If only I’d had this brownie recipe back when I was in college. Staying up late to finish a paper or cram for an exam would have been – quite literally – a piece of cake. Make no mistake: these Coffee Fudge Brownies pack a jolt!
I’d been eyeing the recipe on a can of French Roast coffee that my in-laws left behind from a recent visit, but I was a little afraid to try it. My body can’t tolerate a whole lot of caffeine…but my good friend Tamara’s can. So when her birthday came around this week it was perfect opportunity to bake a batch of these coffee brownies for her and see just how potent they might be. Just for fun, I thought I’d glitz them up a little with some buttercream and colorful sugar crystals.
The half-cup of coffee grounds contained within this small pan of brownies should have been my first clue that yes, there was going to be some intensity here. You know how when you eat chocolate-covered coffee beans you’re kind of still chewing the beans for several minutes? The same thing happens with these brownies which, if you really enjoy coffee, isn’t such a bad thing. It is, however, a bit unexpected.
Aside from the inclusion of coffee, it’s a pretty standard brownie recipe (rather similar, in fact, to the brownie recipe on the back of the unsweetened chocolate package). It’s a fudgy consistency – very sweet and very chocolatey. So why would I bother to frost a pan of already sweet, fudgy, coffee-packed brownies? Well, quite frankly, they didn’t look so pretty out of the oven. I really appreciate a nice crinkly top (like The Best Fudge Brownies Ever) and these just didn’t come out that way. A little buttercream is known to cure many evils so on it went, along with my sparkly crystals.
The brownies delighted a very grateful (and alert!) birthday girl.
Coffee Fudge Brownies
From the Fudgy French Roast Brownies recipe on the side of the Safeway French Roast Ground Coffee can
Makes 16 brownies
1/2 cup ground coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
4 1/2 oz. (4 1/2 squares) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with heavy foil, allowing two ends to overlap sides of pan.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir ground coffee and water together. Add chocolate and butter. Microwave uncovered on High (100%) power for 2 1/2 – 4 minutes, stirring every 60 seconds until melted. Stir in sugar and salt. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts, if using, until well mixed. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until sides begin to pull away and toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely.