 years here. Plus, I’m quite fond of the KAF bakers and have mooned over their recipes in the past. I’m just really far behind on reading their (and any) blog these days.

  38. It really doesn’t get any more adorable than this… but I can just see that in my kitchen cutting brownies into hearts would turn into a crumbly gooey mess. Of course, if that happens, I get to eats the crumbs and goo, so I’ll give it a go!

  39. Patryce

    For the person concerned about the heart falling out when the brownie is eaten–maybe poke a wooden skewer diagonally through the brownie square, and then glue on an arrowhead shaped piece of paper on one end, and some fletching bits on the other(think that’s what the feathery bits on the end of an arrow are called) then they are Cupid’s Brownies…

  40. Ok… call me a novice.. where would you suggest purchasing “good” white chocolate? I mean, is such a thing available at the regular supermarket or do I need to be digging deeper?


    I found you by googling “Blondies” and currently have a batch of your basic blondies in the oven… with semi-sweet chips frangelico in them! Can’t WAIT to try.

  41. hell yeah one bowl desserts! how creative are you! and that tambourine boy is too cute! I can’t wait to see the faces on the people you will be baking with for his future school bake sales, because they will be so awed by your talents!

  42. Uh, I teach Kindergarten through fifth grade music in a New York City public school. Do not worry about this “crappy goods only” edict. We will work around it. There are brownies to be considered here, people.

  43. Nomi-

    Those are great. I would totally make those for other holidays too, shamrocks for St Patrick’s day, bunnies for Easter, stars for the 4th of July, Snowflakes for Christmas, and so on.

  44. Lisa

    Thanks for a grown-up cutesie Valentines treat! I am doing a similar thing with cookies for the kids. For my mom friends, I’ll share some special white chocolate brownies!

  45. deb, i couldn’t agree more with you wrt to white chocolate always paling (hehe) in comparison to chocolate. i’ve always thought that manhattan clam chowder suffers the same fate. if they simply called it “manhattan clam soup” people would like it much better because they woudln’t always be comparing it with new england clam chowder!

    these look fabulous!

  46. Hmmm… Now I need to decide if I want to make these or cupcakes on Sunday. Hopefully either one will cheer up my friend who’s going through a bad breakup (with a very bad man). If I make these, I’ll definitely link to your recipe on my blog, as usual :)

  47. What a great idea! I just put my cheesecake in the oven and now I’m thinking maybe I should’ve tried this instead lol.. oh well next time :)
    Think I might try the same with ‘letter cutters’ after valentines..

  48. That is ridiculously brilliant :).

    White chocolate for me is one of those things that I always forget I enjoy until it happens to be there, then I remember how much I enjoy it. I’ve never attempted to make a white chocolate “brownie” before, but I am now fascinated by the idea.
    Currently my favourite Brownie recipe is your Cocoa Brownies (slightly adapted). I wonder if maybe you’ll also be responsible for my favourite white chocolate brownie recipe too :). Lookin’ forward to finding out.

  49. An

    I’m actually weird enough to enjoy white chocolate as a candy (though excessively, because of the intense richness) so I’m really really excited to make these. Thank you for another brilliant idea!

    One question, do you freeze the brownies solid before cutting them? If not, how long do you leave the brownies in the freezer? I’d love to make the heart-shaped inserts like you did, and it’d be such a shame if they would fall apart.

  50. Kate

    Whitewater Cooks has a recipe for white chocolate brownies that are unbelievable. They have the best texture of any brownie I’ve ever made, moist and super rich but not too dense, almost like a really light cheesecake. Oh, and did I mention they have big chunks of roasted hazelnuts in them? I’ll omit the hazelnuts to make these, but I bet they’ll still hold their own against the classic chocolate brownie!

  51. Christine

    I read your recipe for the stuffed shells (they look fantastic) and–gasp!–you recommended a TJ’s product! Did you convert without telling? I remember when you couldn’t see the appeal =)

  52. ash

    OMG how do you do it?! I’ve been meaning to comment after each of the last three recipes on how you seemed to have read my mind, and never got around to it. NOW I MUST. BECAUSE YOU READ MY MIND AGAIN.

  53. These ARE adorable, though, and very bake sale worthy. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate due to its cloying sweetness but it sounds like you’ve found a way to counteract that. I’m going to have to file this one away for future use. (Incidentally, I also keep waiting for the bake sale days…or the cake walk days…or whatever else they do in schools now so I can force some of the creative-cuteness on other people.)

  54. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I think you’re just great. It seems like we like the same kind of food and making things ourselves. Your response to Arthur is what made me leave my first comment. Very classy miss. :)

  55. Tracie

    I made this tonight and am wondering why my brownies turned out so flaky on top. I had to turn them upside-down to make them more presentable.

    But they taste fantastic – even the white chocolate batch, which I made with {gulp} Ghiradelli white baking chips. I’ll try this recipe with real white chocolate next time!

  56. These look so cute! I’ll have to give your recipe a try. I have a favorite one bowl brownie recipe that I swear by, but it doesn’t translate well to white chocolate.One day I tried out a white chocolate brownie recipe (I wish I could remember whose it was, maybe Anna Olsen) which explained that due to the higher percentage of cocoa fat in white chocolate it was necessary to whip the eggs to achieve proper volume, since the fat in the chocolate interferes with the stability of the egg foam, and also disrupts gluten chain formation. They turned out great and had the glossy top I was looking for. Did you notice any difference in the texture of the white and dark chocolate brownies?

  57. huw

    I don t cook anything apart from bread and nondescript stew things and don t eat anything with sugar (I m a sugar addict)but I still save most of the recipes you post just to visually gorge on. Thanks.

  58. Charlotte

    I’m going to make these today but i think i will do the outer brownie in a larger heart shape, double the love! – Mainly so i get to eat the cut off bits!

  59. It’s only through stealing white chocolate buttons from my toddler that I’ve grown to love the white stuff. Though my heart truly does belong to just plain old milk chocolate. Preferably Cadbury’s though any will do really. Have you tried making brownies with a mix of half white and half dark choc? Is good.

  60. karen

    As a long time contributor to the school bake sale I know those brownies would be the first thing to go. You would be surprised by the pretty good chunk of change those little bake sales bring in to help the school.

  61. Nan

    Whatever you do, do NOT take treats as cute as these to any kid’s school! You’ll never be free if you do! You’ll be signed up for every bake sale and charity event until your little cherub has graduated! These are too cute – I’m having the little girls in the neighborhood over Monday afternoon for a little party – think I’ll make them – thanks! xo, Nan

  62. Melinda S

    I love these! And re Arthur – it just means that great minds think alike!

    I have never really cared for ‘blondies’ because of the lack of chocolaty-ness, but these look like they would take care of that. Also, thanks for the brand name, I’ve tried ‘white’ chocolate before because my husband loves it and was totally dissatisfied with the flavor and ‘waxiness’ of the product. I’ll go hunting now.

  63. Pam Gardner

    I want to make these with my granddaughter right now…..unfortunately she lives 8 hrs. away but I am visiting in 2 weeks so will take my tiny heart cutter and have a “late” Valentine’s Day baking time. She is 4 and Loves to be in the kitchen!
    Your recipes are bad for my waistline!

  64. Maggie

    At first, I despaired because I don’t have enough room in my freezer, then I remembered it’s about four degrees outside, so I cooled them completely on the counter, wrapped them in foil, put them in a box, and put the box in the trunk of my car for a few hours. They were quite firm when I retreived them. Problem solved!

    These are absolutely fabulous, and I will hopefully be the hit of the treat-swap at work on Monday! Thanks!

  65. HA! This post made me laugh. I have a 16 month old son and can completely identify with this sentence, which just killed me! :)
    “maybe the extreme cuteness that has descended upon our apartment for the last 16 months has finally drained me of any remaining trace of sarcasm, eye-rolling or groans around treacly twee things”

  66. vencogirl

    Jessica@bakemeaway–your TX gourmet shop is selling 11 pound bars of chocolate because they are 5 kilos (which converts to 11 pounds)

  67. Denise

    These look wonderful and delicious. I must admit, I learned to cook and bake through your blog when my first born was about 8 months old. Now, she is 3 1/2 and I have a 2 year old. I haven’t had the time to cook and bake your BEST EVER recipes lately. How do you do it???!!! I gotta get back on the smitten kitchen wagon and DO IT. Because somehow you can write, cook, bake, take pictures, and raise ONE little boy ALL AT THE SAME TIME. You are truly an inspiration, I can’t wait for your cookbook. Happy Valentines!

