Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Misrepresentations and My Espresso BROWNIES


These deep, dark and devilish Espresso Brownies are exactly the thing you need on your Super Bowl table, or your kitchen table, or your nightstand by your bed when everything has gone awry. Basically these guys are rich, sooooo chocolate-y, are chewy but cake-like and have a definite hit of Espresso flavor. All good things, right?

You can NOT go wrong making or eating these. Ever.


And you can be damn sure these are not Blondies. I am not confused. Not one iota. Not that I have anything at all against blondies, infact I make a heck of an addictive peanut butter blondie from Dorie Greenspan and you can be sure SHE is NOT confused at what a blondie is. No siree (sir-y? whatever).

But apparently Cooking Light was very confused. Seriously? What’s there to be confused about? A blondie has NO CHOCOLATE. And when I was three-fourths of the way through making Espresso “Brownies”, and kept patiently waiting to add the chocolate, I became shocked and horrified to find out these brownies had NO Chocolate! WTF?


Again, no prejudice against blondies, but I was in the mood for a brownie. I have been pretty seriously dieting and eating much healthier lately and if I was going to fall off the wagon, I was going to go whole hog—-translation—I was absolutely going to eat chocolate. Because I am the biggest chocoholic that I know of, and I was definitely in chocolate withdrawal.

So, luckily, I was more than ready to change things up, make these into real, culinarily accurate brownies and added some bittersweet baking chocolate AND some Sharffenberger cocoa powder and voila presto, we had brownies and they were everything I had been dreaming of. Sitting down with a big, icy glass of milk and this crazy rich and chocolate-y brownie definitely hit this dieter’s sweet spot.


At the end of this whole brownie debacle, I seriously considered writing a nasty letter to CL Magazine. It would have gone something like this, “Dear Cooking Light Editor, I demand a retraction of your Espresso Brownie recipe from your March 1995 issue. When in the middle of making the Espresso “Brownies”, I was horrified to find out that the recipe did not call for any CHOCOLATE in the batter! Please consult the culinary definition of a brownie and a blondie and correct the misconception in all future issues so as to save your readers any similar trauma.  Thank you. Sincerely, CL Mag Hoarder.”

After giving it some thought, I decided not to send the letter and recalled a favorite book of mine, “Letters from a Nut”. If you don’t have it and are a Seinfeld lover, I highly recommend getting it. Anyhow, hope you enjoy my version of these Espresso Brownies and have a great time watching the Big Game!

—PS…I would suggest making a double batch for a crowd. A single batch just would never suffice.

Espresso Brownies

Originally from Cooking Light March 1995 Issue but Made Culinarily Accurate and Chocolate-y by Geni
Makes one dozen brownies
1 1/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar (light is ok too if you don’t have dark)
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (two squares or weigh chocolate chips)
1 1/2 T. instant espresso granules
1 T. vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 egg
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips
optional: 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

To make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Using nonstick cooking spray, spray-coat well an 8×8 square baking pan.  Cut your stick of butter in thirds and chop your two squares of baking chocolate into chunks. In a medium-sized pot over medimum heat, melt your butter, brown sugar and chocolate, stirring until all is incorporated and melted. Add espresso granules and vanilla extract. Stir together. Set aside and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour through salt. Separate your egg whites and if the melted chocolate mixture is just “luke warm”, add one egg at a time to your melted chocolate mixture, beating vigorously so as not to scramble your eggs. If your chocolate is still hot, then you need to temper your eggs. This is done by putting all of your eggs into a small bowl, beat them together, and then add about 1/4 c. of the chocolate mixture to the eggs, quickly beating in the chocolate. Add another 1/4 c of the chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating again. This is slowly bringing up the temperature of your eggs so that they don’t scramble into the chocolate mixture.  Now you can add the egg mixture to the pot and mix together.

