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brownies! with coffee!

i’m proud to say that i grew up in a family where home-cooked meals and home-baked desserts were the norm. my mom seemed to have an endless supply of recipes for every occasion. so when i went to college, i found myself calling every week and asking for a new idea for dinner or dessert. rather than just emailing me recipes, my mom sends them to me the way she keeps them at home – on index cards. when the mail arrived, i came to expect a envelope thick with 5 or 6 index cards with hand-copied directions for my childhood favorites.

this brownie recipe straddles the line between cakey and fudgey, so you won’t have to choose. the only thing i’ve changed about my mom’s original directions is to add coffee. many desserts use freshly brewed coffee, but here’s the secret – i use instant coffee. it’s what i grew up drinking, so it’s what i have in my apartment at all times.

you’re going to want to stop yourself from adding more instant coffee after the first tablespoon. ignore your instincts and just keep adding more. the batter will smell and even taste too bitter before you bake it, but when the brownies come out of the oven, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the depth of flavor. these won’t last long after you put them out – and they’re great warm.

coffee brownies
another recipe bestowed upon me by my mom.

1 cup butter, soft
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2-3 Tbsp instant coffee

1. in a large bowl, blend together the butter and sugar.

2. add vanilla, eggs, melted chocolate, coffee, flour and chocolate chips.

3. pour into a greased and floured 9×13 inch pan and bake at 325 F for 35 minutes.

5. get giant glass of milk and devour brownies until food coma ensues.