OK, admit it. You’re at the party. You’ve had your crostini and cheeses, your seafood, your meatballs. You sampled the olives and nuts; the caviar and pate. Aren’t you dying for something sweet? Decadent, chocolate, rich. So delicious that one small bite satisfies.
Here you are: Chocolate.
I’m going to give you some suggestions for customizing these, but really, the beauty of this recipe is that you can make it your own. Enjoy them with an espresso or a glass of champagne. It’s a party! Have fun!
Heat oven to 350. Butter the wells of a non-stick mini muffin pan.
Melt butter and chocolate in a large heavy pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat so it can cool a bit. While it's cooling, whisk together flour, espresso powder, cocoa, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
When the chocolate mixture has cooled to lukewarm, whisk in granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until incorporated, then add vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just blended.
If desired, divide batter into 3 or 4 batches, depending on how many different types of brownies you want to make. Into each group stir in: 1. 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract and 2-3 TB crushed peppermints. 2. 1/4 c. chocolate chips and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. 3. 1/8 tsp. almond extract and 1/4 c. chopped nuts. 4. 1 TB orange zest, 1 tsp. orange juice and 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom. (Amounts are approximate--feel free to play with the proportions to your taste. It's your chocolate fantasy!)
To make them pretty and evenly shaped, place the batter in a ziploc bag, cut off one corner, and squeeze the batter evenly into the wells. (This works with smooth batters; is more challenging with the chunky ones. You can use a tablespoon.) Fill just below the top of the wells. (Refrigerate unused batter till ready to use. It may make the batter a little difficult to squeeze or scoop, but if the butter gets too soft, it sort of melts in the wells while baking and the brownie bites are difficult to remove.)
Bake in the middle of the oven for ~12-15 minutes, until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still adhering (if you like soft chewy brownies). If you prefer cakelike brownies, bake an extra minute or two. Better to underbake these--they will continue to bake when you take them out and they are very small.
As soon as they are cool enough to handle, carefully remove them from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack. To serve, you may dust with powdered sugar and/or sprinkle with flaky sea salt.