Once all of your eggs have been incorporated into the chocolate, pour 1/2 of the chcolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir together. Repeat and add your chocolate chips and optional walnuts. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

51 thoughts on “Misrepresentations and My Espresso BROWNIES

  1. These look awesome! And the phrase “culinarily accurate brownies” made me giggle.

  2. AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS MY SOLE PURPOSE IN LIFE! TO EAT THESE! Hahaha! Love these, must try! ~ nerdwithtaste.wordpress.com

  3. Don’t mess with Geni and her chocolate! You go girl and you’re not nuts, you’re PASSIONATE, about your food, family and…chocolate!! These are awesome – what an over used word but look how high and mighty these are! I’ve got to treat my son to these, I think he may even say, I love you!

  4. Great commentary! My daughter just made a recipe for “Blondie’s” with chocolate chips added to the batter! We renamed them chocolate chip bars. Great cookie, but I agree, not a Blondie! Those Expresso Brownies are the real deal, deep chocolate flavor! A tempting cookie!

  5. Thank goodness you were able to save the day and the recipe…making it a true brownie.

  6. I always love brownies flavoured with coffee.
    hehe…thought I was the only one who goes directly to the baking before reading through the recipe.

  7. did the recipe at least call for cocoa powder? I’ve noticed a lot of brownie recipes only call for cocoa, but I almost always add chocolate to mine…the more chocolate-y they taste the better 🙂

  8. I am in agony for not having these next to me this eve when I collapse onto the couch …….juuuuuuummmmmm

  9. Mmmm coffee in brownies = life complete!
    Sorry blondies… 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. These are seriously gorgeous! And that’s coming from a chocolate hater. 😉 We’re having a Super Bowl party this Sunday, and these would be a great addition. You’re right–two batches would definitely be necessary!

  11. This will make a good breakfast ot morning tea!

  12. Good on your for adding chocolate – I would also be appalled at these faux brownies. I did a very similar thing recently while making blondies, they had no white chocolate (where do these people get off?) so also added my own.

  13. Your killing me! I love your almost sent letter to the editor and I am with you- who in their right mind would make a brownie without chcoolate? CRAZY! Loving your version. Sent your cookies yesterday! Hope you get them and they are still fresh- put a piece of bread in there to keep them moist

  14. As a fan of Cooking Light, I definitely would’ve sent in a reader letter! And then posted it on my blog if it were published! No chocolate means not a brownie.

  15. How dare they! Well, they messed with the wrong chocoholic. Way to go, Geni, and thanks for fixing it for us. An Espresso BROWNIE with no chocolate. What is this world coming to?

  16. These would look gorgeous on my nightstand table.

  17. I’m so glad you ‘fixed’ these, Geni. I mean reallly, that is not okay in the world of brownie lovers. At all. 🙂 I love the cross-section photo where you can see the fudgy looking center. YUM!

  18. Stunning! I mean, sometimes you feel like a blondie, but man. Sometimes a brownie is what you NEED.

  19. These look so thick and luxurious. Love your addition of chocolate 😉 – ha ha ha!

  20. These look yummy and the photos are great!!

  21. I agree – can’t go wrong. Those look and sound DELICIOUS.

  22. Too ridiculous about the CL recipe! I mean seriously?!?

    I’m loving these brownies. SO thick and chewy and awesome.

  23. Geni… I think you’ve changed my whole day by posting these brownies. I am officially drooling r ight now.

  24. I cannot believe…I think I would have sent the letter 🙂
    Well, the good thing is that your brownies really look great…and love the expresso in it…chocolate and expresso and just perfect together.
    Have a great week Geni!

  25. I love your letter! And I have to go pick up that book. Sounds right up my alley. I’ll even get one for my sister – up her alley too. 🙂 Incidentally, so are these brownies. She’s in the need of a pick me up. I think I’ll bring her a batch. I doubt the kids would complain either.

  26. Oh my goodness. These look divine.

  27. You have a way with words… (And recipes, if I do say so myself!) Would love a bite out of these right now!

  28. Yum Yum ….
    Even thought I am off chocolate big time, I am still drooling and waiting to make some sinful chocolate brownies soon ….
    I hope you got my mail, a little late, but …..

  29. Pingback: Diet-Free Thursday | Stuffed Yet Starving

  30. I just made these and they are absolutely delicious! I had unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate so added both to equal 5oz. Also, I did 1 tsp. each of espresso and coffee. I think next time I will follow the recipe exactly to see the difference. Nevertheless, they are still to die for! Thank you for sharing!

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