  68. Landon

    I apologize for the questions in advance . . . Long time reader, first time commenter :)

    I have made things like the huevos racheros and things like the roasts, but I am not a baker.

    When you use the regular chocolate for the regular brownies, it is only three ounces as well?

    Is the regular chocolate the same kind if you are making chocolate chip cookies? What does three ounces of chocolate translate to in a measuring cup? Is it like a 1/4 cup?

    If I make them on Sunday, should I freeze them and then take them out on Monday, or will they be as good the next day?

    Thank you in advance for the help, I am making these for a girl and I want to get it right.

    1. deb

      Christine — Wait, didn’t I say that I found the quality of their frozen vegetables and fruit to be their only charm? I still really really fail to see the Greatness that is Trader Joes, though I suspect that it has a lot to do with a) the spectacularly hellish store we have on 14th; it could cause the most loyal TJ shopper (that would be my mother, who spent most of the 80s weeping that she could only go to Trader Joes when she was in California) to flee and b) that we barely buy any packaged foods so there’s little that we can only get there. But their frozen artichokes are above and beyond. The three times a year I bear it, I always walk out with them.

      Landon — Three ounces of dark or white chocolate. Same weight. 3 ounces in chocolate chips would be about 1/2 cup (estimating a 12 ounce bag at 2 cups, which most are). Be careful if you buy white chocolate chips that they are not “white baking chips” with the absence of the word “chocolate”. They will not melt well or taste good. They’ll be as good the next day, though I kind of like them post-chilled, when they’re extra chewy. Good luck!

  69. Dona

    I jumped right up and made these! Cute! The white chocolate brownies didn’t rise as much as the dark brownies so they are slightly out of alignment, but oh so fun.

  70. Ann

    Yes RobynB, Deb did know that, as has been pointed out a couple of times.
    Thanks for the cute idea for Valentines Day. I love white chocolate too.

  71. CookBot

    Well, these were a surprise! I was expecting some kind of monstrously decadent, Louis XIV-style chocolate blowout for Alex for Valentine’s Day. So these “lighthearted” little babies were a pleasant shock.

    By the way, Marcy Goldman at BetterBaking has a version of your Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake posted for Valentine’s Day that might actually get Alex barking at the moon. Sort of a kitchen-sink version — brownie base, brownie cubes, caramel swirls… it looks murderous.

  72. Amy

    Just had to comment – my two year old happened to walk by when your gorgeous brownies were on my computer screen and he immediately said “I want some hearts, Mommy!” I want some, too! Also – be prepared for a big letdown in the kids snacks and bake sales department. At my daughters school (where I’m happy to support their wish for “healthy” snacks) everything has to be store-bought because none of our kitchens have been inspected by the health department. So we can’t even make bran muffins or homemade granola bars. Don’t get me started on the pain of bringing store-bought cupcakes and cookies to celebrate a birthday! At least I can make the ding-dong cupcakes for her birthday at home!

  73. SS

    These are so ridiculously cute, but I only have really big cookie cutters. Do you think something like this would work if I took really big hearts out of the brownies before I cut them into squares, for presentation? But if I cut them, would they fall apart or would the parts from the different brownies stick together enough to be easily eat-able? (I hope this all makes sense…)

  74. Jenny

    I just finished baking the brownies. They didn’t come out nice and smooth on top. One of the pans formed a huge ugly bubble on the surface. I made sure everything was well incorporated. What did I do wrong?

  75. Update: I made these, and doubled both my white batch and chocolate batch so I could use 9 x 13 pans for each, and it was a huge success. I had to involve a hammer to make my clean cuts, but they look super coute!

  76. toastchef

    Just made these but used some caramelized white chocolate from David Lebovitz’s blog (I found YOUR blog on his!). I had some mishaps while cutting (maybe not frozen enough?) so was forced to eat the scraps. Although it doesn’t make as much of a contrast, I can definitely recommend using the caramelized white chocolate–it tastes great!

  77. Julie

    Unfortunately, these just didn’t happen for me. I followed the recipe to the letter and everything was fine until I came to the cutting-out stage. Pushing the cutter through each square just caused the borders to crumble and come apart more often than not (and yes, they were well frozen when I did the cutting). Now I’m stuck with two pans of ugly, expensive brownie scraps (I’d planned to make these to take to work). This is the third recipe I’ve tried from this site and the third disaster; time for me to find another recipe blog, I suppose. Best wishes.

  78. Suzanne from the RVA

    Why am I getting all sorts of bubbles on the surface of my white chocolate brownies? 10 more minutes to go, I hope they disappear!

  79. Stacey

    I can’t wait to try these! And while it’s slightly off-topic, I just have to say that while I don’t like to buy packaged foods either, I love Trader Joe’s for their nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate (I’m told Callebaut makes their chocolate; it’s not Valrhona, but it’s very good, and more reasonably priced). And for people looking for true white chocolate chips, not “white baking chips”, TJ’s has them.

  80. Sascha

    I just bought the perfect cookie cutter and I can’t wait to make these for my lucky boyfriend (and myself). Hearty chocolate goodness – best valentines day present ever!

  81. I love these. And especially love the tip to put them in the freezer so they cut better. This would have been a great teachers gift for my daughter to make. But we already made truffles (that resemble prehistoric rocks.) Good thing Godiva tastes good no matter what happens to it. I’m going to save this recipe for sure!

  82. ColleenH

    I’ve been trolling your site for a few months now, always baking/cooking and never commenting, but now I have a dilemma of my own. I am baking these at this very moment and I think I messed up. I bought semisweet instead of dark because it said semisweet in the recipe, but dark in the narrative. I’m becoming less confident with my decision by the minute. Will there be a major difference?

    Also, I like to sub whole wheat flour and raw sugar whenever and where ever I can while baking. Do you have any thoughts on that?

    1. deb

      Colleen — I haven’t tried this with whole wheat flour or raw sugar but if you do, please let us know how it goes so it can help others with the same question. Semi-sweet and bittersweet are both dark chocolates, and the terms are used interchangeably in baking. (Technically, semi-sweet should really be more in the 60-something percentile and bittersweet more like 70ish percent but I think I’m the only person on earth who cares about that distinction.)

      RobynB — It’s come up a few times in earlier comments; I responded in comment #144.

  83. Sara

    Darn, I wish these had been posted earlier! When I saw this recipe on Friday I was determined to make these to bring to work for Valentine’s Day… but it is impossible to buy a mini heart shaped cookie cutter the weekend before Valentine’s (I went to 5 specialty stores and all were sold out!) Guess I’ll have to wait until next year…

  84. des

    these are adorable.
    you know, more than one person might think of heart cookie cutters with valentine’s day approaching. not *that* much of a coincidence. Just saying. Not that I, on my own, had the idea …or would ever have had the idea ….of heart inserts in brownies, even after reading KAF’s blogpost previously. Just eat something yummy and chill.

  85. cristina

    i must commend the cuteness, but more than anything else, i simply cannot get over how perfect your brownie cuts are. i’m sincerely awful at cleanly cutting my brownies, and when you have baking OCD like myself, it’s truly traumatizing. problem is that i have always been apprehensive about those freezing shenanigans (a strange fear ingrained in me by my own mother) . . but this post is proof enough that it’s time to make the freezer my brownie loving best friend. many thanks, and happy valentines day!

  86. alissa

    Julie–sounds like you used a cookie cutter that was too big for the brownies. I have tried a ton of smitten kitchen recipes and have never had a problem. Specifically, the artichoke heart stuffed shells I made last night were delicious! Also, I just made these brownies and while a few of the edges were crumbly, you can just smoosh those areas back together.
    ColleenH–You are totally supposed to use semi sweet chocolate. I think she mentions “dark” in the recipe to differentiate them between the white chocolate ones.

