How cute are these?
These perfect little portion controlled brownie bites will satisfy ANY sweet tooth! The one you get after a heavy meal. The one you get at 3 in the afternoon. The one you get just as Law and Order: SVU is about to begin. You know what I mean.
Even though they are called "brownie bite", they are much more decadent. They are rich and fudgy, which is why making these in a mini-muffin tin is brilliant. You really don't need more than a few tiny bites of these to be happy.
I love them with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt over the top. It really contrasts with the gooey chocolate, and I love having salty and sweet in the same bite. Some other options are crushed peppermint candies, chocolate chips, orange zest, nuts, cardamom and peppermint patties.
Serve with espresso, champagne or a simple glass of ice cold milk.
4 ounces (1 stick) butter (plus more for pan)
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon powdered espresso
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Optional ingredients: crushed peppermints (or Altoids), peppermint extract, chocolate chips, cinnamon, nuts, almond extract, orange zest and juice, cardamom, powdered sugar, flaky sea salt, butterscotch chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter the wells of a non-stick mini muffin pan (or two if you have them). You may be tempted to use canola oil spray instead, but I ask that you not do so. These are small, decadent, chocolatey, delicious--you don't really want to muck them up with the taste of canola oil, do you?
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a large heavy pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Whisk together flour, espresso powder, cocoa, and salt. Remove pan from heat and 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.
3. 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.
Makes about 36 brownie bites.