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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!
Makes: about 24
ounces (1 stick) butter (plus more for pan)
ounces unsweetened chocolate
teaspoon powdered espresso
cup Dutch-process cocoa
teaspoon kosher salt
cup granulated sugar
cup brown sugar
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
- 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.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Open House Dish