Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mari's Signature Loaded Espresso-Grand Marnier Brownies

As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari

Several years ago I went about devising a recipe for brownies, here is what I came up with, and I consider them my signature brownies. I hope you enjoy!

Mari's Signature Loaded Espresso-Grand Marnier Brownies
Yields one 8 or 9-inch pan (I use a 9-inch pan with straight sides)

(12 to 16 brownies, depending upon how large you cut them)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, and additional for pan
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (I use Sharfen Berger Bitter Sweet)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier Liqueur
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, position race in center of oven.
Butter a 9-inch square baking pan, line the bottom with waxed or parchment paper, and also coat paper with butter. Set aside.

Combine butter and unsweetened chocolate in a large metal or glass bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Let it cool slightly. Whisk in the sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, Grand Marnier and eggs.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the chocolate mixture, and stir until just combined (it's important not to overmix). Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Pour into pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in center of pan should show a moist crumb.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove from pan. Wet a large, sharp knife in warm water, wipe almost dry, cut into 12 to 16 squares, wipe knife blade and rinse in warm water & wipe almost dry after each cut.
Note: I always trim the edges of my brownies, and bar cookies, it just makes a neater presentation. Added bonus~ the trimmings are cook's treats. :)

Chocolate Icing:
4 cups Confectioner's Sugar (Powdered Sugar; 10x sugar), sifted
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I always use butter)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
6 tablespoons milk
Sift sugar into a large bowl. In small saucepan bring butter, cocoa, espresso powder and milk to a boil. Stir into sugar mixture; blend thoroughly. Place cut brownies on a rack in a rimmed baking sheet lined with waxed paper or plastic film. Ladle warm icing over each brownie. Leave plain, or decorate as desired. My English lavender is blooming right now, so I used tiny buds to decorate this time ~ I favor the purple on the chocolate background and since I'm an organic gardener, it's completely edible, too!

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