  87. Sharon Anna

    These are ADORABLE :)

    It IS impossible to find small, heart-shaped cookie cutters! I finally found some at Target, but they were a bit large. I only ended up getting 8 brownies out of the batch instead of 16 (and some left-over edges … “brownie bites” … that filled up a large soup bowl).

  88. Liz Aiello

    Hi Deb,

    I love making your recipes. I always normally outdo myself, but once in a blue moon fail miserably. This was one of those fail miserably times.

    It wasn’t a total wash, the white chocolate brownies are fantastic and cut beautifully and are just awesome (which I normally don’t like white chocolate so that’s surprising). However, the dark chocolate brownies were crumbly and I felt not chocolatey enough and the entire thing fell apart when pulling out the center heart. I imagine, as Alissa above me commented, that I used too big of a heart cutter and my brownie mojo was not on, but I do remember making the dark chocolate brownies before and they were too crumbly then. Is it something I’m not doing? I used Valrhona for both chocolates (I too am an expensive chocoholic).

    Either way, I salvaged it b/c now I have heart shaped brownies and little brownie bites to dip in chocolate fondue. :-D

    You are awesome sauce and thanks for the amazing blogging.


  89. Alicia

    I also had trouble finding a small heart shaped cookie cutter this weekend. I did eventually find one in the cake decorating section at my local craft store. All the valetines stuff was sold out and I don’t think anyone thought to look there;)

  90. A word of caution… I used what I had on hand, which was a Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking *Bar*. It was a bit of a disaster. The brownies turned out flat, oily, and mushy :( The flavor was not so good. I measured all of the ingredients by weight, and the chocolate-brownies were delicious, so I think it was just the Ghiradelli – bummer!

  91. Renee

    I have these in the freezer as we speak, just need to cut them out and put back together. Nice easy recipe – I’ve never made brownies from scratch before (I know – probably heresy on this site), but found the recipe to be very friendly. I’m sending them in with my son tomorrow for his valentine party at school (after we eat a couple here at home). Such a cute idea!

  92. Amy

    These brownies were absolutely delicious! My husband tastes them, his eyes widened, and then he went in for more… and more… and more! They’re really fabulous. I had some trouble cutting them out, even when they were frozen solid. My solution was to cut the pan into 9 squares instead of 16, making them bigger and more forgiving of small cracks. I also found that pressing on the cookie cutter with the edge of a large knife helped ensure that the cutter went all the way through the brownies, making the heart shape easier to remove. I found that as I worked, I got better at cutting them out– very similar to making sugar cookies in that way (the first few always look like hell!) I will definitely make these again, even if it’s just to eat in regular old squares!

  93. Leigh

    I just finished making these with a cheap white chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s. I was a bit skeptical but it turned out great. Thanks for the inspiration!

  94. Monica

    I may not get to the cookie cutting portion of this show, because….YUM! And I never would have made white chocolate brownies if I had just come across the recipe, but these are sooo good! I know what I’ll be having w/my morning coffee.

  95. I used to be a closet white chocolate addict for fear of being snubbed by my fellow foodies… but if you get your hands on the real-deal heavily-laden-with-cocoa-butter stuff it’s heaven. I do think that cocoa butter is overlooked some, it has a subtle but interesting flavour of its own. I blame the Milky Bar Kid. These are super cute, what a fun + easy idea! I haven’t tried making ‘Blondies’ before, I’ll give your recipe a go.

  96. Daphne

    I just made these with my roommate tonight! We’re bringing them to our class tomorrow, for our Environmental Science cohort. We were so excited to make these that we went to look for heart-shaped cookie cutters at 11pm. Although the drugstore did not have cookie cutters, my sharp-eyed roommate spied a “Clay Fun Kit” in the toy section that included a heart-shaped cutter for roll-out clay. The cutter was quite shallow, so our final brownies weren’t as cleanly cut, but they still turned out well.

    We quadrupled the recipe, and made a 9″x13″ pan of dark chocolate brownies and a 9″x13″ pan of white chocolate brownies. We had the bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes. Next time we will decrease the sugar for the dark chocolate brownies, but the white chocolate brownies turned out deliciously. Thanks so much for sharing!

  97. Ceri McCarron

    Thanks for this recipe! Made them with my daughter over the weekend and she took them to school today. My heart cookie cutter was a littel bigger than yours so we just cut the brownies bigger. Didn’t need 32 anyway (-: Turned out great and tasted great as well! Next time I’ll just double both and make each in a 9×13. Thanks again!

  98. Katy Newton

    Oh, these look lovely. I’m slightly sceptical about a brownie with no cocoa in it, I must admit, but very excited about the pretty hearts. I am making this for our pudding tonight, and wondering whether (given that my boyfriend, who is handling the main, purported to veto ANYTHING HEARTSHAPED) tinting the white brownie pink would be just enough, or a bit much for him.

  99. Shelle

    These are adorable and look scrumptious.. wish I had time to try them today!

    And Arthur: You stand a better chance of getting your point across if you don’t get all douchy about it. Be nice. Anonymity on the web doesn’t have to bring out the snark.

  100. Katie

    Made these last night with one change… I added red food coloring to the white chocolate brownies for extra, over-the-top, cuteness. They turned out wonderfully- thanks for the idea! I’ll post a link to pictures if I can get my camera working!

  101. Annie

    I made these Saturday night (I know, I’m wild), and they broke when I put the cookie cutter to them. I put them in the freezer, waited till they were rocks, and then went at them. They broke! Also, my cookie cutter was too thin to get through the whole brownie, so it would get stuck. The only way for me to get it out was to break the brownie around the cookie cutter. Then I thought if I cut about 1/8 inch off the bottom of the squares I could get through the brownie, but that didn’t help much either. In all, I got 5 successful brownies with mismatched bellies and a lot of teeny heart-shaped ones.

    This is all okay. It’s just supposed to be for fun, so we enjoyed eating the 5 successes, the teeny hearts and the scraps left behind. :)

  102. Becca (she bakes)

    I just want to let all the budget-conscious bakers out there know that I followed Deb’s recipe to a T using Baker’s white chocolate (MUCH cheaper than Varlhona) and the brownies came out wonderfully – chewy, not at all cakey, and tasting definitively of white chocolate (and butter – mmm butter). Not to say that they wouldn’t have tasted even better with Varlhona, but they were still amazing without breaking the bank. I found that 25 min at 350F left me with crispy edges (mmm) but found the centre could have been a bit more set – I’m sure this is an individual oven difference, so I’ll probably just bake them at 325F next time (oh there will definitely be a next time).

    Also, what’s with all the Deb-doubting lately? First with the orange segments in the cake, and now with the originality of this recipe? Deb has been extremely transparent about both recipe sources and kitchen snafus since Day 1 – why would she all of a sudden begin lying and stealing ideas without crediting?? C’mon people, know who you are working with here – any blogger humble enough to admit when she makes a mistake would NOT be one to start lying about putting orange segments in a cake, or about thinking of a recipe on her own. Simmer down!

  103. Melissa

    @Rachel in #233 – I also used the Ghiradelli white chocolate, and while I thought the white choc brownies were okay, they weren’t ask good as the regular chocolate ones. They were a lot more flat too and greasy. Interestingly, for two pans of my chocolate brownies, I used a different kind of chocolate, but for the other two regular chocolate (yes, a lot of brownies! I was making them for a party) I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate and they were okay. So it seemed to be the Ghiradelli white chocolate. I will look for better stuff next time.

    Deb, this is the dumbest question ever, but at some point, can you do a “how to line a pan with foil” tutorial? I feel like an idiot for asking this (next week, I will ask for a “how to boil water” tutorial), but I have the hardest time with this. I look at your foil lined things, and the foil is pretty and flat. Not matter how hard I tried, mine wrinkles in the corners, and then it’s impossible to get off the brownies. On the chocolate batch, I was trying to cut the excess foil off with a knife and stabbed myself in the finger.

