Is there an easier way to say “I love you” than homemade brownies?
Well, maybe, but since these brownie bites do the trick so nicely, I’m probably not really going to bother to look.
What I have searched for is the perfect brownie recipe, and happily stumbled upon this one a year or two ago from Chasing Delicious. You can read all about the evolution of the recipe here, but what you really need to know is that these brownie bites are crazy good. The tops are sleek and glossy, the sides are crisp and chewy, and the centers are dense and fudgy. They instantly became a household favorite.
Their flavor is more chocolatey than sweet, so while the bites are terrific on their own, they also make a great foundation for a dessert bar – they are so versatile you can tailor them to nearly any taste or occasion. Served with ice cream and, say, a salted carmel or marshmallow sauce, they make wonderful brownie sundaes. Or forgo the ice cream, add a drizzle of creme anglaise, then go nutty by garnishing with spiced pecans or walnuts. For chocolate fanatics, try topping the bites with hot fudge sauce and bourbon-spiked chocolate whipped cream. To keep them finger-friendly for a buffet, crown them with piped meringue, then lightly brown the meringue with a kitchen torch.
A word of advice about these brownie bites – they never last long. Although in theory 36 brownie bites should be enough to sustain a household of two adults for two days, alas, somehow it never is. If you are making them to share (and you totally should), I recommend a double batch.
Makes 36 bites. Adapted from Chasing Delicious, here.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 325℉. Lightly butter mini muffin pans. Place pans on a baking tray and set aside.
Place the butter in the top portion of a double-boiler over simmering water (you can also use a medium heat-proof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water). When about a third of the butter has melted, add in the cocoa powder and chocolate, stirring occasionally. When about two thirds of the butter has melted, add in the sugar and salt. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate are completely melted – when mixed well, it will still appear gritty in texture.
Remove the top portion of the double-boiler (or bowl) from heat and let cool for five minutes. Add vanilla and mix through. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add flour and mix through until fully incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared mini muffin pans, filling each well until it is just even with the top. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 18 – 22 minutes – the tops will be set and shiny, and a toothpick inserted in the center will be slightly moist with batter, but not runny. Remove the pans from the baking tray. Allow the bites to cool in the pans for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The brownie bites will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.