Make Ahead

Magic Espresso Brownies

by:
April 20, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
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)! —ChefJune

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 27 minutes
  • Makes about 70 1-inch square brownies
Ingredients
  • 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
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the brownies:
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 13- by 18-inch half-sheet pan.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and nuts. Pour into the sugar mixture and mix on low speed.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and add the chocolate chips.
  7. 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.
  1. For the frosting:
  2. 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.

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