Mocha Walnut Brownies (from Susan Sugarman's Real Simple recipe)
nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (I used two single-serving packets of Starbucks Via instant coffee – and it was just the right amount of coffee flavor)
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with the nonstick spray. Line the pan with a piece of parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides; spray the parchment with the nonstick spray.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate with the espresso powder, stirring occasionally; remove from heat.
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate mixture, then the flour and salt just until incorporated. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 minutes (in my oven, it took about 45 minutes). Cool completely in the pan. Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares.
This recipe is fairly simple, though you do have lots of dirty pans/bowls/implements and so on at the finish. That said, it does live up to billing and produce a very smooth, rich chocolate dessert. And the trick with the parchment paper made the brownies simple to cut and divide – I’ll have to use that with other recipes!
Recommended for: a decadent twist on the fudge walnut brownie, the perfect accompaniment to a steak dinner, and anyone who scoffs at the idea of a chocolate overload.