Chocolate Chip Brownies with Bourbon and Pecans

Chocolate Chip Brownies with Bourbon and Pecans are a unique dessert! Dark chocolate and pecan-filled brownies are gooey, dense and wonderful for sharing. Makes 24 brownies.

Love bourbon-infused desserts? Don’t miss Bourbon Pecan Pie and Bourbon Maple Bacon Cupcakes!

Sliced Brownies with Bourbon and Pecans on a cooling rack

Many of my recipes have a story behind them. This recipe is not one of them.

These Chocolate Chip Brownies with Pecans and Bourbon came about simply because we were asked to bring a dessert to my cousin’s house for New Year’s Eve, and I wanted to bring something different than my usual brownies.

That evening, I asked myself if I could add bourbon to brownies that already had chocolate chips and pecans. And I did… and then was told that these Bourbon Pecan Brownies were the only recipe I could bring to their home in the future.

… It still holds true years later.

Why I love this recipe:

Unsurprisingly, I love bourbon pecan desserts. (Hello, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Hand Pies, Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars, Bourbon Pecan Tassies, Mini Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pies… I adore you.)

These brownies are the kind of dessert that you can eat one of, but no more because they’re just too much. (Which sounds ridiculous saying, but alas—some desserts are so good, you only need a little bit of ’em.)

Instead of using cocoa powder, this brownie recipe actually calls for chocolate bars or chocolate chips, whichever you’ve got on hand. And I think this makes all the difference in the intense chocolate flavor they have.

Bourbon, pecans and chocolate combine in this decadent dessert that is perfect served up with milk. The bourbon leaves a wonderful flavor in the dense brownies, the pecans add a nice crunch, and the dark chocolate chips are melted and gooey, just the way chocolate should be in any baked dessert.

If you, too, are a bourbon-infused dessert lover, these Chocolate Chip Brownies are for sure your kind of thing.

Love chocolate desserts? Here are a few more ideas: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Frosting | Chocolate Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust | Chocolate Cheesecake Dip | Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Love sweet treats? Head on over to my Dessert Recipe Index for more ideas.

Ingredients to make chocolate chip brownies in bowls on marble

What you need to make Chocolate Chip Brownies with Pecans and Bourbon

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  • 9″ x 13″ baking pan
  • Avocado oil spray (or another nonstick kitchen spray)
  • Parchment paper
  • A large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula

In addition to these tools, you’re going to need ingredients to make these homemade brownies. If you’re a baker, chances are that you’re going to have the majority of these at home already, but if you don’t, they’re very easy to find at the grocery store.

  • Dark or bittersweet chocolate—we use a lot of this, and it adds intense chocolate flavor to this brownie recipe. I’ve always used dark chocolate, but you can use bittersweet if that’s more your jive. I do not recommend using semisweet or milk chocolate, as I think these brownies will become too sweet.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Unsweetened applesauce—while you could use the same amount of melted butter or oil in the place of this applesauce, I really like the texture this gives to the brownies. It’s not enough to make them cakey, but it keeps the brownies moist as they bake.
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar
  • Bourbon—use what you’ve got on hand, so long as it’s not the fancy stuff. You want to use a drinkable bourbon because you’re going to taste the bourbon in these brownies. You could also substitute your favorite whiskey or even a spiced rum to give these brownies a different flavor.
  • Kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Chopped pecans—I always grab pecan pieces from the store, but you can certainly chop your own if you have whole pecans on hand.
  • Bittersweet or dark chocolate chips

Yes, I know this recipe makes for a HUGE batch of brownies, and yes, it calls for a TON of ingredients. That’s why we bring these brownies to parties and serve them at parties… because they’re great for sharing. I’ll explain how you can downsize this recipe below.

Collage showing how to melt chocolate and mix eggs for brownies

How to make brownies from scratch

Prepare to bake. Preheat oven. Spray a 9″x13″ baking pan with nonstick baking spray, then line with parchment paper in a sling. This will help the brownies lift easily out of the pan when they’re cooled.

Melt the chocolate. In a glass bowl, melt the 20 oz. of chocolate with the butter and applesauce in the microwave. Heat them in 20-30 second intervals, stirring after each until everything is melted, smooth and combined. When melted, let cool as you mix the rest of the ingredients.

Make the brownie batter. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, bourbon and salt together until well combined. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, and beat gently by hand or on a low setting on a mixer until evenly incorporated. Add the flour, pecans and the additional chocolate chips, stirring until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake the Chocolate Chip Brownies with Bourbon and Pecans for 30-40 minutes minutes or until cooked through. (If you’re a fan of gooey brownies, check this around the 20 minute point.)

Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares and enjoying with a glass of your favorite beverage!

Collage showing how to put brownie batter together with bourbon, pecans and chocolate chips

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

This brownie recipe is one that comes in handy when you’re entertaining because it makes a huge pan of brownies… and who doesn’t love brownies when they’re at a party?

Here are some tips and tricks for making them to share:

  • Bake them a day in advance. Yes, it’s a little extra, but getting these baked and cooled before guests even think of arriving is going to make your job less stressful. While these brownies are excellent straight out of the oven, who wants to be in the kitchen while their friends and family are at their home?
  • Cut the brownies into smaller portions. We tend to turn this 9″ x 13″ pan of brownies into 48 brownies… because bite-sized brownies seem to be more manageable for guests and kids at any gathering.
  • Make them your own. If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, use bittersweet chocolate as the base of this brownie recipe. Add another nut if you’re not a pecan fan… or leave them out all together if that’s not your thing.
Collage showing brownies before and after baking

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a fudgy brownie?

