Don't you think these look just as good
as the brownies pictured in the recipe?
The title of this post refers to brownie recipes. I'm sure you are sick and tired of my endless postings related to them. I know I am!
That said, I was asked to make something "chocolate" for a close friend who is celebrating a very big birthday this weekend. Thank heavens I didn't have to make the birthday cake! (Not sure I'm up to another 3-Cake Marathon again). No, it just needed to be something chocolate that didn't require a knife, fork or plate.
I swear on the lives of my dogs that this is the last brownie recipe I will post.....
But this one is awesome. It is really, really rich and loaded with chocolate and caffeine. While I was making it this afternoon, the aromas of chocolate and coffee totally took over my kitchen. It was like Starbucks on steroids.
What I like about these brownies is the cinnamon in the cream cheese. It adds an amazing layer of flavor that most people can't identify. I also like the fact that you can cut these into very small squares (trust me, a little goes a long way) and serve them as a tiny little after-dinner taste.
They are rich. They are deadly. They are not as easy as my "One-Pot Brownies." But if you want something a little special without a ton of work, this is your solution.
For the brownie layer:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 11-oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, letting it overhang the sides. Butter foil or coat with cooking spray (if you are lazy like me, then you will opt for the spray).
Melt chocolate with butter and espresso mixture over medium-low heat. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in remaining ingredients. Blend well.
Spread batter evenly in baking pna and bake for 20-25 minutes until edges are browned and middle is still slightly underdone. Cool completely, at least for 2 hours.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add confectioner's sugar and combine until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate at least 2 hours until cream cheese layer is firm.
For the glaze:
11 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter melts and mixture is smooth. Cool for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour glaze over cream cheese and spread evenly. Chill until set, about 3 hours.
When well-chilled, use overhanging foil to remove brownies from pan. Cut as desired.
Yield: 16 - 48 squares, depending upon how you cut them. Keep refrigerated and they will keep for about one week.
Trim edges before cutting into bars for a more finished look
(and you get to eat the them, of course!)
Oh, and forget about making coffee in the morning ... just eat one of these and you won't need any more caffeine for the rest of the day!