    I finally used the same trick I use for round cake pans, where I buttered the pan (bottom and sides), cut parchment paper to the size of the bottom of the pan, and then buttered it. I then cut long strips for the sides of the pan, and buttered then as well. That actually worked, but just took a long time for each pan. It wasn’t until I was nearly done that I realized that I probably could have cut the foil to the correct width – is that the trick (I am awesome at making things hard)

    And sorry, I didn’t mean to just complain – I loved the brownies, as did my husband (who might have eaten 22 of them yesterday) and our guests. I also discovered a helpful cutting tip for when you start baking hoards of these for Jacob’s school bake sales. My fingers got sore pushing on the cookie cutter, so I would push them in just slightly, and then I used the flat top of my meat tenderizer (anything flat and bigger than your cookie cutter would work) to push the cookies cutter through.

  104. Diana and Sarah

    My neighbor and I made these (she made the white choc and I made the dark and we got together to assemble). We had no problems and switched belly buttons with ease. Next time I would add a few chocolate chips to the dark chocolate to make them richer. I used semi sweet choc chips. I also used raw sugar and the extra 2 tbls were brown sugar (I think these made the dark choc moister and less crumbly??)

  105. ayo

    You are just so very clever! I lost interest in my little tiny cookie cutters years ago–might have to dig them out of the baking gadget drawer and see what I come up with. This will probably also work with a) peanut-butter brownies or b) butterscotch brownies. yum!

  106. Joan

    I made these over the weekend to great success! My only problem was I baked the white chocolate brownies too long. They browned on top, so there wasn’t enough contrast in colors. Otherwise, very delicious and oh so cute! I’ll do a better job next time keeping an eye on the clock.

    Thanks for another winning recipe! I cannot wait for your book…is it 2012 yet?

  107. Stacey

    Deb, Let me assure you that you’re not the only person on earth who cares about fine distinctions between different types of chocolate. And while some bakers may use the terms semi-sweet and bittersweet interchangeably, they really are not the same. I’ve done a lot of chocolate work/research, and have found that semi-sweet chocolate has a cocoa content ranging anywhere from mid 30 to 50 something percent. Bittersweet is generally in the 60 or 70 percent range. And of course, semi-sweet contains more sugar than bittersweet. I don’t mean to nit-pick — just offering this up in case anyone else cares.

  108. Agree with you Debbie on the need for quality white chocolate. Dark chocolate – lots of good stuff out there, esp here in Europe. White? Valrhona. I just made a pan of squidgy dark chocolate and raspberry brownies to counterbalance an ascetic vegan (but delicious) Valentine’s meal, but wish I’d seen your post a couple of days ago. Will try your truly decadent and extremely adorable recipe very soon. Thanks for sharing!

  109. Kate

    It all just went so wrong.

    Cookie cutter was too big, it broke all of the brownies. And the flavor was just boring on top of that, anyway.

    I just threw them into a bag, wrote “broken hearted brownies” on it in Sharpie and took them to work. Co-workers will eat anything.

  110. Elissa

    Has anyone tried to bake the 2 pans side-by-side in the oven (and pull the dark chocolate ones out sooner)? Or do you have to bake them seperately? It’s 3 pm. on Valentines Day and I’m feeling crunched for time!

  111. Debi

    White brownies didn’t puff up as much as the dark brownies and they are almost the same color?? They just look silly because the heart bellies don’t fit thickness wise.

  112. Rosanne

    Love love love love LOVE this recipe! I made it today for a sweets potluck at work at it was the biggest hit! I used Ghiardelli semi-sweet chips from the pantry for the dark and a 43% cocoa butter white chocolate bar from Trader Joes (Columbian, I think), and white whole wheat flour (the only kind I use, if you haven’t, you should consider the switch as it has the health benefits of whole wheat but acts like all purpose). Normally, I am not a white chocolate fan, but the blondies were ah-MAY-zing. They were meltingly delicious! I would say for anyone making this recipe, try the 8×8 pan and keep the height of your cookie cutter in mind. Due to lack if time, I baked the brownies in the only dishes where I have a matched pair, which are 8.5″ x 6.5,” so they ended up being pretty much the same depth as my cutter. This made cutting out the hearts too much of a chore, frankly, so I only got half-way through the blondies before giving up and just slicing into triangle bites. Next time, though, I will try to plan better and work with the 8×8 or maybe I’ll actually buy a brownie pan.

    Elissa – I baked mine side by side in glass Pyrex dishes and I pulled the white brownies out at 35 minutes and the darks out at about 40. I started testing at about 30 minutes for each but it was clear the darks needed that extra 10 minutes just by looking at the surface.

    Deb, you are 100% right that this recipe is all about the quality of the chocolate. Thanks for the great recipe!

  113. Lisa

    Agreed with Becca (she bakes) up there.

    Plus the obvious ridiculousness: Smitten Kitchen is obviously a widely-read blog. Wouldn’t it be really stupid for the owner of a widely-read blog to steal an idea from another widely-read blog like KAF? ‘Cause something like 50k people aren’t gonna see it and call her out on it, right?

    Very few ideas in baking are truly original. Sometimes they’ll overlap. Nothing to swallow your thong over, Arthur. Geez.

    I noticed “Arthur’s” post links back to the KAF flour site. I really, truly hope nobody over at KAF came here to make Arthur’s pansy, passive-aggressive comment. I really enjoy KAF’s stuff, and the fact that they seem like people who WOULDN’T be nasty. (sad, hopeful face)

  114. Sarah

    I made these and they were adorable, and completely delicious! the white chocolate ones were possibly even more delicious than the dark. Never would have believed. My new go-to brownie recipe. thanks!

  115. Rachel

    I made these for co-workers, and they were gone in minutes!
    I used Baker’s white chocolate for the blondies, and they turned out wonderful. Most people liked those better than the chocolate brownies!

  116. Tracy

    Made these Saturday, doled out individually-wrapped pairs on Sunday and ate one for breakfast today (Delicious — especially the white chocolate ones!). Used Ghirardelli bittersweet for the dark and Ghirardelli white for the light brownies. They worked well, but I froze them overnight and could barely get the cutter through. A few minutes of thawing solved that. My other problem was slightly crispy edges that cracked when cutting the hearts. But the brownies were fudgy enough to sort of mold them back together. And my valentines were all quite pleased and awed by the cuteness (I gave you credit, Deb).

    (Also, I made your artichoke pasta shells for Sunday dinner, and they were a big hit — so thanks for taking care of my weekend baking!)

  117. Heidi J

    For those griping about different thickness in the brownies… It doesn’t have to affect the presentation. Just slice off some of the back of the thicker heart before sticking them in the thinner cut out and when you put the thinner heart in the thicker cut out, just don’t push them in the all the way. People aren’t going to be staring at the back of the brownies…

  118. Emma

    I made these for my boyfriend for valentines – he ate half the plate of them for breakfast and facebooked me saying thanks for the hearty breakfast!! Thanks deb!

  119. Gina

    I am new to your blog but love it. I am doing a wedding cake and I found your site by looking for cake recipes. I yesterday I did a cake for a friend at work and did a cake to practice and did the yellow cake recipe you had along with the swiss butter cream, for the filling I did a raspberry cheese cake filling. Every one in the office including a wedding photographer said it was the best cake they have ever had! So I wanted to say thank you so much. I cant wait to try some of your other recipes! I also loved the chocolate cake you did for the wedding as well. I think I am going to do both of the cakes you did and do the mango for the yellow cake and the raspberry cheese cake for the chocolate! You are a life saver! Wedding is not till August so I have more time to practice but I thank you so much!

  120. Carolyn

    Oh so cute! How FUN would it be to do this as a playing-card theme? Add red coloring to the white brownie mix and do spades, clubs, diamonds… Hmm, must plan my next poker night.

  121. Kyra

    So…because you said they were not the best brownies you have ever made I was not expecting them to be SO DELICIOUS! also, it is the only food I have ever made and described as cute…which they were :) Thanks Deb!

  122. Jennifer


    Lurker, first time commenter. Had to try these and the brownies came out so yummy, although very rich (with all that butter, to be expected!) But my heart cookie cutter was a smidgeon too big. Ran out to my small kitchen supply store and they didn’t have a smaller cookie cutter. Was so very sad! Where do you find your tiny heart cookie cutter?

  123. You are so clever! These are truly adorable. And I know just the bake sale that I will be making these for. Do your brownies always cut up so evenly, or do you have to trim them? If you trim them, what do you do with the scraps? I’m looking for something besides scarfing them all down as I cook, which is my usual m.o.

