Adult Brownies

Okay, let me clear one thing up right this very minute.  These are not called Adult Brownies for the any of the various and sundry reasons some of you might think they are, anymore than my Naked Ravioli was called Naked Ravioli for any of the various and sundry reasons folks on my Framed Cooks Facebook page thought they were.  That’s an imaginative group on that page, and I don’t know if they will be happy or deeply disappointed when I tell them the real reasons for the title of this recipe.

First of all, the recipe calls for three different kinds of chocolate.  GOOD chocolate.  I used Ghiradelli, because as far as I am concerned, that is as good as it gets, chocolate-wise.

But the main reason these are adult brownies is because they have a good dose of this in them.

Yep…espresso powder.  The most take-no-prisoners kind of coffee there is.  You can taste just a teeny hint of it in the brownies…it’s mainly there to kick the extreme chocolate up a notch…but it’s in there.  And so these brownies are not for the likes of little ones like this guy.

I adore you, mister, but you don’t need any coffee in that cute little bloodstream of yours.  You already do a fair amount of this.

Imagine that with a little espresso thrown in!  But never fear, I have a little something for the kiddos at the end of this post.

Before I get there, however, just a little bit more about the brownies.  First of all, these are the thick kind.  You’re going to bake them in an 8×8 pan, and they are going to come out a little over an inch high.  So when it’s time to cut them, cut them small.  Aim for one inch squares…a little adult brownie goes a long way.  Second, make sure you do the toothpick test before you take them out of the oven.  The toothpick should be pretty much clean when you poke it into the center of the brownie.  Third, let these cool COMPLETELY before you start to cut them.  It will be hard, but it’s necessary.  And fourth, don’t worry if they don’t look completely neat and perfect when you cut them.  The outside will be crackly and a little crumbly, and the inside will be almost like fudge, which can make for some messy cutting up…but I promise that once you taste these little chocolate explosions you Will Not Care.

Okay!  Since we can’t give the kids any of these brownies (sorry kids!) here are two things to make it up to them.  The first is a book giveaway of the wonderful new book BLISS, by Kathryn Littlewood…a wonderful story of a magical cookbook, a bakery, some enchanted baked goods and the four kids who have to protect the cookbook.

I have three delicious copies to give away, and here’s out it works…go over the the Framed Cooks Facebook page by clicking here, and click the Like button up on top.  Then come on back to this post and leave me a comment saying you Liked the Facebook page (and for those of you who have already Liked the page, bless your hearts and leave me a comment telling me that.)  If you’re not on Facebook, then you can pin it, or tweet it, or do whatever social media thing you like to do…just come back and leave me a comment telling me what you did.  Then next weekend I will randomly pick 3 deliciously lucky winners from those comments and send them a copy of BLISS (and I’ll make sure to mention the winners in my post next Sunday as well)  And in the meantime, let your kids make their own magical cakes by trying out this free game:

Bliss Bakery Game

I may or may not have tried to play this myself.  All I’ll say is that I hope I’m a better baker in real-life than I am in the Bliss Bakery Game.

And for us old codgers?  Adult brownies!!  Here’s the recipe.

Recipe adapted a little from the Serious Eats cookbook, which is seriously fabulous!


Adult Brownies
Serves: 16-32 brownies, depending on how small you cut 'em!
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut up into cubes
  • 2 four ounce bars high quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 four ounce bars high quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT regular table salt)
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 four ounce bar bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  1. Position baking rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 350.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper in a 8x12 inch rectangle. Grease it with the 2 tablespoons of butter and dust it with the 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and then fit it into an 8x8 baking pan, with the parchment extending up and over the edges. This will be the first of about 20 times you're going to have to wash chocolate off your hands during this recipe. :)
  3. Put the milk and dark chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl and add the cubed butter. Microwave it at full power for 15 seconds, then take it out and stir. Repeat this five more times until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Add both sugars and the vanilla to the chocolate and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the eggs one by one, mixing after each one until they are fully combined.
  5. Add in the flour, the sea salt and the espresso powder. Switch to a hand mixer and beat it at medium high speed until the batter is glossy and starting to pull away from the bowl, about 3 minutes. Switch back to the wooden spoon and stir in the bittersweet chocolate.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, turning the pan a quarter turn twice during baking. Poke a wooden skewer or toothpick into the middle after 45 minutes. If it comes out clean they are done...if not, continue baking until it comes out clean, checking at 5 minute intervals.
  7. Let pan cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Then remove the brownies carefully, using the edge of the parchment to lift them out, and let them cool completely on the rack. Cut into one inch squares and serve.


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  1. Jan R says

    I am social media challenged by choice. I spend waaaaay to much time on my laptop as it is; but I love your sense oh humor and talking about the “southern one”. I would love to own the book!

  2. Mike says

    I already like you on Facebook, hope that counts. I also subscribe to the site feed. I subscribe to dozens and dozens, even get a hundred or more via Foodgawker. I subscribe for a while, then grow tired of them and unsubscribe – same on Facebook – but I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of this site.

  3. says

    Your brownies look dense and moist, a great combination and with a “kick” of expresso! I pinned the recipe and found you on FB! Looking forward to making them.

  4. says

    First, let me mention your gorgeous little boy. How do you have time and energy to do all you do?
    Those brownies…I started to hyper-ventilate when I saw them. Maybe later today because I cannot wait to make them.
    Your photography is great! Plus your pic when you were 3 yrs. I love red heads since I have 3 of my own.
    Thank you for sharing and your perfect and humorous writing.
    I have ‘Liked” you on Facebook and I think Like is an understatement.

    Marcia Raker

  5. Ellen says

    I liked you on facebooks as soon as I found out that was a possiblity! I also subscribe to the site feed. Love the recipies the photography and the stories! I would love an opportunity to win Bliss! thanks!

  6. Carrie W. says

    I’m already a FB “Like”-er! Love your posts, love (and subscribe to) your blog! Thanks so much for all the wonderful “gotta try!”s… :-)

  7. Judy R says

    I already “like” you on FB.
    Just put my “adult” brownies in the oven. Can’t wait to taste them!!

  8. Renee says

    I just found you and I love you already! I liked your FB page and would be thrilled to share a copy of Bliss with my three little ones!

  9. Sin says

    I would like to try this at home but I am not sure which chocolate bar I should be using for these two ingredients:

    >> 2 four ounce bars high quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
    Should I use 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar for this?

    >> 1 four ounce bar bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    Should I use the 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar from Ghirardelli for this?

  10. Carl says

    I’m a Facebook page liker, now if I could just get my hands on those brownies.
    Thanks for the book giveaway.

  11. Kari Stewart says

    I already “Like” you on facebook! You have THE best food blog out there! Love your photography, recipes, humor and kindred love of all things bacon! Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. Kate says

    And the winners are…Myrnie, Tricia and Carl! Thanks SO much to everyone who commented, and I’ll be doing a cookbook giveaway next week so be sure to check back in! <3


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