A fudgy brownie has more fat in the recipe. In this recipe, we’re using a combination of unsalted butter and applesauce to serve as our fat, and the result is a brownie that is wonderfully dense and fudgy.

Why do chocolate chips melt in brownies?

As the brownies bake, the mixture heats up and causes the chocolate chips to melt.

How do you make brownies easy from scratch?

You follow this recipe! Simply mix together the ingredients and bake until ooey, gooey perfection.

Can I use chocolate melts instead of chocolate chips?

I don’t recommend using chocolate melts in place of chocolate chips in this recipe.

Sliced Bourbon Pecan Brownies

Quick tips and tricks to the best homemade brownies

  • Bake them in advance. While gooey, warm brownies are excellent to enjoy at any time, if you’re sharing these, make them in advance and reheat individual brownies in the microwave in 15-second bursts.
  • Make them your own. This recipe can be something where you choose your own adventure. Swap the dark chocolate bars for bittersweet bars. Use milk chocolate chips instead (or white chocolate chips to add different color!) Swap out the pecans for another nut of your choosing, or simply leave them out if it’s not your thing.
  • Half the recipe. Instead of making a huge pan of these for your family (or friends), make a smaller batch by doing the math. The bake time will be a little shorter (think: 20 minutes instead of 30), so keep an eye on them.
A bourbon pecan brownie on a plate
Sliced Brownies with Bourbon and Pecans on a cooling rack
Yield: 24 brownies

Bourbon Pecan Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Hosting folks for a party this weekend? Bourbon Pecan Brownies are a unique dessert! Dense, chocolate and pecan-filled brownies sing with bourbon flavor and are perfect for a crowd.

Ingredients

  • 20 oz. dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (2 ¾ cups, chopped)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 oz. (6 tablespoons) bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups pecan pieces
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9"x13" baking pan with nonstick baking spray, then line with parchment paper in a sling. (This will help the brownies lift easily out of the pan when they're cooled.)
  2. In a glass bowl, melt the 20 oz. of chocolate with the butter and applesauce in the microwave. Heat them in 20-30 second intervals, stirring after each until everything is melted, smooth and combined. When melted, let cool as you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, bourbon and salt together until well combined.
  4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, and beat gently by hand or on a low setting on a mixer until evenly incorporated.
  5. Add the flour, pecans and the additional chocolate chips, stirring until just combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes minutes or until cooked through. (If you're a fan of gooey brownies, check this around the 20 minute point.)
  7. Enjoy with a glass of milk while the brownies are warm!

Notes

Adapted from these Classic Chocolate Brownies recipe.

Quick tips and tricks to the best homemade brownies

  • Bake them in advance. While gooey, warm brownies are excellent to enjoy at any time, if you're sharing these, make them in advance and reheat individual brownies in the microwave in 15-second bursts.
  • Make them your own. This recipe can be something where you choose your own adventure. Swap the dark chocolate bars for bittersweet bars. Use milk chocolate chips instead (or white chocolate chips to add different color!) Swap out the pecans for another nut of your choosing, or simply leave them out if it's not your thing.
  • Half the recipe. Instead of making a huge pan of these homemade brownies, make a smaller batch by doing the math. The bake time will be a little shorter (20 minutes instead of 30), so keep an eye on them.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24 brownies

Serving Size:

1 brownie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 120mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 25gProtein: 5g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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14 Comments

  1. I love adding bourbon to recipes, especially anything chocolate! These brownies sound (and look!) incredible. I so wish I had a piece or two in front of me right now. Miiiiggghhhht need to make these for game day!

    1. Oh my goodness, Jenna. You and me both! Bourbon and chocolate are a match made in heaven! I wish I had a few of these brownies that I could send to you because they’re freaking delightful, though I totally support you making them for game day this coming weekend!

  2. Bourbon, pecans, and chocolate – just say yes! Yes, yes, yes! I am totally in for this delicious brownie combination, and I can totally believe that these didn’t make it to midnight 🙂 They probably won’t even make it out of the pan in our house 🙂
    What a delicious Valentine’s Day grown up dessert!

  3. These look absolutely amazing! My brother-in-law has started using bourbon instead of vanilla in most of his baking. You know, why buy two things when one is your favorite?! This takes that idea to a whole new level. I’ll have to give them a go!

  4. Help!You refer to chopped chocolate. Can I assume that is the 20 oz of extra dark, which you said comes in chips? (Does it?) Bourbon and pecans. Oh, yes. Thank you.

    1. ACK! Sorry, Karen! Thanks for asking for the specification. I purchase dark chocolate chips for this recipe and then chop them so they’re smaller. (Not that they’re huge in the first place.) I’ve also chopped 20 oz. of chocolate bars for this, too, because I had them on hand. Your call!

      I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoy them!

  5. If you ever happen to feel like making a batch, but maybe don’t want to eat the whole batch yourself, I miiiight know someone who would be more than willing to receive a care package of these (). Bourbon desserts are my love language!

  6. This brownie looks all kinds of delicious! I don’t drink bourbon so I have no around the house but I’ll make a special trip to the store just to get some to make these.

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