    1. deb

      Margy — I always cut my brownies evenly. I am perfect! :) Ha, no. I mean, I try to. I also may or may not cop to keeping a ruler in my knife drawer…

      Not to beat a dead horse — I just wanted to note that I’ve removed the link from Arthur’s comment because I received a lovely note from KAF making sure I knew that comment wasn’t from them (I did know this) but don’t want anyone following the link to think that it actually represents their views or tone.

      Jennifer — I used one from a set like this, except they’re taller so I think used for aspics or something. I have no idea why I own this set since I’ve never made an aspic. Mine was 1-inch by 1.5 inches and not ideal. Because (here I am about to sound especially OCD) the top of my 8-inch square pan is indeed 8 inches but the bottom (you know, where the brownies are) is more like 7 5/8 inch square, my brownies were slightly less than two inches square, had less than a 1/4-inch margin at the top and bottom of each brownie heart, and a few did break through at the bottom.

  124. Elaine

    I plan on making these tomorrow, but swapping the white chocolate brownies with your delectable peanut butter ones, minus the chips and ganache. My youth group always gets excited when they see my little polka-dot food box every Wednesday, which, more often than not, contains your very own goodies. I’ll let you know how they go.

  125. kathy in st. louis

    For those having trouble cutting clean hearts from their brownies: I haven’t made these, but I’m betting that it makes a difference whether you cut the hearts from individual brownies or from cut brownies still in the pan. I suspect that one could bake them, freeze the whole pan about 50% solid, cut the squares, return the pan to the freezer to get them nearly solid, then cut hearts while they’re still in the pan. I wonder, too, if a bit of butter or butter-flour spray wiped on the heart cutter would help with non-crumbly cuts.

    Another thought: if your brownies were dry or didn’t taste right and you live in a dry, cold climate, you may have too much flour in the brownies. Even if your home is humidified and heated, it’s not a bad idea to consider reducing the flour in your baked goods by a very small amount when you bake in the winter. I always have to do this when I bake bread in the winter, and I have started to do it with cakes and cookies – and now with tortillas. (We made blue corn tortillas [from masa harina] last night, and I did the inverse: I increased the water called for in the recipe [such as it is: mix masa harina with hot water].)

    One more thought on dull-tasting brownies: remember that ingredients can vary wildly. Not only is everyone using different chocolates (or perhaps even using cocoa powder plus fat in place of chocolate squares), but it’s difficult to know how fresh one’s chocolate is. It’s a bummer, but the truth is that we can follow a recipe to the T and get a less-than-desired result because the ingredients’ freshness might lack. Then there’s the question of technique, and, well, you can see how complicated things can get.

  126. Meredith

    As another white chocolate doubter, I was pleasantly and happily shocked that I loved the white chocolate brownies, and here’s why: the flaky salt. I could taste it in every bite, and it balanced the usually overwhelming sweetness of white chocolate so nicely that I’m going to start reconsidering all the recipes I’ve passed up in the past due to their white chocolate content. In addition, I found that if I flattened the cold brownie squares ever so slightly with my palm, I could get the heart to cut out evenly of each one.

  127. kathy in st. louis

    p.s. Made the artichoke-stuffed pasta shells this weekend — big hit. I even forgot to add the wine to the onion & artichokes, so I splashed some into the puree AND the bechamel to cover my bases. We threw the leftovers into the freezer, so I’ll let you know in a month or two how they’ve held up.

  128. I can definitely get behind the real white chocolate.

    If you cannot find quality (real) white chocolate at a grocery store, chocolate shops that sell the breakup chocolate often have it in white chocolate. It’s almost like buying a box of baking chocolate.

  129. Shawna

    One bowl brownies…When a girl NEEDS chocolate. The simplest brownie I have ever made & the most delicious too boot! And the quickest way to get a dark chocolate fix without snarfing several squares of the “good” chocolate and looking hopelessly guilty.

  130. Becky

    I made the brownies last night for Valentine’s Day. They turned out perfectly and they tasted amazing!! I also made your steak sandwich recipe for dinner, that was equally amazing!

    The ironic part is while I was eating the steak sandwich I was paging through my recent Rachel Ray mag and then low and behold is an article in the magazine about your food blog!!

    Thanks for the great recipes! I just happened upon your site a week ago and can’t wait to try out more recipes!

  131. Charlotte

    How do you keep the white brownies so white? I made these as per your recipe and my white chocolate ones had a dark crust across the entire top, so there wasn’t much of a contrast when placed into the chocolate ones. they tasted great but no where as beautiful as yours!

  132. Beth

    Made these for my coworkers and they were a HIT! :) I used Trader Joe’s white chocolate and Trader Joe’s swiss dark chocolate. I’ll DEFINITELY be making these again!! :)

  133. Janice

    These were absolutely great – so yummy and your freeze-before-cutting tip is one I haven’t heard before – or at least haven’t remembered it! I have already passed it along…. Here’s my question: why do you think your bars are shiny-looking while mine are duller-looking? Did I over-mix the batter? Mine look good, but yours look better. This was so much fun. Thank you!

  134. Back from comment 257. Picture of red heart brownies up on my blog, linked to my name, in case anyone was interested. They got kind of “holey” on top- bubbles were the culprit, but they were SO tasty. I apologize in advance for the photography, my point-and-shoot camera is slowly dying, but I won’t apologize for the sarcasm. :-)

  135. Michelle

    When did the Bon Appetit moonlighting and the SK Cookbook deal happen?! Can we expect more appearances on Many congratulations!!!

  136. I made these on Monday. The white brownies were delicious! More like a really buttery chewy bar (I used Baker’s white chocolate–ordinarily would not have been my first choice, but was all I could find at Freddy’s). The dark brownies were not nearly chocolatey enough for me, though (I used 61%).

    I cut my brown pan into 16 squares, but that was really tight with my cutter, and I found the slightly stiffer (and thicker) edges more prone to breaking at the point of the heart. For the white pan, I cut off the browned, delicious, buttery edges, and then made 9 squares, which worked better, with no breaking at the point of the heart. I also used the flat of my chef’s knife to push the cutter through the brownie.

    If I were to make them again, I’d cut the edges off both pans and then cut the remainder into 9 squares. I’d also use a darker chocolate brownie–I like the really black fudgy ones. :)

  137. Elaine

    I made these with half peanut butter brownies, half chocolate. Agreed with the above post, nine is better. I had to use my tiny, tiny fondant cutter.
    Reese’s-esque deliciousness!

  138. Shruti

    I might be missing something, but in the article you stated that you lowered the amount of sugar for the white chocolate ones, yet the recipe has the same amount of sugar for both. Is this a mistake, or does it work for both?

  139. Stephanie

    Wow, these look absolutely adorable. I can’t wait to make them on my two year anniversary with my boyfriend. Thank you so much for posting this! :)

  140. glee

    In hawaii we call them haole brownies (cause that’s the local lingo for white folk) and they are THE fave dessert at the all Hawaiian Kamehameha Schools cafeteria. That always cracks me up. Truly adorable. Look out school bake sales, here she comes. Call your local public schol’so PTSA, they will welcome you w/ open arms, don’t wait til munchkin man enrolls.(I’m the vp at my kid’s ptsa and volunteers are hard to find. we’d take you in a heart beat!!)aloha and happy sunning

  141. Deb – would you consider writing a post on OR adding a category called “Bake Sale” to your blog? I’m always baking for bake sales and I always have to look for (relatively) cheap recipes to make. Thanks! :)

  142. My reaction is Wow! Recipe does sound good and sure brought a ton of comments. Couldn’t read them all to know how substitutions work and baking in a convection oven, but I’m looking forward to playing with different possibilities/versions on it. Course, would be nicer if someone made them for me.

  143. KT

    Those look so delicious and absolutely adorable (I’d be happy just to stare at them all day!). It just occurred to me — there’s a wonderful white chocolate brownie recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours” — it’s white-chocolate raspberry brownies with a meringue topping, but the brownie part is moist and fudgy, with the full taste of the white chocolate. (Even tastes fantastic gluten-free.) That might work for a default white choc. brownie recipe…

  144. adriennebyrne

    I’m thinking about doing these for my brownie-lover friend’s birthday, but adding peppermint extract to the white brownies, doing star shapes instead of hearts and making the mint white chocolate cream (from your souffle cupcake recipe) as an accompaniment for people who want to go hog-wild. What do you think?

