Magic Espresso Brownies

By • April 20, 2011 15 Comments

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Author Notes: I've been baking brownies for more years than I care to remember. For a very long time I have used the same basic recipe, varying the ingredients to create interesting and delicious treats. Herewith is the 35th incarnation of my brownie recipe.

Yes, this is a large recipe, but it halves well, and you can always freeze the leftovers (if there are any)!

Makes about 70 1-inch square brownies

For the brownies:

  • 3 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 cups toasted nuts, such as a mixture of pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 13- by 18-inch half-sheet pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, mix the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until well blended but not too fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mix in the vanilla and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and nuts. Pour into the sugar mixture and mix on low speed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and add the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 23 1/2 minutes (assuming your oven is calibrated properly). The batter will still be soft in the middle of the pan. Allow the brownies to cool thoroughly before frosting.

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup Cognac
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil, then for 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, add the chocolate chips, and stir until smooth. Pour the frosting evenly over the cooled brownies. When the frosting has set, cut brownies into squares of the desired size. Store the brownies in the refrigerator, separating the layers with parchment paper, for up to 3 days.

Tags: Addictive, Easy, serves a crowd, sweet

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Comments (15) Questions (0)


3 days ago Maryanne

Can I substitute anything for the cognac?


2 days ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

You could use coffee.


5 days ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes, Effie, it really is 3 cups of sugar. You are using a half-sheet pan, which holds twice the amount of batter as a 9 x 13 pan, 3 times the amount of an 8 x 8. So 3 cups is not overkill here. Believe me, I have reduced the amount of sugar in all my recipes over the years, and find they taste much better.


5 days ago Effie Kapsalis

Looks amazing! Is it really 3 cups of sugar?


6 days ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Diana Vanessa D: I'd go with a 9 x 9.


6 days ago Diana Vanessa D

When cutting the recipe in half, what size pan would be appropriate?


12 months ago Chris

What size pan?


about 2 years ago lapadia

Ahhhh...a trip with magic brownies!


about 4 years ago Madame Sel

We use eggs from our chicken, so they aren't always large. Should I still use 8 eggs or should I use more? I would say they are med to large sized.


about 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I would eyeball it, and if you thnk you need an extra egg (or two) go ahead. Brownies are very forgiving.


over 4 years ago Sagegreen

These do look beautiful.


over 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

actually, the name comes from my memory of the song "Black Magic Woman." Yes, I have made those "magic" brownies of which you speak. ;)


over 4 years ago lapadia

"High-Five" ChefJune! Delicious photo and I love your musical plate...oh, love the song you named, too!


over 4 years ago lapadia

Love your 35th incarnation..perfect for the contest! PS - back in the day the name "magic" brownies took my mind down a different path...couldn't resist that :) Anyway, thanks for sharing this!


over 4 years ago Lizthechef

Ditto!! Great-looking recipe, even without the you-know-what ;)