Make Ahead

Chocolate Fantasy Brownie Bites

December  1, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Makes about 24
Author Notes

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!

What You'll Need
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter (plus more for pan)
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon powdered espresso
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional ingredients: crushed peppermints (or Altoids), peppermint extract, chocolate chips, cinnamon, nuts, almond extract, orange zest and juice, cardamom, powdered sugar, flaky sea salt
  1. Heat oven to 350. Butter the wells of a non-stick mini muffin pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • gabby
  • BavarianCook
  • AntoniaJames
  • Dr. Smokey
    Dr. Smokey

61 Reviews

Carria May 19, 2020
Can extra butter be used in baking brownies , without doubling the recipe?
drbabs May 19, 2020
Why do you ask?
Carria May 20, 2020
I’m so sorry, I meant to ask about the amount of cocoa powder, not butter.. Can i double the amount of cocoa powder since I do t have unsweetened chocolate? What’s the difference between the two?
drbabs May 20, 2020
Unsweetened chocolate is cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Adding more butter as well as more cocoa powder might give you the same effect, but I’ve never tried it, and I don’t know what proportions to tell you to use. You would also have to change the flour amount. A better solution might be to make a brownie recipe that just uses cocoa powder like this one: It’s delicious and quite easy. Hope this helps.
rachel October 23, 2017
If I don't have espresso, can I use standard coffee?
drbabs October 23, 2017
mornnen September 19, 2015
I have made these several times. Once was for my youngest nephew's high school graduation, and once for our psychology department's dean's list reception. My one change was to frost them with a bit of Nutella. In both cases, these disappeared quickly. Even my colleague, who often declines baked goods, was quick to say "yes" to my offer to let him take the remaining brownie bites.
Leslie September 4, 2015
I measure my flour what is your 1 cup measurement? The difference can make or break a recipe & it can be anywhere between 4 or 5 ounces. Perhaps you sweep and scoop? If you would be so kind as to let me know - I really want to try this recipe. Thanks so much!!!!
drbabs September 4, 2015
Leslie, I agree. I loosen up the flour in the container, scoop and sweep. I think weights are better, but I wrote this recipe a long time ago.
Annette K. July 1, 2015
I have, probably a dumb, question. As I read through instructions, I don't see where there is a cooling off period between melting the chocolate and butter and then adding sugars and eggs. I take it, its not necessary to wait for a cool down? I also saw no mention of the same question and no one mentioning it. I don't know if that means that it's understood the chocolate and butter and sugars will be warm, and it's not a problem, or that it's understood in cooks world, that you cool down the butter and chocolate before adding the eggs. Thank you.
drbabs July 1, 2015
Annette, it's not a dumb question... It's dumb recipe writing. There is a bit of a cooling off period or the hot butter and chocolate will cook the eggs. I think that's probably why I have you put together the dry ingredients after everything has melted. I'll edit it for clarity. Thanks for the feedback. I hope you enjoy them.
Annette K. July 1, 2015
Thank you for such a quick reply. That makes sense that it will while mixing the dry ingredients. I can't wait to try them. :)
drbabs July 1, 2015
I hope you like them. It helps to let the eggs come to room temperature before you add them, too, but it's not absolutely necessary.
berkopat June 18, 2014
How many brownie bites does this recipe make?
drbabs June 18, 2014
About 24. Enjoy!
Laura September 18, 2013
I went to make these and realized I had bittersweet chocolate instead of unsweetened. Drat! Must find a conversion...
drbabs September 18, 2013
Laura, I think they'll be fine if you just cut the sugar back by about 1/4. Enjoy!
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 29, 2013
Can these be made 1 to 2 days in advance? If so, what's the best way to store them until service?
drbabs August 29, 2013
Yes, they're just like brownies. They freeze well, or you can store them in an airtight container. I hope you enjoy them!
ayesha February 25, 2013
Can i substitute unsweet chocolate with cocoa powder? The place where i live the baking chocolate is very bad in taste.
drbabs February 25, 2013
Yes. You'll need one more cup of cocoa powder, and 5 more tablespoons of butter.