  145. Becca (she bakes)

    Just to reply to adriennebyrne above –
    Just be careful using a star-shaped cutter. Many posters have claimed that their hearts fell apart or they had trouble getting clean cuts. This problem will likely be magnified in a more delicate shape such as a star (those points may crumble easily). I too, found the white chocolate ones to be a bit delicate, and would be hesitant to use a shape any more delicate than a circle or heart. I also found that the flavour of the white chocolate was present, but quiet – adding peppermint extract may totally hide it. Perhaps you could add the extract to the dark chocolate ones (dark chocolate + mint play well together). Just some thoughts. Happy baking!

  146. Wow! I’m thinking of other holidays I can use this on–I wonder if shamrocks would work, or would they be too fragile? My husband just told me that would be fine because he’s willing to eat the broken ones!

  147. These are just adorable! I think I will rememberthese for next year! I love the simplicity of it yet the presentation would be phenomenal at a Valentine’s party on a pretty platter and “cute” enough for a grade school V-day party! And as others have probably said, you could do these in a multitude of shapes, or perhaps with different colors if you added a bit of coloring to the blondies. The possibilities are endless! Love it!

  148. Chanel Chu

    this looks delicious! my stomach is growling like crazy now. If i had a boyfriend, i would make this for him– well, mostly for me… but i might give him some.

  149. Deborahhh

    First-time commenter, long-time reader, ‘nother Deborah (we are legion). :D These brownies are absolutely delicious, both of them. Since others had mentioned that the flavor of the regular chocolate could have been more pronounced, I used the darkest I could find easily, Lindt 85% extra dark. I used Godiva white chocolate since I couldn’t find white Baker’s chocolate until I later stumbled across it accidentally at Target (where I rarely shop for food).
    The only small, nested heart cutters I could find were actually fondant cutters from Michaels. Unfortunately, these are only 1/2″ deep, and I worried that an 8″ baking pan would yield brownies that were too thick for the cutters. To compensate, I used 9″ pans instead, which turned out to be jusssssst right for my cutters. I just kept a sharp eye on the time to check for doneness, and baked them for a few minutes less (33 for the white chocolate, and 26 for the regular). To avoid over-browning of the white chocolate brownies, I tented them with foil about 18 minutes into baking, when they showed the first tinges of color. I also used Reynold’s Nonstick Foil to line the pans, and had no problem with the brownies sticking a’tall.
    The smallest of my heart cutters was way too small, and the next one up was a tad large for 2″ brownies, so I cut them into 3″ squares instead. Thanks to a previous commenter’s tip, I used a large metal spatula to press the cutter into the brownies to save my fingers, and was lucky enough to have zero breakage (though two near misses). Yay! :D
    I would prefer a thicker brownie, however, so I’ve since ordered a few cutter sets from Ateco (; no affiliation), one of which is 2″ deep. Also ordered a set of petit four cutters since they will be deeper as well. They have yet to arrive, but I can’t wait to use them . . . I want to make brownies using hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs since my husband hosts poker parties from time to time.
    Very impressive looking, couldn’t be easier . . . and the flavor of both was marrrrrrrrrrvelous!

  150. I have a batch happily cooking as I’m typing – though in my stupidity, I mistook a 25cm x 25cm (think that’s 8.5 inches?) for a 20cm pan and added some self raising flour when it didn’t look like it’d work out.
    Now, after finding a 20cm pan, it’s a bit thick but I’m sure it’ll be okay… fingers crossed, anyway.
    Really easy recipe though, I’ve been hunting for a white chocolate brownie recipe for ages and this is sheer perfection! Thank you! :)

  151. These are so adorable! I found your site from Babble’s list of Top 100 Food Mom Blogs, and I can totally see why you made top of the list! I loved reading your “About” and “FAQ” section and just adore that your husband is your biggest cheerleader! :)

    – Rachel, a mom cooking and baking just across the Hudson River

  152. Nicole

    I made these twice, and they turned out awesome both times. They stayed very moist and chewy, even after almost a week in the fridge. I love the fact that these brownies aren’t cakey at all! Thanks for a great recipe – have added it to my favourites!

  153. Wow that’s such a great idea, the different colors really make it pop and the effort to do it is minimal. Thanks for this idea I’m going to try it at the next party I bring a dessert to!

  154. lexnash

    I’m in the process of making these (and the white chocolate brownies taste heavenly). How long do you keep them in the freezer for cooling before you cut them and make the cut-outs? Love your blog! Thanks!

  155. Oh, I’m heart broken over my failed attempt at these. I tried to make them last night.l :( I blame my stupid 8×8 pan which did not result in a true 8×8 brownie. It was more like a 7×7 and there was no way I could get the size right to cut out the hearts and get 20 brownies I needed for my daughter’s school birthday celebration. Luckily, the brownies themselves came out great and I was able to make ordinary squares.

    Deb, I’m so in love with these though so I will try again, hopefully with a more reliable pan! Thanks for the inspiration!

  156. Heidi

    I made these brownies tonight, and proud to say they were a success! I followed your instructions and they turned out beautifully. I used stars instead of hearts, and they turned out great. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! They are delicious! Thank you for all of your great ideas! Love them!

  157. Emily

    I made them and they’re beautiful. However the white chocolate brownies were a little gooey in the middle. My fault for not checking them thoroughly enough. Paired with a regular brownie “tummy” or cutout they’re delicious. About to serve them at my daughters first birthday party. Thanks for showing me how to be a crafty mom.

  158. angelique

    I’m going to make these for my boyfriend this week! :3
    thank you so much!!
    also just a question, are they very brownie-like, or like mini cakes?

  159. Dani

    I’ve made these before and they were amazing! I’m making them again just because I have a random craving for them, and I have all ingredients in the house…except I have salted butter instead of unsalted. Would it be ok if I used the salted butter? Should I change the amount of salt I put in if I do so?

  160. Vidya

    I’m always irritated when I meet someone who claims they dislike white chocolate on the basis of it not being “real chocolate”. I put them in the same camp as those people who loudly tell anyone and everyone that they discovered a particular band/place/new planet before it became famous. I think a lot of people don’t realise, or overlook the fact that “white baking compound” or “white baking chips” are not white chocolate, and hence judge white chocolate after sampling some of that stuff. Where I grew up, real white chocolate made with cocoa butter was standard supermarket fare, made by popular household brands. Having said that, I do like white chocolate but not so much in desserts. Not because it’s not real chocolate. But because you can barely taste the white chocolate in them. Do these actually taste like white chocolate? Or just brownies? I wonder if Valrohna white chocolate is fair trade, I know some of their products are…

  161. When I saw this recipe, i told myself that I HAD to make them straight away. and i did! it turned out really cute and beautiful! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe with all of us! :)

  162. I just made these and they were delicious! Loved the combination of both flavours and it was great to finally find a lovely blondie recipe. Can’t wait to try them again with different shaped cut out for different occasions :)

  163. Meghan J

    Hi, Deb!

    Long-time reader, but first time commenter. I just made these for my boyfriend for Valentine’s day, and my mom and I were ooh-ing and aaah-ing as they kept getting cuter and cuter as we cut and re-inserted their belly buttons. Thanks for the genius idea, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  164. Meghan J

    PS – I used the awesome one bowl brownie recipe with the Bittman blondie recipe instead, with browned butter and a splash of bourbon, inspired by you :)

  165. Sara

    Well, I wanted to make these last year but couldn’t find the cookie-cutter in time. I found one between then and now and handed these out at work today. Many kudos! I decided to serve them upside down because the bottoms were a lot smoother than the tops. the nice glazy brownie crust mostly crumbled off during “surgery” which gave them a bit of a messy look.

  166. Tamara

    Thanks, again, for teaching me wonderful things! 1) How have I never made home-made brownies before? Just shleped the boxed brownie mix in the cart every week never thinking that homemade ones are much more delicious and just as easy! 2) I never used the foil lined pan method before either-uh-life changing! 3) White chocolate brownies?!- revelation! I love SK!!

