top of page
  • Writer's pictureellencdonker


A delicious treat – with just six ingredients!

If you don’t work in the food space, you may not be aware that our community is chock full of people who do. Since I moved my family here last year, it has been marvelous to make a professional connection and then realize, “Oh wow! We’re neighbors.”

Emma Laperreque lives in Maplewood too, and is a senior editor at Bon Appetit. Her book Big Little Recipes is a collection of recipes with minimal ingredients but a big impact. As a recipe developer myself, I can confirm that it requires skill and a strong understanding of ingredients to pare them down like that. One flip through the book and you can quickly see the genius in how she maximizes the potential of each ingredient to bring you no-fuss recipes that still delight the palate.

For this issue I chose her Flourless Walnut Brownies, which jumped out right away, because, as promised, there really are only six ingredients (and that’s including salt!) and the results looked mouth-watering. Shortly after, a fellow local mom told me this was her favorite recipe out of the book, and I was sold.

During a particularly busy day, I got out my six ingredients, toasted the walnuts as instructed, assembled the brownies and popped them in the oven. What came out was something quite heavenly: fudgy, warm (and gluten free!) brownies in a Maplewood-mom minute.

Laperreque’s book is available for purchase in bookstores, such as our beloved Words on Maplewood Avenue, and online.

Recipe developer, cookbook author, food stylist and mom Olivia Mack McCool lives in Maplewood. For more of her work and recipes, check out her website and follow along on Instagram @oliviamackmccool.

Flourless Walnut Brownies

Reprinted with permission from Big Little Recipes

Makes one 8-inch square pan of brownies


cup plus ¾ cup (170g) chopped walnuts

½ cup (115g) unsalted butter

1 cup (80g) cocoa powder

1¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs


Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish with parchment, with overhang on two sides to lift out the baked brownies.

Place 2⁄3 cup (80g) of the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown.

While those cool, add the remaining ¾ cup (90g) of walnuts to a food processor and pulse in short bursts until a crumbly meal forms. (Don’t take it too far, or you’ll end up with walnut butter.)

Add the butter to a medium saucepan and set over low heat. When that’s melted, remove from the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the cocoa powder, then the sugar and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated. Set a timer and mix for 2 minutes (with feeling!), until the batter is smooth and glossy. Stir in the walnut flour, then the toasted walnuts.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed around the edges with a glossy-crackly top and a toothpick inserted near a corner comes out mostly clean. Let cool until room temperature, then remove from the pan and cut into squares.


bottom of page