gabby February 24, 2013
Baked tonight for the oscars. Half dozen w sea salt, half doz w walnuts doz plain. Easy and rich.
drbabs February 25, 2013
Thanks for letting me know. I'm so glad you enjoyed them.
AllieB917 December 4, 2012
SO DELICIOUS! I especially loved the peppermint ones. I found they came out a little prettier and were easier to pipe into the tins when the batter cooled a little. Thanks for the recipe!
drbabs December 5, 2012
Good tip! So glad you liked them!
BavarianCook September 30, 2012
These were amazing! I added crushed up chocolate covered espresso beans to my batter and they were a big hit.
drbabs December 5, 2012
Just saw this. I bet that was great.
Socks August 3, 2012
These are in the oven now. No mini muffin tin so I'm using a standard, half filled. I only had 90% and 85% chocolate so I mixed those, and I added a splash of Patron Tequila Coffee Liqueur in place of the powdered espresso. Going to be good! Thanks
drbabs August 3, 2012
Yum! I hope you enjoyed them.
AntoniaJames July 5, 2012
I had a question that I posted to the Hotline related to the adaptation of this recipe to use for cookies. Many knowledgeable people chimed in, and I posted a detailed report of the results of my further playing with the conversion. Here's a link, for anyone who is interested. ;o)
drbabs July 5, 2012
Sounds like you came up with a great solution! Thanks so much for posting the feedback.
Ruthie L. June 25, 2012
Just finished baking these delishious little yummies, didn't change a thing! Dropped a little
chopped carmel on top and some Hawiian Sea salt, yum!
drbabs June 26, 2012
Hi Ruthie. I'm so happy that they turned out well for you. Thanks for letting me know.
Megan G. May 19, 2012
I made these last night with gluten free flour and they are just perfect. I used Ahern's GF mix, which is (as far as I know) not a brand, but a recipe (you can google it to find combination of ingredients), and my favorite to date. The GF flour might have made them a bit harder, but not much. They are very chewy 14 hours later!
drbabs May 19, 2012
Hi Megan. Thanks so much for commenting. I'm glad that a gluten free version worked well.
AntoniaJames April 30, 2012
Another outstanding recipe, drbabs! I had a bit of extra dough, which I scooped directly onto a parchment lined biking sheet, then baked as cookies. They turned out really well. Definitely a keeper. ;o)
drbabs April 30, 2012
I'm so happy that you enjoyed them! (and hope they didn't stick to the pan!)
AntoniaJames April 30, 2012
Thanks; only a couple didn't release right away, most likely because I didn't butter those spots thoroughly . I plan to get a non-stick pan before making these again, to speed up the clean-up I was pleased though at how well this batter worked to make ciookies. There is something magical about biting into what looks like a cookie, but has the texture and unmistakable flavor of a dark chocolate brownie, ; o)
drbabs April 30, 2012
Yes, cookies! That's really good to know.
Dr. S. February 25, 2012
Mmmmmmmm... LOVED these! I especially enjoyed cleaning out my cupboards to create my chocolate fantasies. Fantasy #1: Creme de menthe and Andes mint pieces; Fantasy #2: Reese's peanut butter chips and fleur de sel; Fantasy #3: Mini chocolate chips and an ancho chili-cinnamon spice mix (from a recipe for chocolate bark, also on this site). All were fantastic. Thanks for the recipe!
drbabs February 25, 2012
You have great chocolate fantasies! Thanks for sharing your take on these.
gasec25 February 19, 2012
2nd time making them today..I omitted the espresso powered, didn't have any. used a regular size muffin tin and semi sweet chips .My husband said the best "brownie "he ever had. Yum...
drbabs February 19, 2012
Oh, I bet that was good. Thanks for letting me know!
AnnP February 15, 2012
These are amazing! Didn't have espresso powder so I added one shot of espresso when melting the chocolate. I needed to cook them about 5 minutes longer. I mustn't have buttered the pan well enough because they stuck a bit. Next time I'd go for the mini muffin liners and remove them before serving. My friends said they had thought about skipping the brownie bite because, after all, they were just brownie bites. With once the first bite, and ensuing "OMG's" were heard round the room, the plate was quickly emptied. Thanks for sharing!
drbabs February 16, 2012
Thanks for letting me know. And you know what you said about your friends skipping the brownie bites? that's exactly why I created this recipe. I had been to one too many parties where someone brought brownie bites from Costco and I thought, there has to be a better way. I'm so glad you and your friends enjoyed them.