  167. Liz

    Deb, I’m an American living in Vladivostok, Russia and I had to tell you that about 20 Russians were introduced to the wonderful-ness that is a brownie for Valentine’s Day this year, all thanks to this recipe! Russian cuisine has several great desserts, but a brownie is not one of them, and everyone was mystified as to how they had never tasted something so wonderful before. Thanks as always!

  168. Hi!

    I can see I am late.. =I anyway..

    your cookies look adorable, so sweet. fell in love with them.

    I always tell my friends too not to use cheaper quality ingredients. it just spoils a nice recipe. I understand some try to cut down in those harsh times but to cut down on good food is like to cut down on your own happyness.

  169. Kari

    I tried the white chocolate brownies twice and both times they didn’t turn out =(. They were very gooey, formed bubbles on the top, and tasted way too sweet. I followed the recipe exactly.

  170. Maria

    I love the dark chocolate brownies in this recipe! I was going to make your newest brownie recipe (“My Favorite Brownies”–the 40 minute naptime ones), but discovered that I only had a kilo of 52% chocolate instead of the 70% chocolate that it calls for.

    I was so glad that you provided a link to these because I love them! They come together so quickly, can be made in one bowl, and the texture is perfect. In August, I made this brownie oodles of times over our week-long process of packing-moving-unpacking as a treat for all of the people helping us move–oh, the raves! The French people who tried the brownies absolutely loved them and dubbed the recipe “brownies gourmandes.” They and I love the added touch of sea salt. May I suggest trying Sel de Guerande for the sea salt if you have some on hand? It’s crystallized instead of flaky, but it’s the gold standard for sea salt in France and I find it to be divine. Cheers!

  171. In South Africa you get a chocolate called Top Deck, which has milk chocolate on the bottom and white chocolate on top. So yesterday I thought I’d try adapting this recipe to make Top Deck brownies.

    What a lovely result! The white chocolate layer got all caramelly and gooey (my husband actually thought they had toffee in them); the chocolate layer was light and a little cakey and gave the more fragile top layer a sturdy base and a great hit of chocolate.

    I also can barely believe how little effort this recipe is. I made two separate batches (white and dark) in under 10 minutes prep time.


    1. deb

      Bailee — Cut them when they’re very cold — i.e. chill them for a bit. Also, a lot of readers recommend a plastic (disposable) knife but I haven’t tried it.

  172. Meredith

    Where did you get the 1 inch heart cookie cutter? I can’t find one that small. Also – how deep does it need to be to cut through the brownies?

  173. Julia

    I just made these today after finding the recipe and to my delight having all the ingredients with out having to go out. My tin was a little bit smaller so I got a thicker brownie so I would recommend getting an 8 inch tin as these were a little harder to cut due to thickness. I know it sounds strange but I use a pizza mezzaluna to cut the brownies to get a nice even cut. I cut little holes in mine and swapped them out and they were great! These are going into the recipe book for sure.

  174. Mariam

    I tried these Brownies today (the dark chocolate version) and they came out AMAZING and really fudgy, thank you so much!

  175. Lily

    I made these recently for Father’s Day, both versions with little heart and star cutouts. Adorably cute and quite the yummy in the tummy.

    For the white chocolate, I used Lindt Excellence White Coconut Bar. And some Belgium bittersweet 72% chocolate (I cannot read Dutch, sorry) for the dark chocolate component.

    I used the same amount of sugar for both the white and dark chocolate versions. I baked both the white and dark versions at the same time. I took out the dark version at 25 mins, and the white version at 33 mins. (My white chocolate brownies were a little overdone, but delicious.) I left them both in the refrigerator overnight, and made the cutouts next morning. I oiled a sharp knife and my cookie cutters. I used a ruler to measure and divide the pieces. The cutout inserts fit well into the brownies and do not fall out (until you eat them, that is). I did have some breakage with two of them while I was trying to remove the inserts. (I put back the broken pieces in, like a puzzle, and it was barely noticeable.) From then, I placed all the remaining brownies back into the freezer briefly before re-cutting. Then, onwards, was easy peasy.

    The white chocolate brownie on its own is a bit sweet for my taste. On the other hand, when combined together with the cutouts, it’s just heavenly. I would eat the dark chocolate version on its own. It was wonderful. Not sure if it was the chocolate or the recipe, or both.

    Thank you.

  176. Deb, I LOVE YOUR SITE! The design of the site, the writing, the photos, the recipes…all terrific!

    Last week I made the fudgey sheet cake, my first 9×13 cake and it came out great! I froze the layers for a few days, then made the filling and frosting the day before my event. Freezing the layers, however, was a great tip so I wonder:

    Does the Red Wine Chocolate Cake survive freezing, too?

    That cake is one of my absolute favorites. I make it with malbec and serve it at milongas (Argentine tango social dance parties) that I host. It never fails and everyone loves it. If I could make it ahead, it would be quite a bonus.

    I just saw the recipe for White & Dark Hearted Brownies, and if I can find a small heart shaped cutter, I will give it a try. Thinking maybe to make it with brownies and almond cake (from that has a similar consistency and that I now know I can bake in a square pan.

    Anyway, thank you for a great site!

  177. Sasha

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m not a fan of white chocolate but these are so good. They taste like the best vanilla custard ever but in a brownie texture. I occasionally add fresh raspberries or dried strawberries to the batter. For a kids party, added freeze dried strawberry powder and used a bear cookie cutter. The kids were running around on a sugar high but were impressed :)

  178. Sam

    Your recipes are always so good so I was very confident trying this one out on the day of my boyfriend’s birthday. I wanted to surprise him with some delicious home baked goods and I thought these were the ticket.

    They were awful. I cooked them to the time limit, and they ended up crunchy on the outsides/top and slimy and undercooked on the bottom. There is way too much butter. I guess lowering the temperature for longer would help that, because 20 minutes doesn’t seem appropriate for brownies…it’s usually around 40.

    I spent a good 2.5 hours baking/freezing these and I am so disappointed. What a waste of ingredients, and now I have nothing to surprise my boyfriend with.

    1. deb

      Hi Sam — I’m sorry they didn’t work out for you. FWIW, I make this brownie recipe easily once a month throughout the year (for 4 years on now; I made them last week too) and have always found the 25 to 30 minutes to be correct. In all cases, however, it’s best not to treat baking times, which are estimates and can vary with ovens, baking times and ingredients, as the rule. What matters is that a toothpick or tester comes out clean. I’m sorry if that was unclear in the recipe.

  179. Not that you need more evidence that this recipe is truly great, but here’s some anyway. Made it last night, using 1 oz leftover unsweetened chocolate (from your other, even more awesome brownie recipe) and 2 oz bittersweet but I stuck with 3/4c sugar. They were divine and were perfectly sweet enough for us. I even used the microwave directions for the first time ever…microwaves and chocolate scare me; I’ve been burned before (i.e, I burned my chocolate before). One bowl!

  180. I was wary about making these, both because of your “disclaimers” about white chocolate brownies and because I was worried it would all fall apart if I tried cutting-and-pasting them like that. BUT freezing before cutting worked like a charm, and everyone really enjoyed them. Thank you, for the idea, the recipe, and so many others in your awesome blog.

  181. Safrina


    I am planning on making these the following week for a Bridal shower. I love the idea (SO CUTE) but I am afraid it will be too ordinary. Is there any way I can make this a tad bit more special? Also, won’t freezing the brownies make them too chewy and not intense flavour burst? Do you recommend reheating before serving? Also can you tell me storing instructions? I am planning to make it the night before! Thanks!

  182. Alana

    Hi Deb,

    I made the semi sweet version and they were light-colored and cakey! :( How would you recommend I adjust the recipe? Would adding more chocolate help? Cocoa powder?

    And could you clear up whether regular or dutch process would be better if I do add some cocoa powder? Thanks!

  183. deb

    You can swap a little flour with cocoa powder. You can use either kind; there’s no leavener in these brownies for them to interact with. Hope you like them better with adjustments.

