chocolate and fear.

in yet another display of my lack-luster blogging skills, i made KILLER brownies for the birthday of a man named Bubba, and apparently took 5 of the strangest pictures ever:

yep that’s it. chocolate, some butter and sugar, brownie batter, and frosting. brilliant.

But let me tell you–these things are out of this world.  Dense, chewy brownies and a mocha buttercream that may actually bring peace to the middle east (Shoeless Brit, tell H-dog I can whip some up for her next trip.)  “The best brownie i’ve ever had in my life,” said one of my interns.  it was also her first week, so whether she actually liked them or was still afraid of me, i’ll leave up to you.

These come from the mother of all things decadent and amazing, The Pioneer Woman.  Actually, they’re featured in her new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which is eternally on my Borders Wish List.  I originally stumbled across them on another favorite foodie blog, Macheesemo.  He did the proper thing and took pictures of, you know, the end product.

photo credit:

Mocha Brownies (click here for printable version)

As adapted by Macheesemo from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Makes one 9×13 pan of amazingness.

– 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
– 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
– 2 Cups sugar
– 4 large eggs
– 3 Teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour

Mocha Icing:
– 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
– 1 (about 4 cups) pound powdered sugar
– 1/4 Cups cocoa powder
– 1/4 Teaspoon salt
– 3 Teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1/2 Cup brewed coffee, cooled to room temp

  • To get started, add your butter and sugar to a bowl and beat it on medium speed to cream the butter and sugar together.  You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this.  After a few minutes, you should have a very light and fluffy mixture.
  • Next, slowly melt your chocolate in the microwave.
    • What I mean by slowly is that you shouldn’t zap it all at once for like 4 minutes.  That would completely burn your chocolate.  Instead, zap it in 30 second increments and stir it in between. Once the chocolate is about 75% melted you can take it out and the rest of the chocolate should melt with residual heat.
  • Back to your mixing bowl, add your eggs one at a time and then your vanilla and chocolate.  Mix this all together until it’s well incorporated.
  • Then slowly add your flour in a few batches.  Be sure to turn your mixer down to low for the flour part or you will just dust your entire kitchen in flour.
  • Mix it until your flour is incorporated but don’t over-mix it or you’ll have tough brownies!  When you can’t see any flour, you’re done.
  • Add your brownie mix to a 9×13 inch baking pan that’s either been sprayed with non-stick spray or lightly buttered.  Bake the brownies at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set.  A toothpick should come out clean.
    • Don’t worry if the brownies do what mine did which is inflate slightly around the edges and then crack.  Remember we are adding an inch of frosting to the top so whatever.
  • The most important part of this recipe is to make sure you let your brownies cool completely to room temperature before frosting them or your frosting will just melt.  This will probably take at least an hour so plan accordingly.
  • Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to a mixing bowl with the salt, vanilla, and butter and start mixing on medium-low until everything is starting to come together.  Then add your coffee slowly and once it’s all added, increase the speed to medium and beat it for a few minutes until it’s very light and fluffy.
  • Drop this huge amount of frosting onto your brownies and spread it out as evenly as you can.
  • Once the brownies are frosted, you could eat them right away, but I recommend sticking them in the fridge for at least a few hours so the frosting hardens a bit.  That’ll make them easier to cut.


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