½ cup unsalted butter melted and still warm
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chocolate chips
⅔ cup evaporated milk full fat
⅔ cup brown sugar packed
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
a couple pinches of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup finely chopped pecans
1⅔ cups sweetened shredded coconut I like to roughly chop it
flaky sea salt optional, for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 square pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving a couple inches of overhang on two sides (this will allow you to lift the whole tray of brownies out of the pan for easy removal). Lightly grease the foil/parchment.
Whisk the melted butter and sugar vigorously for one minute. Add eggs, water, and vanilla extract, whisking again for about 30 seconds. Tap all the excess batter off the whisk and remove the whisk from the bowl.
Sprinkle cocoa powder, powdered sugar, flour, and salt over the wet ingredients. Use a rubber/silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it is glossy and well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 18-20, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without raw batter on it, moist fudgy crumbs are OK. Be careful not to over bake. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once the brownies have cooled, proceed with the topping.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine evaporated milk, brown sugar, egg yolks, butter, and salt. Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, whisking constantly (make sure you’re getting all around the pan). Once simmering, simmer for about 3-4 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened a bit. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla, pecans, and coconut.
Spoon onto the brownies and carefully spread the topping into an even layer. Top with flaky sea salt, if desired. Allow the topping to firm up a bit before cutting. You can speed this along by placing the brownies in the refrigerator. I like these served at room temperature.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Use sweetened coconut for the topping. I like to roughly chop it so that the pieces of coconut aren’t too long and stringy.
Finely chop the pecans so they distribute evenly throughout the topping.
Allow the brownies to cool and the frosting to set before cutting and serving.
If you’re a fan of the combination of sweet and salty (like me!) add some flaky sea salt on top. I use Maldon.
Need a shortcut? Use a boxed brownie mix and add the homemade topping.