German Chocolate Brownies for Our 4th Wedding Anniversary

Wow! Has it really been four years since I walked down the aisle on Seven Mile Beach? Four years ago on June 14, 2008, I married my best friend on the most perfect wedding day ever. With twenty-three good friends and family we celebrated for a full week filled with scuba diving, great food, and fun on the island of Grand Cayman! It has been an amazing four years! We moved from our apartment in bustling downtown Indianapolis to a quiet suburb of Peoria, Illinois, got our wonderful furbabies, Hemingway and Winston, and have been fortunate to travel and adventure to new places. Our most recent adventure is like no other that we have ventured into before…parenthood. I am 16 weeks pregnant and due on November 29th.

It has been really hard to keep this secret from everyone. The past few weeks, every time I have written a post, I have almost slipped-sharing with you some crazy craving I am having! And trust me some of these cravings are insane! 😀 Next Thursday we find out what we are having and we are both beyond excited!

Andrew swears that it is going to be a girl, but I really don’t care which we have! 😉 Luckily, I have had no symptoms other than the occasional headache and my growing belly. It has been a fun adventure so far and I am looking forward to the next few months!

To celebrate not only four wonderful years of married bliss, but also finally sharing with everyone that we are expecting, I decided to make a spin-off of one of Andrew’s favorite desserts, German Chocolate Cake. Chewy, fudgy double chocolate brownies finished off with a rich coconut and toasted pecan topping. If you are a fan of German Chocolate Cake, you will flip over these incredible brownies! Happy anniversary Andrew! I love you more than words can express…four years down, and many, many more to come!

German Chocolate Brownies

Chewy, fudgy double chocolate brownies finished off with a rich coconut and toasted pecan topping. If you are a fan of German Chocolate Cake, you will flip over these incredible brownies!

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (includes cooling time)

Cook Time: 30 minutes


For the Topping:
4 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted (6 1/2 ounces)

For the Brownies:
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt


To make the topping, in a medium saucepan, whisk yolks; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer mixture to a heatproof bowl, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.
Transfer the batter to prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours.
Using parchment overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
To serve brownies: stir toasted pecans into chilled filling and spread evenly over cooled brownies. Serve or refrigerate brownies, covered loosely with foil. If refrigerated longer than 2 hours, let brownies stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Yields: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (includes cooling time)
Bake Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Note: If your baking dish is glass, cool the brownies 10 minutes, then remove them promptly from the pan (otherwise, the heat retention of glass can lead to overbaking).

Source: adapted from Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies originally adapted from German Chocolate Cake

One Year Ago: No Bake Cookies and Cream Bars