  184. Paige

    I LOVE your recipes and your writing!I just made the white-and-dark hearted brownies and the white ones taste delicious!!! My question is, do you have a special cutter that allows you to make such perfect 2 by 2 inch squares? Mine are not as perfect as yours. If you do, can you tell me where I can buy it. This is the cutest VDay dessert!!!! Also mine weren’t quite as white as yours so the color contrast wasn’t as sharp as yours. (I used Calabut white chocolate, maybe that’s why) But still great.

    1. deb

      Paige — No, I just used a ruler and I like to cut brownies cold from the fridge or even half-frozen to get clean lines. There are cutters available that bakeries use, Amazon sells many, but I’ve never bothered. My white brownies aren’t perfectly white either; white chocolate never is and then we added eggs, so…

  185. Donna

    This was the first and only time in all of my years of trying Smitten Kitchen recipes and swooning over the results that I tried one that I absolutely would NOT recommend. Neither the white or chocolate brownies could compare to superlative others out there (my all-time favorite is Barefoot Contessa’s “Outrageous Brownies”). The verdict from the group who tried these were to toss — we didn’t even eat them. The decorating part didn’t work either – 1. the white cake is not really white, it’s light brown and not attractive (to me) and, 2. the surface of the chocolate brownies had a kind of flaky surface that cracked and flaked off so that the surface looked awful. I am still a 100% fan of Smitten Kitchen, but this recipe is a fail (for me). Definitely not worth the time or effort.

  186. Ragini

    I love all your recipes, they’re fantastic! The only thing is, everytime I try to make brownies using this recipe, it goes horribly wrong and then I remember that this recipe only fills about half of my 8×8 inch pan. And I can’t figure out why! It works a lot better when I remember to increase the quantity by one half (so, 1.5 times the original amount of batter)

  187. ML

    I own your book in hardcover and electronic version. I love every single thing you do! Tried homemade brownies for the first time last week with this recipe. THANK YOU!!

  188. Sharon

    This look amazing,, and I’m sure they taste great. The name “white chocolate” is almost an oxymoron….it’s not white chocolate, as there is no chocolate left in it…it’s what’s left after all the chocolate is taken out….it really needs a different name. I remember the Easter I was given a big white candy bunny instead of the usual chocolate one…the “Easter Bunny” ran out….my mother told me to close my eyes and taste it, it would taste just the same, only the color was different…..that was when I realized my mother would, in fact, lie to me. I love your blog, and have been following for years. Your recipes rock!!!! Even when they use that white stuff left over from chocolate extraction!

  189. GinnyJ

    I’m making these today for the first time! Has anyone tried using red food coloring in the white chocolate brownies? I know it will change the look, but I might give it a go. ❤️

    1. deb

      Sadly, I don’t remember at all now but I bet if you Google around, you can find the equivalent. They weren’t of any particularly great quality or anything.

  190. Joep

    Thanks for this great recipe! I’ve made several iterations of this, and here’s what my experience was:
    -Used a 5cm (~2in) wide cookie cutter the first time, but this left me with very big pieces of brownie (as there needs to be sufficient edge around the heart).
    -Used a 2,5cm (~1in) wide cookie cutter for subsequent runs. This results in quite small brownies, which goes well with the cuteness. They’re 3-4 small bites each.
    -I’m not blessed with a large freezer that easily allows me to freeze brownies. But here’s what worked for me:
    —Not cutting the brownie ‘sheets’ into squares before cutting out the hearts. This leaves the whole sheet stronger so there’s less chance of breaking the edges when lifting out the heart.
    —Flipping the brownie sheets upside down before cutting out the hearts. In my oven, the top layer always turns slightly crunchy, and it’s just easier to get clean cuts starting from the slightly softer underside.
    —Cooling the brownies in the fridge for a couple of hours instead of freezing them.
    -My white brownies usually come out light brown on top. So to improve contrast I usually take the white hearts, flip them upside down before pressing them into the dark brownies.

    The last batch I made was about 90 squares and I used it as a treat on my last day of work at the cardiology department. These “small heart transplants” were well received!

  191. AF

    Has anyone who is interested in the white/dark flavor contrast but who also has little patience for fussy recipe steps tried making these by marbling the two batters in a 9×13 pan? Did it work?

  192. Sara

    I am usually a huuuuuge fan of your recipes, but I am not sure about these baking times… I made the dark chocolate brownies (I wanted to make your favorite brownies but I only had 60% chocolate) and it called for 25-30 minutes. That sounded way too long so I kept them in for 22 minutes and they were still overbaked. Are these supposed to be firm? I was hoping for a melting fudgy batch.

  193. lauramail

    I’ve never tried the white chocolate version, but the dark ones are my go-to brownie recipe. They’ve never failed me. Once I forgot to add salt with the flour and so I sprinkled the salt on top before I baked them, which turned out to be an excellent innovation. Thanks, Deb!

  194. Ankur

    I made this recipe tonight, and it tastes great, but it turned out cake like instead of traditional brownie. Any ideas where I could have gone wrong?

  195. Emily

    I made just the dark chocolate version of these, and was surprisingly disappointed! :( Usually smitten kitchen recipes are my go-to, but these didn’t come out great for me. The batter tasted awesome, but the brownies themselves were a little bland and crumbly, not at all the rich/fudgy/dense situation I was looking for. I also found the baking time to be too long; I pulled them out at 22 minutes and they were approaching overdone.

    I’m afraid I might’ve gone wrong somewhere, because mine don’t have the crackly, shiny tops I see in the photos. They’re more light brown and matte. Smitten kitchen has never let me down before, so it’s very possible I messed these up! I may have to try the “favorite brownies” next and see if those work out any better for me.

  196. These are so cute! Now I have a way to incorporate my heart-shaped cookie cutters! I’ll try making these with Gluten-free All purpose flour. Hopefully they turn out the same! =]

  197. Quarantine Baker

    I split the recipe in half, making 1/2 white and 1/2 dark chocolate, And swirled the two batters in the pan. I cut the sugar about 10% and used Trader Joe’s peppermint to source my chocolate. I sprinkled the crushed candy cane topping on top before baking, which took 33 minutes. The swirl wasn’t dramatic but it came together easily and tasted great – light and slightly cakey but still rich and buttery. Thanks Deb!

  198. Jeannine

    I have baked 2 different chocolate brownies from SK, to great ooey-gooey success. I usually bake the shortest baking time, and have had sweet success each time.

    I tried this recipe for the 1st time tonight, and they’re overbaked. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I’m so sad. Overbaked brownies make me cry. I will go back to My Favorite Brownies or Best Cocoa Brownies.

  199. krista Maruca

    I thought this was just okay. I just used the chocolate brownie recipe, since it calls for chips instead of bakers chocolate (which is what I had). It can put more cakey than fudgy brownie, which is what I think defines a brownie. And very sweet. Maybe i should’ve read the description more closely. I do love that it only used one bowl and didn’t even have to clean the plan! No need for sprayed foil; it will pop right out of a parchment paper lining.

  200. Meena

    Deb, if I wanted to add some strained raspberry puree to the white chocolate batter to tint it pink, how much do you suggest using and how would you recommend adjusting the rest of the recipe to accommodate that extra liquid?

    1. deb

      It’s tough with brownies because it will make them cakey and due to the presence of whole eggs, it won’t get very pink. I might instead swirl it in?

  201. Tali

    Hi Deb! I have used the recipe here to make brownies with 70% chocolate as alas regular supermarkets in Norway are culinary deserts. The brownies turn out very well. I dial down the sugar by 1/3 without affecting the taste. I wondered if you have a non-dairy and / or vegan version of this that you could share? Have you tried using dates or date syrup? Thanks 😊

  202. Gina

    I made an 8×8 of just the dark chocolate brownies because I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate on hand to make the other Smitten Kitchen recipe I wanted to make. The flavor and texture are passable, but not as chocolatey, as thick or as silky as my go-to recipe, which calls for cocoa powder in addition to bittersweet chocolate. I used the same Ghirardelli 60% cacao that I would normally use. In choosing simplicity over my usual fussy recipe, I knew I would sacrifice on the end result a bit. These brownies are about as good as the sort you get from a chain pizza joint. I wish I would have made some of your fabulous Christmas cookies instead!