Just to clarify, there is no crack in this brownie. There is some booze. And you may not be able to stop eating after just one piece, making it addictive. And because of this a colleague referred to these as my “crack brownies”, and so the name has stuck. But actual crack? Nope.
October was a busy busy month for me. Following a low-key fall, work fully ramped up, my digital media course was in full swing …which meant my blogging needed to be more regular…which meant my baking needed to happen more often. Added to the fact that the month was full of social obligations with very little down time, baking deadlines had been giving me some anxiety.
But why let a little anxiety stop me? I finally started telling people about this blog, and the requests started coming in. And by requests, I mean the “when are you coming over and bringing food?” requests. So a few weekends ago, we had a little birthday get together, where my contribution was baked goods. After taking a community vote, I decided to make something with chocolate and something with cheese, thereby staying true to my Swiss background.
These #crackbrownies was one of the final items, along with cheese biscuits, for which I will post a recipe in the future. These brownies were delicious the day they were made, but even more so after spending a night in the fridge – the gooey centre got a chance to set into fudgey goodness, and when I brought them into work the following Monday they were demolished in minutes. Now that’s the sign of a good #crackbrownie.
Magic Espresso Brownies (aka #crackbrownies)
Recipe Note: The original recipe called for using a 13x18in half-sheet pan. I didn’t read the dimensions correctly and used a 13x9in cake pan, to great results. If you would like thinner more even brownies, use the sheet pan, if you wants brownies that are cakier at the edges and fudgier in the middle, use a pan. Adjust the baking time accordingly if doing so.
For the brownies:
3 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 extra-large eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1/8 tsp 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
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter your 13 x 18in sheet pan or 13 x 9in cake pan
- 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.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and nuts. Pour into the sugar mixture and mix on low speed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
- Bake for 25 1/2 minutes for the 13 x 18 in sheet pan (assuming your oven is calibrated properly), or 40 minutes for the cake pan. You will know it’s done when the edges come slightly away from the tin, but the batter is still soft in the middle of the pan. Allow the brownies to cool thoroughly before frosting.
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup brandy (I used VSOP brandy because that is what my friend had knocking about in her freezer, use cognac if you prefer)
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 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.