These are the current closest version to my grandmother’s brownies. (See the About section for why I’ve tried to recreate them.)
Grandma didn’t add the espresso powder; I doubt she even knew such a thing existed. (I certainly didn’t, then.) But I feel these are somehow more chocolaty with it, without becoming bitter as more cocoa would make them. I know; I’ve adjusted the cocoa, vanilla, butter and flour more than once. I understand the chocolate chips, which are just barely noticeable, are what causes the crisp, thin, shiny crust.
But these are still about the easiest brownies I’ve ever made. One bowl, pour everything in, stir, one pan, bake and enjoy…
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c cocoa
1 1/3 c sugar
1/4 t baking powder
¼ t salt
¼ t espresso powder
½ c unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ¼ t vanilla
½ c broken walnuts
½ c mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375o F. Line a 8” or 9” square pan or a 7 ½” x 11” brownie pan with foil, leaving a 2″ overhang on at least two sides. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and espresso powder in a medium bowl. Whisk or stir thoroughly, breaking up any lumps of cocoa, until mixture appears uniform. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and crack in the eggs. Add the melted butter and the vanilla and mix these ingredients in the well. Continue to stir, pulling in the dry ingredients until mixture is thoroughly moistened. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Spread into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Use the foil overhangs to lift the brownies out of the pan. Let cool completely and cut into 9 – 12 rectangles.