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Lemon Thyme Brownies with Stewed Blueberry Icing and Pistachios


These lemon thyme brownies are soft, moist, complex, and sweet. Topped with a lemon icing, stewed blueberries, pistachios, and sea salt, these treats are a total knock-out to look at as well as eat.


The last few days in NYC have been wet and rainy.

Ahh Long Island and FiDi

Ahh Long Island and FiDi (Financial District)

Much like my face.

Because I’ve been crying.

Because I could not get this recipe to work for me.

I found this lemon brownie recipe a long time ago on Pinterest from Becky Charms. I remember making them years ago and thinking they were so delicious. A few days ago I thought of them again, and wondered if I could pair other flavors with them to make them a little more dynamic.

Lemon Thyme Brownies

Oh so dynamic.

I had a box of blueberries that I got on sale at my farmer’s market (I’m so green ya’ll, supporting local farmers and the like) and thought I could pair them together.

Turns out, when you’re making frosting with hot stewed blueberries, your powdered sugar just seems to completely disappear. I’m not sure how many cups of powdered sugar I used on my first attempt, but by the end, the icing no longer tasted of blueberries.

It was so sad.

That was just the beginning in a string of mistakes. I tried using baking powder, I tried creaming my butter and sugar, I tried different amounts of thyme and time.

At my second to last attempt I ended up with this:


Yeah, I still ate some…

That night I sat on the couch and cried.

Partly because of wasted ingredients. But mostly because I felt like a big fat failure.

That night, I said my prayers, got into bed and wondered if this was it. Would I ever bake again? (I was feeling super bad for myself and very dramatic.)

The next morning I was a girl renewed! I marched to the kitchen with purpose, and finally made the perfect lemon brownies.

Lemon thyme brownies

*Angelic Chorus*

The base is made according to Becky’s instructions 100% except for the added thyme and less lemon zest. I made the mistake of over beating my butter and sugar. In this particular recipe, and also with Madelines, if you over beat the butter it can add to collapse. Which is what happened in that picture above, not to mention a host of other mistakes. Gently mix all your ingredients, except for your eggs, juice, and zest, until just combined. Then whip your eggs, juice, and zest in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the first bowl and mix until just combined. For the tender crumb of these brownies (I hate the word crumb) you must not over mix.

Pour your batter into a lined 8×8″ pan and bake at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes. If you have a lighter colored pan, your cook time will be about 5 minutes longer. Go until the edges are a light toasty brown color.

Once you pull out the lemon thyme brownies, let them cool in the pan while you make the first layer of icing. Just combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar to make a thick glaze. Once the “brownies” are cool to the touch, spread the glaze over the top and allow it to set.

Make the blueberry icing by cooking the blueberries and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. The berries will release their juices and look sort of like this:


Yes I have a messy stove, I’m a human being. A messy one.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. If you don’t allow it to cool, your powdered sugar will just melt and you’ll end up using way more than you thought.

Take half of this amount and mix it with the powdered sugar. (If you can cook half the amount of blueberries without them burning, do it that way, otherwise, just split it in half and have some extra blueberry sauce. If you mix some sugar and corn starch in it you can make a quick blueberry compote/jam).

Drizzle the blueberry over the top of your brownies (I pre-cut mine before drizzling).

Use as much or as little as you want. You might have some left over, I did.

Top with chopped pistachios and sea salt to your liking.


Be warned: These are very rich. Proceed with caution.


Lemon Thyme Brownies with Stewed Blueberry Icing and Pistachios

Lemon Thyme Brownies with Stewed Blueberry Icing and Pistachios

Here's What You Need:

  • Brownies:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (approx. 1 lemon)
  • Icing:
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Topping:
  • Chopped Pistachios
  • Coarse sea salt

Here's What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line a 8x8" pan with parchment paper and non stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, thyme, salt, and butter until just mixed.
  3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes (if you have a dark pan like me), or 23-25 minutes if using a lighter colored pan, until edges are light brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  7. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and powdered sugar to form thick glaze. Spread over cooled brownies.
  8. In small saucepan, combine blueberries and lemon juice. Allow to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until blueberries have released a significant amount of juice.
  9. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool.
  10. Half mixture, and transfer half to a small bowl. Set aside other half for another use.
  11. Mix in powdered sugar to make a runny glaze.
  12. Cut brownies and drizzle blueberries over the top. Use as much or as little as you want.
  13. Chop pistachios and sprinkle on top with sea salt to your liking.


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 8, 2016 at 2:36 am

    I am sorry you had to go through the agony of trial and error, but am so grateful you saved me the trouble, and I can just go straight to the deliciousness. These sound amazing!

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