I’m a chewy, fudgy brownie-type of woman. Cake brownies are well, just cake, really. Brownies should be dense and moist and rich. These brownies are all that, but they have the added bonus of coffee and bourbon. We’ll say these are “adult” brownies…I think they’re better the next day, but they’re damn fine, just out of the oven and cooled for maybe 15 minutes, too…damn fine! I don’t frost these, as then, they’re just too rich. Yeah, I know…can anything chocolate really be too rich? It’s the age-old question. So, the answer is up to you…frost, don’t frost…either way they’ll be delicious. This is an incredibly quick and easy recipe. You can mix these up in the time it takes a friend to drive to your house for coffee, or something stronger. (Chocolate is lovely with red wine.) I don’t think it takes much more than 5 minutes, until you’re putting the batter-filled pan in the oven. So the minute you hang up the phone, start the oven. Then begin…I used the microwave to melt the chocolate and butter. They say you can burn it, but I’ve never, ever burned the chocolate. Of course, I don’t nuke it for more than about a minute. If the butter is melted, then make certain the chocolate is submerged and let it sit on the counter for a minute or two. The heat from the butter, will finish melting the chocolate. And, this will give you time to measure your flour, sugars and cocoa out, so no standing around waiting! Some would say that cocoa is over-kill, but I think it rounds the chocolate flavor out. And the espresso and bourbon add a level of complexity and just plain goodness to the flavor. These are not kids brownies. They aren’t intended to be. So, you’ve melted your butter and chocolate, now add the sugars and whisk it up to a grainy cohesion. Add the extract, coffee, bourbon and the eggs (okay, so I have already tossed the eggs in—that’s fine too, provided the butter isn’t too hot). Whisk it up again…this time the mixture will appear much smoother. Add the cocoa (yeah, I added that already, too) and flour, along with a couple of good pinches of kosher salt. At this point, I switch from the whisk to a spatula. Then just fold/stir the dry into the wet. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square metal pan, you’ve line with foil (see the instructions for more info), sprayed lightly with cooking spray, and into the preheat oven. Now, this is IMPORTANT—take the pan out at 18-19 minutes. It is much, much better to under-bake these rather than over-baking them. Pull that pan out and place it on a cooling rack immediately. Remember, the brownies will continue to cook for just a bit. When they are at room temperature, pull the foil and brownie “cake” out of the pan (you may need to run a knife along the un-foiled edges first) and cut into squares. I usually cut into 16 squares, but you can do 20 (or 12, if you’re feeling brave!). Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy! If you wrap these well, they will keep for a couple of days at room temperature, but are best eaten within 48 hours.
Just a note—you’ll notice, because you can read and see the pictures, that I don’t always follow my own advice. This recipe is so easy and so forgiving, the only really important things to remember are:
- Don’t add the eggs if the butter is extremely hot, or the eggs may scramble
- Add the flour last and don’t over-mix
- Do NOT over-bake. All the other things can more or less be forgiven, but not this!
If you need gluten-free, substitute gluten-free flour for the all-purpose. They will still be incredible, but the consistency may be slightly different…denser…but, that’s not a bad thing!
Mocha-Bourbon Chewy, Fudgy Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or paste (yes, you read that correctly!)
- 1/4 cup espresso coffee
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large pinches kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square metal pan with foil, just to cover the bottom, not the sides. I fold it under about 2-inches, to fit the bottom of the pan, allowing for about 3-4 inches of over-hang on two sides. This makes it easy to lift the brownies out in one piece. Spray with lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
Place the stick of butter and the chocolate, in a glass microwave-safe bowl (a glass 8-cup measuring cup works great). Place in the microwave; cook for 60-90 seconds on HIGH. The butter should be melted, but not “popping” hot! Let stand for a minute or two, then whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Add the sugars; whisk to combine. The mixture will look slightly grainy. Add the eggs, vanilla, coffee and bourbon. Whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients. Remove the whisk and using a spatula, gently stir and fold the dry ingredients into the mixture. Don’t over-mix; stir just until the mixture comes together, about 30 seconds.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the preheated oven. Bake for 18-19 minutes (my toaster oven takes 18 minutes). These are much better slightly underdone, than over baked. Remove the pan from the oven; place on a rack and cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before or after cutting into squares. Enjoy!
NOTE: If you wish, add 1/2 teaspoon ground guajillo chile powder for a bit of kick! Is you enjoy salt with sweet things, sprinkle some Maldon® salt over the top of the batter, before baking.
Mocha-Bourbon Chewy, Fudgy Brownie Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2018. All rights reserved.[/recipe
These are, as you can clearly see, drop dead easy and even more delicious. They make a great last minute dessert with a scoop of good-quality vanilla ice cream. The empty plates always come back to the kitchen without a crumb!