Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brownies with Expression...I mean Espresso!

This past Saturday night, the hubby and I were sitting at home.  I know what you are thinking, at home on a Saturday night, what madness is this!?!?  Well, we were especially tired from a long work week and a day of house work and yard work...we were basically too tired and lazy to go anywhere.  I decided that I wanted to make some brownies for us, since we both were just in one of those "blah" moods.  Plus, my husband LOVES brownies and I thought that they just might perk us up.  But after I started, regular brownies just didn't seem like enough.  So, I decided to add a little "expression" to those regular 'ole brownies.  The expression consisted of some super perky and flavorful espresso!

1 box (19.8 oz.) of prepackaged brownie mix (Ghiradelli mix is what I prefer)
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs of hot water (separate)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp espresso*
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powered sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

*NOTE:  If you are not a huge coffee fan, you can drop the amounts down to 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp, respectively.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9x13" baking pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk 1/3 cup of water, oil, eggs, and 2 Tbsp espresso  in a large bowl to blend.  After ingredients have been combined, add the brownie mix.  Stir until well blended.  Stir in the 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Once everything is mixed, transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While brownies are cooling, dissolve the remaining 2 tsp of espresso in the 2 Tbsp of hot water in a small bowl.  Strain the espresso granules off and put the liquid espresso in a medium bowl.  Save the espresso granules for later.  In the bowl that contains the liquid espresso, whisk in the 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  Add the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and the 1 Tbsp melted butter and continue whisking until smooth.  From the saved espresso granules, take 1/2 tsp of the granules and add them to the glaze.  Mix well.  After the brownies have completely cooled, pour the glaze over the brownies and smooth.  Refrigerate until the glaze is set (about 15-30 minutes).  Cut into bite size pieces.  Arrange the brownies on a platter and serve.

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