Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CAPPUCCINO BROWNIES

Saturday night our Tasty Bunch met for dinner-out and then dessert back at John and Bernie's.  When Bernie was dishing out the dessert (Bread Pudding), I went in the kitchen to get a picture of it to share here on my blog.  (Watch for that post in the next day or two.)  

I couldn't help but notice a plate of Christmas cookies and goodies on her kitchen island.  (We had played a game earlier when we were looking for someone who had made Christmas cookies and Bernie didn't mention that she had.)  In the middle of the plate were these delicious looking chocolate goodies.  They looked so good.  It was all I could do to keep from eating one of them.  I asked her what they were and she told me Cappuccino Brownies.

Before we left she made a copy of the recipe for me so I could share it with you.  She told me when they lived in Wichita, KS she belonged to a gourmet group and that is where she got the recipe.


CAPPUCCINO BROWNIES

For the brownie layer:

8        ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1-1/2  sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2        tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
1-1/2  cups sugar
2        teaspoon vanilla
4        large eggs
1        cup flour
1/2     teaspoon salt
1        cup walnuts, chopped

For the cream cheese frosting:

8        ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4     stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2  cups confectioners' sugar
1        teaspoon vanilla
1        teaspoon cinnamon

For the glaze:

6       ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
2       tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2    cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water

Make the brownie layer:

In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter and the espresso mixture, stirring until the mixture is smooth.

Remove the bowl from the heat, let the mixture cool to lukewarm, and stir in the sugar and vanilla.

Stir in the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Stir in the flour and salt, stirring until the mixture is just combined, and stir in the walnuts.

Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 13 x 9 - inch baking pan, smooth the top and bake the brownie layer in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 22 - 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it.

Let the brownie layer cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Make the cream cheese frosting:

In a bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Then add the confectioners' sugar, sifted, the vanilla, and cinnamon and beat the frosting until it is combined well.

Spread the frosting evenly over the brownie layer and chill the brownies for 1 hour, or until the frosting is firm.

Make the glaze:

In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate with the butter, cream, and espresso mixture, stirring until the glaze is smooth.  

Remove the bowl from the heat, and let the glaze cool to room temperature.

Spread the glaze carefully over the frosting layer and chill the brownies, covered for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Cut the brownies in 1 inch pieces while they are cold with a sharp knife and serve cold or at room temperature.

The brownies keep, covered and chilled for 3 days.  Makes about 48 brownies.

Serving suggestion:  Place these in festive holiday candy or muffin paper cups. (which is what Bernie had done)

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