These vanilla brownies are a fun and fancy twist on a regular chocolate brownie, with lots of vanilla flavor in the brownie and in the vanilla icing!
For vanilla brownies:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for greasing the pan
- 8 ounces (227 g) white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (47 g) packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (105 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (136 g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
For vanilla icing:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the 1/2 cup unsalted butter into chunks and place it into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add in the white chocolate chips. Microwave the butter and white chocolate chips on 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture well and microwave again at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir again thoroughly to combine the butter and melted white chocolate chips. (If the white chocolate has not yet melted fully, microwave again for another 15 seconds at 50% power and stir again; repeat until the white chocolate has completely melted.)
- Let the white chocolate and butter mixture cool for a few minutes until lukewarm. While the white chocolate mixture is cooling, grease a 9 x 9 inch pan with butter. If desired, line the bottom of the pan with a strip of parchment paper, leaving some overhanging on either side of the pan (see note 1). Grease the bottom of the parchment paper with butter (if using).
- Once the white chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, mix in the brown sugar and granulated sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, stirring in between until well combined with the white chocolate mixture.
- Add the flour and salt to the mixture. Stir until the flour has been fully absorbed into the batter, but do not overmix.
- Mix in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared 9 x 9 inch pan and smooth out the top.
- Bake the brownies in the pre-heated oven for 28 - 32 minutes, or until the top is deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (there may be some moist crumbs, but you should not see any wet batter).
- Allow the brownies to fully cool in the pan (about 1 hour). Towards the end of the cooling time, make the icing: Add the 2 tablespoons butter to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the butter on high for 30 seconds to melt. (If needed, you can microwave the butter for an additional 10 seconds to fully melt the butter). Add the powdered sugar, pinch of salt, teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract), and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk. Whisk together until evenly combined. Add in a few additional drops of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached (see note 2).
- When the brownies are fully cooled, spread the icing on top of the brownies. Either cut the brownies into squares right away, or let the icing set before cutting for a cleaner edge on the icing. (If you lined the pan with parchment paper, you can remove the brownies from the pan before adding the icing if desired.)
Lining the pan with parchment paper is optional, but it does allow you to lift the brownies right out of the pan in one piece (just make sure to leave some extra parchment hanging out on either side to use as handles!). I found it easier to apply the icing and cut the brownies neatly when they are removed from the pan.
You can adjust the consistency of the icing to suit your tastes. I used the full 2 tablespoons of milk, which resulted in an icing that was thick but still easy to spread. For a thicker icing, use less. If you want more of a glaze, you can increase the amount of milk as needed. Either way, I recommend adding the milk by a few drops at a time because the consistency can change quickly even with a small amount of liquid.
Store the brownies at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. You can also freeze the brownies for up to 3 months. To freeze, wait until the icing has set and wrap the brownies individually in plastic wrap.
Keywords: vanilla brownies, brownies, white chocolate brownies